Every single one of us at Zanita Studio is a millennial…
Therefore, we think we’re qualified to talk about the top mistakes millennials make when talking to potential employers… After all, we’ve also been the hiring manager and potential employee. Although there are quite a lot of misconceptions about our generation, we can understand why they exist. They don’t necessarily apply to you or anyone specific, but we’ve witnessed the infractions ourselves… So let’s take a step back and review exactly what those mistakes are.
#1 Only talking about the “self”
In a world of “me, me, me”, it’s super easy to only think about yourself. But never forget, it pays to focus on the matter at hand: the potential employer and your potential job. In any conversation related to your career, you’ll often be asked about your career goals, your interests, and what you see yourself doing. Even if your plans somewhere along the way are to be self-employed (e.g. blogger, freelancer, etc), now’s not the time to discuss that… Why would anyone want to bring you on board to share their contacts with you and teach you the ins and outs of the business if your goal is to be on your own? That’s a waste of time and resources when it comes to investing in you.
Solution: Sure, talk about your interests but be sure to relay it back to the potential employer – how does that benefit them? What will you do for them (not yourself)? This might sound like brown-nosing – and it’s not. It’s about offering them the best you can because when you do that, the returns are eternal.
Everyone wants to work their own schedule, right? Guess what – we do too! But to voice that from the start is quite the blunder. Saying things like, “Oh, I’m not really interested in a corporate structure, I like the flexibility, etc” is essentially the same as “I only care about myself”. Obviously if you’re speaking to a potential employer, you’re doing so because maybe the lack of structure (especially in blogging) entices you, but no need to state the obvious. It’s especially a misstep if you specifically say something like, “I still like to do my own thing…etcetera etcetera”. Again, waste of time and resources and stamps “implausible” all over you.
Solution: Show that you’re committed to them and their organization. Perhaps say something along the lines of “I love flexibility, but that also means I’m flexible”… “I do have a blog, but that is a hobby and I’m committed to XXX”… Again, this isn’t about you. If you commit to them, they will commit to you. Don’t blow your chances.
Just because you’ve landed the internship or entry-level position doesn’t make you irreplaceable. Everyone is replaceable. It also doesn’t entitle you to promotion. By nature, we’re inclined to worry about the future… Where will we be? How can we make more money? But sometimes, it’s better to slow down and focus on what you’re doing right now. If you’re honestly working hard, the rewards will come. No one is entitled to anything in this world – even if it seems like it’s already yours.
Solution: Work hard at all times, upkeep the momentum, and strive to make the best impression of yourself even a year later. Document your successes and accomplishments. When it’s time, ask for that raise or promotion. If the employer hasn’t invested in you even after all that, it’s time to move on.