Advice For Millennials To Survive The Raging Corporate World

Advice For Millennials

To Survive the Raging Corporate World

Today’s women entering the workforce have a unique challenge. Perhaps even more than any other generation before them. They must meet and exceed expectations while also managing to deliver quality work. They also must ensure that they have their best professional interests at heart, and stand strong for their worth/values in the workplace. I’ve witnessed time and time again women struggling to achieve this balance. As a business owner and woman boss myself, I am happy to share some advice to millennial women entering the job market. As I tell my team: Print and Post this to your wall!

Answer Every Email Within 24 Hours

Following  up is super important. You don’t ever want others to constantly chase unanswered correspondence. This creates resentment. I suggest some sort of acknowledgment such as ‘I’m on it!’ or offer a specified time frame for an expected response. Don’t drop the ball(s)….and learn to juggle many!

Make Lists

There is no way anyone can possibly remember everything so keep an organized checklist on your desk or desktop and cross out tasks only when it is all tied up. Star or circle, in red, the time-sensitive matters so you can attend to these first.

Keep a Detailed Calendar 

Register events, follow up, and plan ahead! I work with a great application called Mail  Butler that allows me to prepare and program emails in advance- it’s a lifesaver!

Recap Meetings

Listen carefully during team meetings and take detailed notes. Be able to then provide the recap to all. This will not only impress your boss, but also enable your teammates to be on the same page, divvy up any responsibilities, and have clear deliverables against timelines. Keep these notes in a file to refer to often, as we all need to jog our memories (at any age!). These notes will also come in handy when you are responsible to train newcomers.

"Know when it’s appropriate to raise an issue and when it’s not, and consider the fall out first especially if it involves co-workers."

Provide Options   

Whether it’s an invitation mock-up, blast mail proof, or a landing page for new website, always provide choices! This saves time, shows that you’re thinking ahead and in a variety of ways, and your superior will greatly appreciate the effort.

Don’t Show up in Wrinkled Clothes

This tells me your attention to detail is lacking. Buy an iron or a steamer, it’s a small but worthwhile investment. Appearance goes a long way, regardless of if you’re on the sales floor or in the back office. I really do believe in the saying “dress for the job you want” – and a polished look will always go a long way in impressing your employers and conveying the right message.

Go Bold or Go Home

Bring strong ideas to the table, give us something we haven’t already done, or that you can do better than we can! That’s why you were hired. It’s ok to push the envelope sometimes  and take risks. As long as they are calculated ones. After a couple of months working somewhere, you will get a hang of the culture and the overall vibe. You’ll know where you can push the boundaries. Creativity in this manner can pay off in a big way, so don’t be afraid to make suggestions and come to the table with unique, out of the box ideas.

Be Creative

All jobs and positions are creative, not just the ones in the “creative” department. Find innovative ways to deal with mundane tasks – this can make any job more fun and fulfilling. Remember you are there to get the job done – how you do it up to you. Being creative can facilitate implementation and free up time to do new things, this is especially valuable advice for junior positions.

Diffuse, Don’t Ignite

Own it if you messed up and move forward. Talk to your superior, converse if there is a concern, but don’t let it fester. Know when it’s appropriate to raise an issue and when it’s not, and consider the fall out first especially if it involves co-workers. This shows maturity and makes for a more comfortable work environment for all.

Be a Team Player

The hiring process is a complicated one today as many people aspire to wear many hats (at our company we wear many gloves!) and with the younger generation especially, they are not always sure what they want in a role. It is important to get to the bottom of what you really want to do within an organization. Sometimes people are hired for one task, but realize they are better suited for something else. Identifying this can bring value to the overall operation.

Nothing is Lost on the Boss

We register everything- trust me!

Two or Three Heads Can Be Better than One

Don’t hesitate to run something by a co-worker and ask for their thoughts. They may see something you missed, find a mistake, offer insight, or have an idea. Ultimately, you want to provide the best option to your superior and egos need to fall to the wayside in order for this to happen.

"Ultimately, you want to provide the best option to your superior and egos need to fall to the wayside in order for this to happen."

Have a Sense of Humor

Bring the fun to the office! It’s important in the workplace for co- workers to laugh together and enjoy coming to a pleasant environment on a daily basis. Self-deprecation can also be useful. No one likes anyone who takes themselves too seriously!

Make Your Boss’s Life Easier

Don’t be too proud to offer to make a reservation, arrange travel arrangements, run an errand or call an Uber. Facilitate the busy and chaotic life of your superior, it will be most appreciated.

Avoid Being on your Phone at the Office 

Do your social media activities on your own time. Step out or take an occasional coffee break, but your attention needs to be on your job at all times. Remember that social media is part of your CV these days. So if it’s public, it better be professionally appropriate!  

Don’t Chew Gum

There is nothing more unbecoming for me than to see an employee smacking on a piece of gum. It’s a bad habit. Try a mint instead. Fresh breath highly encouraged!

Talk to Your Parents and Grandparents

The basic rules still apply such as leading from above, going the extra mile, etc. Skills they utilized in their jobs to get ahead are surprisingly still relevant.

The Golden Rule: ASSUMPTION IS THE MOTHER OF ALL MISTAKES! I was told this once, and is ever so true…

Bon Courage/Best of Luck!

Sally Perrin

Creative Director of Perrin Paris

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