Headed for the Big Time: 5 Traits That Every Millennial Must Master For Career Success

Business.com / Careers / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Important traits that every millennial must master and possess to ensure success in their careers.

Doesn't it feel like it happened overnight?

You blitzed through college and zipped through internships. Now you're a full-fledged adult with a "real" job.

And in the beginning stages of your work journey, you may wonder what separates an average career from a successful one.

Well, mastering these traits can help you improve your chances of becoming a career success.

Related Article: Millennial Takeover: The Workplace Revolution and How It Changes Everything

1. Patience

In a perfect world things would play out like a movie. You start out as a partner in the corner office with an amazing view and employees who worship you.

But there’s a reason these plots only exist in Hollywood.

They’re a fantasy. The fact is that hardly anyone starts at the top (or even in their own office) without putting in serious grunt work at the bottom.

Once you realize that success comes with time, you’ll stop pressuring yourself with unrealistic expectations and put in the hard work necessary for each step of your career journey.

And when you hit your peak, the lessons you learn along the way will help you to continually reach new heights. 

2. Perseverance

Let me warn you in advance: You will experience failure during your career.

Your work will get rejected. You will get a bad review. You may even get fired. You must be able to dust yourself off, self-reflect and bounce back stronger than ever.

And when failure’s got you down? Just channel the perseverance and resilience of Steve Jobs.

When one of his products was failing, he was quite publicly fired from his own company.

But he didn't give up.

He created an entirely new tech company called NeXT that merged with Apple. And he later became Apple CEO. Under his leadership the iPod, iPhone and iPad were born.

Can you even imagine technology today if he had given up?

When you look at failures as an opportunity to learn and grow you will produce better work and succeed in the future.

Related Article: Millennial Time: Youth-enize Your Business Before It's Euthanized

3. Loyalty

A common misconception about millennials is that they lack loyalty to employers.

But according to the Census Bureau and The Washington Post, Millennials job-hop less than their peers from a decade ago. And the immobility may be due to lack of better opportunities. This trend brings about a problem since job transitions aid in salary growth.

So before thinking you have to commit to a company just because it's the "right thing to do", think again.

You should always stay fiercely loyal to yourself even if it does mean making moves to better opportunities.

How can you practice self-loyalty?

Always stay committed to your vision when weighing career decisions. Be passionate about your purpose and devote all of your energy to self growth. Look for ways to perfect your abilities, seek opportunities to excel and knock down doors until you get what you want.

4. Versatility

If there's one thing we can guarantee in the workplace, it's change. And if you can’t adapt, you’ll be left in the dust. Millennials who've grown up with ever evolving technology may think they've got adapting to change covered.

Not so fast.

Being versatile also means consistently adding to your skillset to stay marketable. What employers are looking for now, won't be what employers are looking for three years from now.

So, your job as a student is never over when you want to advance.

But that doesn't mean you have to pay tuition again. When you need to learn new skills, try free course sites like Coursera, edX or Open Culture.

5. Persuasion

Master the art of persuasion and you can get people to follow your lead.

Because let’s face it, employees will never follow you blindly. They need to buy into your vision and have respect for you. Learning to persuade through persistence, building rapport and reciprocity will make you a successful leader.

And even if you’re not a leader and don't intend to be one anytime soon, being persuasive will still work to your benefit.

Throughout your career you’ll need to convince people to give you employment, raises, big assignments, vacation time or promotions. Learn to persuade and you'll make your own luck.

Related Article: Going Millennial: The Perks of Hiring Generation Y

Everyone Starts Somewhere

Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will your successful career. However, by adopting some of the traits above you can position yourself to grow one that you’ll be proud of.

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