Millennial Perspectives: March Your Way to the Top


The following guest post is part of our Millennial Perspectives series. It was written by Lexi Kubrak, who blogs at The Nerdy Socialite. Lexi started her own company at 22, a challenge she took on after knowing times were changing in social media and new innovations had to be made. Enigma Agency gave her the edge she needed to learn about business, competition, trends and mistakes. You can follow her on Twitter @LexiKubrak Boomers seem to have one thing that particularly ticks them off about millennials:  we’re too demanding.

It’s the same spiel every time I read a review about millennials in the workplace, or about "the GenY problem." It seems like Boomers are getting sick of us being arrogant, irrational, and entitled.

I say, you forced our hand.

One of the biggest bonuses of being in your 20s in 2013 is the available free connection tools we have to find the right people quickly. Once upon a time our predecessors had to climb their way to the top. Starting at the worst jobs, they worked every day for 20+ years at the same company, hoping and praying to get that needed meeting with the big cheese. But now, the economy isn’t based on lifetime contracts with amazing pension payouts. Unfortunately the business world is now about growth, meaning shorter contract times and harder work than ever before.

Millennials have to step up their game in order to succeed – and the most important part is getting noticed first.

I believe that Boomers have never had such an influx of young and brilliant minds into their workplaces. Traditionally, people slowly amassed reputation in one company. Hiring came straight out of post-secondary institutions as the older executives wanted to mold fresh graduates to keep the status quo of secure profits. Now, with the fickle stock market and online connectivity, corporate businesses don’t have the luxury of planning over decades, and the higher ups are finding out that the status quo doesn’t work.

Therefore Millennials unfortunately have to be a bit bolder than their predecessors. If you want to be hired even for a ground floor career, you have to be noticed by the knowledge and gumption you have. Sometimes the best way to get that first job is to march into the CEO’s office and treat them like an equal. Does it work every time? Not necessarily. But that type of courage is what business leaders see as a defining quality of a valuable employee.

In a world where things can fail within seconds, it takes someone who doesn’t fail in troubling situations to be a true asset to a company. Though I may evoke argument among my peers, I must say I have read about and seen firsthand more Millennials being hired by approaching heads of companies than by applying online and waiting for a response. Nontraditional ways may upset the status quo, but it’s creating a foundation of innovative workers who are changing multi-millions into billions overnight. 

Marching our way to the top is working, and it’s changing businesses for the better.

Do you agree that assertiveness is a positive attribute millennials are bringing to the workplace?