CAREER DEVELOPMENT / JAN. 16, 2015
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8 Major Career Mistakes Millennials Should Avoid in 2015

So you’ve just landed your very first job in your career a few months or years after graduation. Well, a word of congratulations is first in order. A word of caution is the second term to utter for any millennial who is entering into a professional career, whether it’s in medicine, technology, legal or any other field. 

As has been previously noted, millennials are often viewed as a generation filled with entitlement, obnoxiousness, arrogance, immaturity and a horrific work ethic. It’s time that millennials prove these critics wrong and offer evidence to the contrary. Indeed, it is hard being a millennial today, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for those inexcusable 18-34 adults who can’t adapt to today’s labor force.

There is proof that workforces are changing their office models to attract the millennial labor market, but there are still many places of business that do not allow cell phone usage, Facebook perusing and inappropriate clothing. This means that if a millennial is addicted to their iPhone and Twitter then it’s imperative to leave the phone at home and close down that Twitter account.

Unsure what mistakes you’re making at your new job? Here are eight major career errors that millennials often make and should be immediately rectified in order to be successful:

1. Using Smartphone at the Office 

Yes, millennials have the image of being the most tech-savvy generation out there. It isn’t surprising considering that millennials are constantly on their smartphones. Unfortunately, bosses, executives and managers don’t like their staff members to be on their iPhones, Samsung Galaxy devices and BlackBerrys during office hours. If you use a smartphone then, you may be viewed as someone that can’t follow the simplest of instructions.

2. Browsing Social Media at Work 

Akin to smartphones, millennials just love social media. Again, similar to smartphones, the company doesn’t appreciate their employees, who are being paid, being on Facebook when they should be completing assignments, handing in projects and collaborating with team members. Sign out and focus on the tasks at hand.

3. Thinking Colleagues are Friends 

This is a common problem. When millennials land their first job, whether out of high school or out of college, they will believe their colleagues are their friends - though it is understandable because everyone spends around eight hours a day with the same people. However, colleagues are exactly that: co-workers. You shouldn’t share the most intimate details of your life with your fellow employees nor should you court these workers for a date and potential relationship. 

4. Complaining About the Job 

We all want to let off steam about our job, but you should refrain from doing so, especially at the office. If you have to vent, then do so on your own time, whether it’s to friends, family or on an anonymous blog. Just don’t air your grievances about the job to your co-workers or in front of your superiors. 

5. Participating in Office Gossip, Politics 

For some reason, the high school mentality is still found in North American workforces, whether it’s a millennial or a Baby Boomer. What this means is that rumors, gossip and politics infiltrate the office, and it then leads to a toxic work environment. When you embark upon your career, be a neutral party and just do your job. Don’t get caught up in the inter-office politics.

6. Sporting Inappropriate Attire 

It’s a beautiful day outside. In fact, it’s a perfect day to head the beach. Unfortunately, you’re not headed to the beach but rather the office. Don’t wear flip flops, beach shorts, mini skirts, tank tops and any other type of attire that is revealing and thus inappropriate. Always be professional, whether it’s -40 degrees Celsius or +40 degrees Celsius. 

7.Incorporate Personal Viewpoints into Career 

You despise all Democrats? You don’t like Caucasians? You think all Catholics are egomaniacs? Everyone is entitled to have a viewpoint on anything they wish, but this should be left at home and not incorporated into your work environment. We all have to work with a wide variety of people in our lifetime, whether they’re black or white, male or female, religious or atheist. You should respect everyone’s point of view and prevent yourself from screaming in the office about socialism. 

8. Smoking Pot at Work 

Indeed, it is quite known that smoking marijuana is the hip thing to do in today’s world. However, this kind of recreational activity should be confined to your personal time outside of the business day. Hint: don’t smoke pot on your coffee break or lunch. Leave that stuff for home.

Whether or not the millennial generation can change the concept of a corporate environment - millennials will soon dominate the labor force within the next several years - remains to be seen. With that being said, these aforementioned tips can help improve your career and prove your worth. Not following these rudimentary steps will only get you into serious trouble.

 

Image: iStock

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