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Our organization often hires millennials for a variety of positions, but primarily jobs that are office-related. Millennials bring energy and ideas to the team, but there are a few things they should learn in order to put their best foot forward. While the goal isn’t always to “impress” the boss, new hires should make a good “impression.” As a supervisor and mom to millennials, consider these five suggestions.

  1. Dress professionally. This requires a financial investment, but start building a professional wardrobe. For women—consider the length of your skirt or dress. The closer to the knee, the better. Invest in dress shoes or boots. Leave your flannel shirts at home. For men—polish your shoes. Iron your shirts and press your slacks. Again, flannel shirts are for the weekend. Remember, the way you present yourself reflects how you present your organization.
  2. Show up on time. Minutes are money to your organization. Your boss may have earned the right to have flexibility in their schedule, but you haven’t. Consider that your supervisor probably answers calls and emails at all hours of the day and may work weekends. If you want to show you care about the organization, show up on time. One more suggestion—just show up. Period. I’ve heard other supervisors share stories of millennials who were surprised that they were expected to show up every day. Where did that come from?
  3. Take notes. If your supervisor calls you to their office or a meeting, do not show up without a pen and paper. Even if you like to take notes on your phone, resist. Supervisors are like teachers. They don’t want to repeat instructions or directions, so keep notes and a “to do” list. One more suggestion on this topic—leave LOLs and acronyms out of your emails. Not only should you dress professionally, but write professionally, especially when communicating with clients and people outside your organization.
  4. Be proactive and engaged in the organization. If you find yourself with free time or the tasks are completed, create work. Do not wait for someone to give you another assignment. Read through past files, clean something or dream of ways the organization could improve. Resist the urge to waste time looking at social media on your computer or playing games on your phone. If you serve clients, remove the earbuds. Being engaged also means being ready to listen to people—not Spotify.
  5. Ask questions. You’re new. You’re not expected to know everything. Find people who can help you navigate the system and ask for help. Side note: Once you’ve asked, learn and don’t ask again. See number 3—take notes when you have a question and refer to them when needed.

These are just a few ideas. What has helped you make a good impression?