Feeling misunderstood is frustrating. So deeply believing you are one way yet constantly hearing it put another way is, well, annoying and has a way of perpetuating the misunderstanding.

Millennials, or Gen Y, have been called mistrusting, lazy, entitled, and even out of touch with what it takes to make it in the business world. Blah! We think Millennials bring some strong and unique attributes to the organizations that figure out the best way to capture the attention of this group, woo them throughout the recruiting process, and keep them challenged and engaged over the long-term (whatever long-term means these days). But, this isn’t a blog about how organizations can better market to the 1.8 million Millennials that are soon to be seeking employment (assuming they haven’t started their own venture already). This is a simple list of three things for all you Gen Y’ers out there to consider. You have some serious strengths – use them to your advantage.

1. Make the CEO blush with your wicked innovation skills. In PWC’s recent CEO study, it is clear that CEO’s have concern over the changing business landscape and how this will impact business growth. What do you do about it? Get involved and be prepared to articulate how your creativity and innovative thinking can be used throughout the organization – not just for a fun and funky project that you can own, but instead, for business growth and/or internal cultural innovation to better adapt to the anticipated disruptions. We know you like to own it and fuel it with your unique touch of innovation. Embed yourself in the business and show them what ya’ got.

2. Entitled? You’ll show them entitled! This label is getting old, but clearly it is one that can create unnecessary disconnects between you and others in the organization. Learn to clearly articulate your value, your desire to roll up your sleeves and genuinely participate in meaningful work that will have meaningful reward. Some call this entitled, but you should consider calling this ready to jump in. Use your smarts and background and work with the team to make things happen. The results will speak for themselves.

3. Don’t trust “the man”? Help the man help you. Whether this is true or not, you have a unique advantage to be an advocate for transparency across the business. If you are skeptical, then chances are someone else is, too. Global Consulting leader Deloitte found that Gen Y claims one of the top three factors for strong innovation to be “leadership that encourages idea generation and sharing regardless of seniority”. BOOM! Even if you are new, helping to remove the cloak of traditional organizational messages so people can actually understand them, know what is behind the message, and how to best act on the message is needed. Drive it. Rather than simply not trusting and sitting on it, ask questions, show curiosity, and make sure “the man” knows it is so you can be more effective for the business long-term.

All this Gen Y talk has us curious. Are the stereotypes true? What unique skills and strengths can you bring to your future employer? We want to hear from you.

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