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Things millennials do and say that undermine their professionalism

Millennials, like the generations before us, have their fair share of bad office habits that especially peeve the people in charge. Even if you aren’t trying to be unprofessional, there are certain words and actions that undermine your professionalism in an office setting. If you can try and minimize these habits, it will go a long way in improving your overall professional presence. Here are the bad habits of millennials in the workplace.


1. ‘Like’

Saying things that make you sound like you’re still in a sorority or fraternity will make you seem immature and less reliable. Using words such as “like” “totally” and “oh my god” are bad habits that are like totally unprofessional and inappropriate for meetings, interviews, and most office spaces.

millennials in the workplace


2. Giving lame excuses

Saying you couldn’t make it to work on time because of an intense workout or trying to get out of an assignment by saying, “it seems like my time would be best spent working on something else” are good examples of millennials’ entitled attitude in the workplace. Meeting the expectations of the workplace is something you’ll have to do for the rest of your life – you might as well get used to it as soon as possible instead of leaving a bad impression on your boss.

millennials in the workplace


3. ‘Literally’

Literally is literally the most overused millennial word of all time and it’s annoying your bosses so much they literally want to kill you. This word once had a literal definition but now it literally ceases to carry any literal meaning, which means it can be eliminated from your workplace vocabulary.

millennials in the workplace


4. ‘Dude!’

Addressing coworkers as “man” “dude” “bro” or “girl” is not OK. Your colleagues have actual names and calling them these juvenile filler words is far too casual for an office.

millennials in the workplace


5. Oversharing

Think before you decide to talk about your personal life. Whether it’s a crazy night at the club or a heated argument with a friend, there are some things the people you work with just don’t need to know.

millennials in the workplace


6. Constantly checking phone, social media

Phones and all the Snaps, Vines, texts and Tweets that come with them are pretty fun. Paying too much attention to them at work, however, is a great way to look like you’re not a very dedicated employee. Try to check up on social media on your breaks just once or twice a day and leave office hours to face-to-face interactions or getting actual work done.

millennials in the workplace


7. ‘LOL’

Saying aloud acronyms intended for text messages is a great way to annoy your employer. Between your friends using millennial messaging speak is completely fine. It’s just inappropriate in a professional setting, especially if you’re working in an office with people from other generations who might not understand what you’re saying.

millennials in the workplace


8. Knowing it all (when you really don’t)

Millennials are confident… and that’s OK… until healthy confidence starts to morph into unwarranted cockiness. Go ahead and speak authoritatively at work, but only when you know what you’re talking about.



9. Being overly sensitive

Millennials have the unfortunate, yet often accurate, reputation for being unable to take or give criticism. We tend to freak out about our mistakes and take things personally. The reality is that everyone makes mistakes and any critiques that you receive are meant to improve your work performance – not to make you feel bad.

millennials in the workplace


10. Babbling

Talking too fast is a bad speaking habit that is unprofessional to begin with. Moreover, if you’re speaking quickly you’re probably not thinking as hard about what you’re saying. Slow down and think before you speak – it will make you more polished and grounded. It might like also like minimise the amount of like times you say “like”.

millennials in the workplace



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Photos and blog by Elizabeth Trovall

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