Top 5 Skills for Millennials in 2017

Okay, team, we’ve got a bit of a PR problem. Millennials have managed to catch a bad rap, particularly when it comes to our value in the workplace. Whether it be that we’re entitled, addicted to phones/internet, or that we can’t (or won’t) stay in one job for too long, negative stereotypes about our generation have bosses doubting our worth. You can bust those myths by mastering these five skills and demonstrating them from day one.

1. Communication

Millennials are pros at more avenues of communication than any other generation. However, #hashtags and insta-lingo aren’t going to cut it in the office. If you can write well and effectively, you are a resource, no matter what your field. Same goes for spoken communication. The ability to be articulate, persuasive, concise and friendly both in conversation and on paper (or virtual paper) will earn you respect and an edge on many of your peers.

How To: Record yourself the next time you give a presentation or talk in a meeting and play it back.

2. Self-Management

The reality is, no one is going to give you a road map. The best way to be an asset is to be able to organize and listen so that you can navigate your tasks solo. However, this doesn’t mean flying blind if you’re really clueless. Be forthright enough to ask for help when you need it, but confident enough not to wait for instructions if you can make it happen on your own. You want to do your work well, not make work for someone else.

How To: This is all about recognition. Start to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Pick a podcast like EntreLeadership, Start Up, School of Greatness

3. Networking

We know it’s a bummer, but it really is all about who you know, and not just for you and your job prospects. If you can use your ability to work a crowd (or maybe just a cocktail hour) to make connections that will help your team, the higher-ups will notice. Human connection makes the world go round, so if you aren’t great at it, get to work now.

How To: Find one event in your area to attend and push yourself to meet 5 new people.

4. Emotional Intelligence

The ability to recognize your own emotions and those of the people around you goes a long way in any workplace. People with high emotional intelligence generally perform better at work and often are natural leaders, not to mention that their mental health is often better than those with lower emotional intelligence. How can you practice this? Be open-minded. Be nice, but honest. Really watch the people you’re interacting with, especially their facial and body language. These skills can help to build empathy and that is the ultimate people skill.

How To: Start by identifying your own self management which will give you insight into how other people are feeling.

5. BYO Skill

Bringing a practical talent to the table goes a long way, especially if it’s something you can actually get jazzed about doing. This shows that you have aptitude and enthusiasm, and can go a long way toward making you indispensable to your team. Take the time on your own to take that coding class you’ve always thought about or to read up on graphic design software. Initiative goes a long way and, when paired with prowess, is pretty unbeatable.

How To: Enroll in that part time General Assembly or Skillshare course on marketing, find an online coding class, or start work on a passion project.