The business world can be a harsh and competitive landscape, and if you want to succeed you need to be able to consistently do your best in the short term, while also keeping a long-term goal in your sights.
The biggest issue facing young workers nowadays is not seeking out places or people that will help them achieve their long-term plans. It can be stressful finding somewhere that’ll pay your bills while also helping you progress towards your perfect job in the future, but it’s vital for your ongoing success and happiness.
There’s a lot to consider, and a lot of potential pitfalls for anybody entering a new role or trying to succeed. In order to help you out a little, we’ve compiled a short list of a few common traps that millennials often fall into in the workplace.
Not having a long-term plan
The basics of any job are simple enough. While some positions require more training or allow for a greater degree of freedom in your daily pursuits, in the grand majority of positions you’re going to be required to complete specified tasks.
That’s all simple enough, but in order to get ahead you’re going to have to do better than just fulfilling your basic work requirements. The old adage ‘work smarter, work harder’ applies here—it’s not good enough to just work hard, you need to have a plan.
There’s a reason employees ask where you see yourself in five years; if you don’t know, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Spend a little time figuring out what you want in the short, medium, and long term for you and your career. Then, take steps to make progress on those goals.
Find a job that will nurture your growth
This can be a little tricky. Job competition is tough right now, and in some sectors even getting an entry level position is fairly difficult. However, unless you’re completely and totally desperate for any position, remember one golden rule:
A job interview is just as much about you interviewing your employer's, as it is about them interviewing you.
Deloitte’s recent survey on Millennials in the workplace found that despite leadership training being the most prized skill employers can teach, 63 per cent of employees felt their “leaderships skills [were] not being fully developed” in their current workplace, and only 28 per cent felt that their bosses were making full use of their skills.
If you get to the office and you feel like your bosses have no interest in helping you grow as a professional, if they don’t want to invest anything into your training, if the conditions are awful, or they have a huge employee turnover, ask yourself if the position is the right one for you.
Some people might see this as selfish behaviour, but think of it this way; if you’re looking to expand yourself and reach new heights, why would you possibly want to waste your time somewhere that will actively stifle your growth?
Take a position that will help you positively transition in your career Sometimes this might mean rejecting a higher paying job, but it might also mean saying goodbye to a crummy workplace environment and hello to new opportunities.
If possible, negotiate a schedule that will help increase your productivity
Being pigeonholed into certain roles and constraining time schedules can have a devastating effect upon your professional and personal life. If you have the option to negotiate your schedule, occasionally work from home, or otherwise better arrange your time—take it!
For example, if you work in some kind of writing capacity, or your work is similarly output-based, then there’s a decent chance you might be able to find a telecommute or freelance contract based job that’ll allow you to maximise your time and money. If you find yourself doing more work than other people for the same pay, switching to this kind of productivity\payment scheme can do wonders, as you’ll also save money on transportation and other work costs, such as appropriate clothing.
According to the Deilotte, 75 per cent of millennials would consider their productivity raised rather than lowered if they worked from home. If you don’t think you can trust yourself with your own PC and the distractions that come from being unsupervised, feel free to ignore this segment, but for others—task yourself how you can design a more flexible schedule, and increase your productivity.