Step up to debunk misperceptions of millennial entitlement
WITH JENNIFER CAMEROS
SOCIETY FOR HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT HAWAII CHAPTER VOLUNTEER, AND A RECRUITER AT KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS
The label “millennial” with its connotation of entitlement can make young professionals cringe. Strategies used to overcome the label’s stigma can benefit anyone, regardless of their age. For example, understanding the communication style of those you work or collaborate with, tailoring your delivery to your audience and being open to their feedback and opinions can counter the misperception of being entitled.
Q: How important is what I say compared to what I do?
A: Your performance over time will prove that you are able to complete projects or day-to-day tasks with quality and ahead of schedule or prior to the set deadline. If there are ever times when you are not able to meet project or assignment expectations, own up to failure, be accountable and use any lessons learned to improve your performance going forward. You will be most effective when what you say is aligned with your actions.
Q: What if I’m struggling with a project?
A: If there are areas of your position or a project that you are struggling in, ask questions on best practices and gain various perspectives to find the right techniques for you. If there are areas of your position or project that you are great at — say for example, integrating technology — share that with others. Be mindful that everyone has different strengths and areas of improvement. This can show your interest to learn more and could provide you the opportunity to collaborate with others outside of your department or others you may not have the chance to work with on a daily basis.
Q: Do I need to set professional development goals?
A: Yes. With professional development goals, seek opportunities to build your industry knowledge or skills (best practice research, webinars, internal/external trainings, etc.) to recommend improvements to current processes or procedures. Another effective strategy is to ask to sit in and observe a manager/director meeting. Setting goals, tracking performance and discussing feedback can show that you are able to take initiative to plan ahead for the short and long term future, hold yourself accountable and be open to continuous improvement.