Lynn Perkins_insider
Lynn Perkins, CEO of UrbanSitter Courtesy of UrbanSitter
Commentary

How Millennials Can Succeed at Their First Job

Nov 29, 2015

The MPW Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: What should every 20-something do to set themselves up for success? is written by Lynn Perkins, CEO of UrbanSitter.

Entrenched in Silicon Valley’s startup arena for years, I’ve learned a thing or two about working alongside millennials and helping them “manage up” to ensure success in their careers. Research from the 2015 Deloitte Millennial Survey shows that more of the millennial generation aspires to be the boss than any other generation, so it’s critical for today’s 20-somethings to make the most of their first job, setting the stage for a successful future. Here are my top six tips for early career development:

Seek constructive feedback
Don’t sit back and expect a constant flow of feedback from your manager ; be proactive and ask for it. Consider every piece of feedback as an opportunity for growth and make it your challenge to formulate concrete ways to show improvement.

Get to know people
If you want to be the boss someday, your ability to work in a group will be of the utmost importance. Embrace the value of sharing ideas and tasks to reach a common goal, and don’t be afraid to speak up. Spend time with employees from different departments and backgrounds to gain deeper insights.

See also: How to Overcome Challenges of a Career Change

Find opportunities to manage
Volunteer to lead a team project or guide an intern. No matter how big or small the management project, it will broaden your skill set and provide valuable leadership experience—a good stepping stone to becoming a full-fledged manager.

Observe and exemplify
Role models are all around you. Pick and choose those with traits or approaches that you admire, and find opportunities to emulate them in your work and personal life.

Network
Millennials are more in touch with the world than previous generations, but can still benefit from advice from those who have “been there, done that.” Make an effort to connect with more experienced professionals by joining networking groups and organizations in your industry.

Say “yes” to the extracurriculars
Be on the lookout for opportunities to connect with work colleagues outside of the office to improve your relationships. If your company doesn’t schedule regular team building events or have a softball team, take the initiative and invite coworkers to take a class together, organize a morning workout session, or start a lunchtime book (or podcast) club.

Read all answers to the MPW Insider question: What should every 20-something do to set themselves up for success?

What every 20-something should know about their first job by Cathy Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte.

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