Have you ever heard the expression, “humble pie is the diet of champions”? What about, “sometimes you have to eat cheese”? If you haven’t yet, you probably will at some point in your career.
Millennials, typically characterized as individuals between the ages of 18 and 34, are drastically different from other generations. Generally speaking, millennials are detached from most major institutions, such as religions, political parties, and even marriage. Even more noticeable is how millennials are defying the structures of conventional work environments.
It is no secret that things were different “back in the day” and anytime you meet a more senior staff member, they can’t wait to tell you or question your desire for more substantive work. “Why do you care so much about new opportunities or more professional development work? Honestly, I was doing spreadsheets until I became a director!” And, while this is all fine and well, a millennial would likely think to himself, well why did I need to come into the office? I could do a spreadsheet from home.
Technically, that millennial would be right – he could do that spreadsheet at home. However, if that was expressed to that senior staffer, he or she probably wouldn’t understand. See, technology wasn’t the way it is now so there wasn’t much room for “telework”, which has, in some fields, become the new norm. These folks had to go into their respective offices every day and do whatever their superiors needed them to do to accomplish whatever goal was set. The had to “wait their turn” which usually meant they got new opportunities when their superior left the company. So, to them, this “I could’ve done this at home” attitude doesn’t work.
Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting better for yourself! If you want that job, or those new responsibilities, go after them! Earn them! But, be mindful of your work dynamic, because when it’s time for your superiors to select someone internally for a new project or a new position, you don’t want to be overlooked because your attitude gave them a “lazy vibe” or because you always acted entitled. The reality is, sometimes you must do what you have to do, so that you can do what you want to do in the future.