Job News About Millennials

There’s some REALLY upsetting job news about millennials to report. It has both nothing and everything to do with the idea that younger people aren’t as smart as older people. And it isn’t judgmental about the millennials who might come off sounding bad.

It’s about common sense. More, it’s about how common sense gets taught.

Last week, this article about 5 Job Interview Mistakes Make Millennials Look Really Unprofessional popped up at Inc. I cringed, both because the list is published where it is (I’m guessing that most of the targets don’t so much read business magazines), and because the article needed to be published, at all, anywhere. But there it is. The most upsetting job news about millennials is that millennials have no clue what it means to be even vaguely professional.

Like I said, I’m not judging the millennials I’m talking about. I’m judging the way we educate young people today about business and common sense. I’m judging the way we’ve done that for at least a couple of decades. I see job news about millennials, but it’s us old fogeys I’m judging.

I’ve been concerned about this for a good long time. I’ve told my kids as much, and also told some of my friends’ kids. Mostly, I get looked at like I’m speaking a foreign language. I get that. It sounds like I’m criticizing the millennials, mostly—and despite my best intentions—because we’ve failed to teach them basic listening skills.

And whoops, I just now did it again. I’m saying that we’ve failed to teach millennials how to listen; they haven’t failed to learn. But I’ll bet that many readers of many generations missed that.

But enough about me. Tell me what you think of me.  ;-)

The Most Upsetting Job News About Millennials

Here are those five job interview points:

  1. Silence Your Phone
  2. Dress to Impress
  3. Say Nice Things About Those in Your Past
  4. Show Up On Time
  5. Bring Your Best You

Three of those are so obvious, it hurts. Leaving your phone on during a meeting of ANY sort is a terrible idea unless you’re trying to say “someone else is more important RIGHT NOW than you are”. How you look matters. Punctuality matters, too.

The two about what you say if you show up on time, look good, and avoid interruptions are pretty obvious as well; whether you’re talking about your old boss or just life in general, people want to hear good things from you because past performance is the best predictor of future behavior.

Job searches are hard enough. The Internet has all but ruined the job search process. In many cases, the (mostly) older people in charge are too set in their ways. And not enough of us look at the hiring process in the best way.

Come to think of it, maybe this isn’t upsetting jobs news about millennials, so much as upsetting news about most of us. And that means we all play a part in the solution. Working from the business side and feel like you can use a bit of guidance?

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