There are plenty of traditional career advice best practices, however, as workplace trends evolve what once might have been a common best practice is made obsolete. A major contributing factor to the evolution is the entrance of millennials into the workplace.
Motivating millennials is very different than how employers encouraged previous generations. A 2016 Millennial study by Deloitte found that this generation is different because of their strong concern for alignment between personal and corporate values, corporate social responsibility, work-life balance, and motivation through creating a strong sense of purpose and belonging.
It has been estimated that 75 percent of the global workforce will be Millennials by the year 2025, so understanding their impact is critical to the future. Here are five outdated pieces of career advice that you can leave behind with this generational shift.
Although it is best to refrain from looking "job hoppy," there is no longer a "right" length of time for staying in a role or career. According to Everest's RPO 3.0 Paradigm Shift report, the average tenure of baby boomers and Gen X is 7 to 5 years respectively, compared to millennials who tend to stick to an organization for an average of 2 years. Additionally, SHRM found that millennials are more inclined to believe that people will have five or more jobs during their career compared to baby boomers. Attitudes have shifted regarding this rule of thumb, so don't hold yourself to a position because you feel you must be there for the long-haul.
I can't image my current workplace without being friends with my coworkers! Employee engagement is a huge workplace trend, which doesn’t necessarily mean you must be friends – but, forming relationships with your colleagues isn’t a faux pas. In fact, it can make your workplace more enjoyable and provide a shoulder to lean on.
Your coworkers are a subculture and community you are a part of, so get to know each other! Team building activities provide an opportunity to get to know your colleagues on a personal level while fostering communication and collaboration. Even virtual employees need to consider some ways they can be more connected.
Although an opportunity with better pay may seem like the best option, it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor impacting your decision. Long-term happiness is hard to sustain when the pay is the main benefit that your job offers. A study conducted by MRI Network showed that when candidates are seeking a career change, their top deciding factors are advancement opportunities (72%), better compensation packages (57%) and better company culture (48%), followed closely by improved work-life balance (47%). So although compensation is an attractive incentive, it isn't the only thing that should make or break your final decision.
Providing suggestions to individuals higher than you on the “totem pole” can feel intimidating, but it is possible that you are offering a fresh perspective that they haven’t yet considered. Companies have begun to empower their employees and encourage an “open-door” policy to foster upward conversations. You may still feel reluctant to point out areas of improvement. Do your best not to be scared to speak up, but make sure that you have a well-thought-out solution that you can propose for any issue you bring to your leader's attention. Offering an alternative solution will help you stand out as a forward-thinker and problem solver.
If you have seen Jim Carrey's 2008 Yes Man film, then you know what can happen when you say yes to anything and everything! It can be difficult to muster up the courage to say no to work requests, but there are appropriate times to do so. When you have too much on your plate, you don’t want to continue taking on projects because there could be a sacrifice in quality and you will eventually get burnt out. Knowing when and how to say no isn't easy, but approaching the situation with respect and honesty will put you in a great situation. You shouldn't feel obligated to take on absolutely everything.
Lexie Murdough is the marketing intern with WilsonHCG. She received her Bachelors in Marketing from the University of Tampa, and recently joined the marketing team after spending seven months interning on the recruitment side of WilsonHCG. She is a graduate student at UT pursuing her MBA, and her passions include traveling, skydiving, spending a day at the beach, and unconditionally loving her cat, Luna.