Millennials and Loyalty: Mutually Exclusive?

DisconnectMillennials, we have a communication — and generational — breakdown. A disconnect of biblical proportions.

Check out this workplace survey from Beyond.com, an online career network. The poll contains a pretty startling statistic:

  • 82% of Millennials self-identified as being loyal to an employer
  • ­Only 1% of HR professionals believed Millennials are loyal to an employer

Well, then. We like to think we’re faithful, but clearly those decision makers in HR expect Millennials to cut and run at any time.

To the 99% of HR professionals who doubt our long-term status, you’re not 100% wrong. Our twenties are a dynamic time to explore who we are and find the work that makes us fulfilled. Sure, we may change jobs a couple times. Companies also downsize without warning.

As we bounce from gig to gig, here’s the unshakable truth:

It’s not about our resumes. It’s about the employer.

A boss or HR professional wants to hire a Millennial who is passionate about working for the company — not what the company can do for the Millennial. Don’t worry; if you commit to learning new things every day, your resume will take care of itself. Frankly, your career will too. Whether you work at a business for 10 days or 10 years, it’s all about:

“How can I help the company be successful?”

Here are some ways to prove you’re committed to the cause:

Invest in Yourself to Better the Company

A friend of mine recently told me he wants to take advanced courses in ‘big data’ analysis at a local college. Why? Because his bosses see ‘big data’ as essential to the company’s long-term growth. Management may even pay for his classes.

By using his free time to learn in-demand skills, my friend will endear himself to his bosses, prove he’s serious about helping the company grow and boost his own resume.

When the Going Gets Tough, Dig in

You know those weeks when you’re drowning in work, super unhappy and wondering: is this the right job for me? Stop right there. That’s a classic Millennial trap. The boss thinks: “OK, I turned up the pressure on a 24-year-old, and he can’t handle it.  I bet he’s already thinking about quitting.”

Surprise upper management by taking the stress in stride. And remember: every job has good and bad days — not just yours.

Ask How You Can Help and Do the Task with a Smile

Want to show loyalty to a boss or team leader? Use this question:

What can I help you with right now?

Those eight words speak volumes about your willingness to do whatever necessary. Your boss could give you an interesting task:

“Help me set up a Pinterest page.”

Or something far less cool.

“The cleaning crew forgot to empty the trash cans last night. Can you handle the garbage?”

Pinterest, trash cans…it’s all the same. Just be happy to pitch in to keep the office humming along. Smart managers won’t abuse you — they’ll respect your attitude.

Thanks in part to Time magazine, older adults now think of us as the ’ME ME ME’ generation. As I’ve argued, we should embrace that title and use our twenties to gain as many skills as possible. The key is to make sure we’re learning in a way that benefits the company. That way, you’re being loyal to yourself and your boss.

Think about this: How do you demonstrate loyalty at work?

 

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For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at News to Live By!

 

 

Danny Rubin headshotAbout the Author: Danny Rubin is a PR professional at Rubin Communications Group in Virginia Beach, VA. A former TV reporter, Danny also writes News To Live By (NTLB), a blog for Millennials that highlights the career advice and leadership lessons in the day’s top stories. His NTLB columns are featured on several blogs and news sites, including Huffington PostLifehacker, PolicyMic and Brazen Life. Danny also contributes to Parade Magazine. Follow the blog on Twitter!

 

 

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