The millennial generation is unlike any that came before. Its young members grew up with the Internet, and given the relative peace and prosperity of the ’90s, they’ve likely never known the kinds of hardships their parents and grandparents experienced. This has given them a number of advantages, but it’s also resulted in a lack of social skills — at least according to career trainer and consultant Eric Chester.
In a piece for Business 2 Community, Chester offers millennials 4 excellent tips for ensuring success in work and in life. Some of his suggestions may seem obvious, especially to older readers, but these “simple truths” are worth learning and living by no matter how old you are.
1. Don’t Arrive at a Dinner Party Empty-Handed — When your boss invites you over and tells you not to bring anything — “just yourself” — don’t arrive without a bottle of wine, dessert, or houseplant. If you show up with nothing, you’ll only prove right all those people who say millennials are “entitled.”
2. Learn to Show Appreciation — After meeting with upper-level execs on a job interview or getting solid career advice from a coworker, don’t just say “thanks” and call it a day. Send a handwritten thank-you note. It’s old school, but people appreciate those types of things, Chester writes, and the little bit of time it takes will pay big dividends in the future.
3. Be a Good Borrower — When you give Jim from accounting his stapler back, prove your worth as a borrower of office supplies by refilling the thing before plopping it on his desk. The same goes for just about anything you might borrow — be it a wheelbarrow or a cup of sugar. “Be the kind of person who rarely borrows anything, but when necessary, you repay the kindness with interest,” Chester writes.
4. Don’t Prattle On About Yourself — Everyone thinks millennials are self-involved, and if you make conversations 100 percent about you, you’ll lend credence to this view. “The quickest way to get on the wrong side of people who are over 50 is to dominate a conversation and turn everything that is said back to yourself,” Chester writes. Be humble and ask questions. You might learn something.