7 mistakes millennials make in their professional lives

Millennials have plenty of qualities that make them an asset to the workforce. They’re unconventional, tech-savvy and openminded. That said, this generation also has some qualities that drive employers crazy. Learn from these common mistakes millennials make in their professional lives.


1. Oversharing on social media

Whether it’s a drunk picture or a rant about the office, millennials need to censor their social media feeds if they don’t want it to affect their professional success. Employers will often check Facebook, Twitter and other feeds to see what kind of person you are before hiring you. Once hired, your online reputation will also represent that of the company where you intern, so keep this in mind and think before posting.


2. Not apologizing (or apologizing too much)

Millennials need to own up to their mistakes when they make an error. Taking responsibility for your actions is key in proving yourself worthy of forgiveness. Everyone makes mistakes, so you shouldn’t have anything to hide. On the flip side, exercise prudence when you apologize. Do it once – and mean it. Modifying your behavior so these mistakes don’t happen in the future is far more important than an effusive apology.


3. Mentioning mom and dad

Unless you’re engrossed in a 100% personal discussion, which should be occurring off-site, refrain from referring to your mom and dad. At a job interview they should never come up – and shouldn’t be listed or referred to as a reference for your skills. It makes you sound immature and undermines your professionalism.


mistakes millennials make


4. Preferring perfectionism to the hustle

Millennials sometimes get a little bit precious about their work – which isn’t necessarily a good thing. While employers prefer employees who are thorough in their work, they don’t want perfectionism to get in the way of getting projects done on time. Don’t be dainty about your work – set tight deadlines for yourself and work on submitting quality projects on time.


5. Devaluing the grunt work

Millennials are quick to want to really “make a difference” at their internship. They feel entitled to start immediately tackling big ideas while they miss the chance to really perfect their craft. Repetition and grunt work is part of the process of becoming an excellent professional.  Thinking that you’re above that is one of the biggest mistakes millennials make. Of course, it’s good to be eager and enthusiastic to grow and move on. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to do some repetitive tasks at your internship or even entry level job.


6. Wasting their twenties

Millennials are the first generation to postpone a lot of the responsibilities of adulthood. Although this has given millennials more freedom to explore their passions, it can also hold them back from career development. If you can, try to use these exploratory years to also boost your career. Internships abroad, fellowships, and immersive language programs are all ways you can boost your skillset while exploring. While “figuring it out” you should also be considering the demands of the labor market and use that to motivate you.


mistakes millennials make


7. Text dependence

Millennials love to text. And while texting can sometimes be the most efficient way of communicating, employers usually prefer email, a phone call or an in-person meeting. Though millennials may not be as accustomed to phone calls, it’s vital to develop a knack for conversations over the phone.


Now that you know how to avoid the most common mistakes millennials make, apply now to boost your career with an internship abroad.



Sources: http://time.com/money/3019899/10-facebook-twitter-mistakes-lost-job-millennials-viral/, https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/the-5-biggest-career-mistakes-made-by-millennials.html



1. based on Millennials Jam Workshop: Youth and ICTs beyond 2015, by ITU Pictures, CC-by-2.0

2. based on Millennials Jam Workshop: Youth and ICTs beyond 2015, by ITU Pictures, CC-by-2.0

3. based on Jeffrey Kontur, by Texting, CC-by-ND 2.0


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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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