If you’re a Millennial, you’re starting behind

You don’t have enough work experience. You don’t work hard enough. You’re only worried about how long it will take for you to get my job. Whether hiring managers admit it or not, these are the three core factors going through their mind when they welcome you into their office and shake your hand.

There are two sides to every statement. The first question is, how are employers adjusting to Millennials and overcoming the stereotype? Which can be addressed at another time. But, the second is, how do Millennials prove employers wrong? There’s a unique balance between the two that must occur in order to establish a successful relationship and retain Millennial talent.

As Millennials we have to understand that the odds are stacked against us to begin with. It’s not because employers don’t like us, they have kids our age or kids that will eventually be in our shoes. However, they have a duty to deliver results and talent to their organizations, the stereotypes are a protective mechanism used to weed out the underachievers. Just because you’re 22 or 23, does not mean you’re an under achiever – understanding how to use examples to show that, is key. Whether or not a hiring manager is trained to asked targeted questions to discern if “this” Millennial is right for their company or not, it is your job to make sure you address concerns that we all know exist.

What not to do: immediately ask what the career path is for the position. We all know this is important, we want to see growth. But, it’s not a topic you lead with, especially when you don’t even work for the company yet. It proves the stereotype of our generation – that we expect advancement, we don’t earn advancement. Framing the question in this manner – “Where do you see a successful person in this role within the next few years?” Can give you a sense of what they expect but, also infers that you have to be SUCCESSFUL in order to get there.

If you truly aren’t a hard worker? Then you will fall into that stereotype regardless of what age you are. There’s no spinning of questions or answers to get to the root of this stereotype. This can only be cured by sitting down and digging in. Express that you’re willing to do what’s necessary be the best at the role you’re interviewing for. There are plenty of people in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s who don’t work hard. In my eyes, this stereotype is not specific to Millennials – but, we have to understand that it’s a stigma and the only way to solve it… is get to work.


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