The question “What are millennials doing wrong when it comes to their careers,” originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. Here’s a compelling response, which will help you get inside the heads of millennials in the workplace.
Knowledge is Power.
“I think the biggest problem millennials in the workplace have is that most of us are stuck doing “shallow” work. Rather than diving deeply into complex projects, we are jumping from micro-project to micro-project throughout the day and never really take the time to grind away at the deeper, more important stuff.
The reason that my generation is stuck in this shallow or distracted way of doing things is because we are constantly communicating with people. When we’re at work, we always have our email inbox open and are constantly getting little notifications that take us away from what we’re doing. On top of that, we might even have our personal smartphones on our desk, and are likely getting distracted by it throughout the day.
The work day is a barrage of constant electronic distraction, and it seems that older people who did not grow up with the same connection to technology we millennials have are better at ignoring it. It also might be that older people just don’t feel as obligated to reply immediately to that latest email or text message as we millennials do.
My “cultural observation” makes me think that the constant distraction and inability to get deeper into our work is really holding a lot of us back, compared to older adults. I believe that these distracted daily habits and this constant hit of communications may partially be to blame for the lack of direction that some millennials in the workplace have.
Our life is a collection of moments. If we spend our moments distracted and constantly jumping from one thing to the next, then not only our daily tasks but our entire lives are being spent distracted and quasi-focused on trivial matters. When do we take the time to figure out what we truly want to do with our lives, or what is truly important to us? That is an incredibly deep and complex task that requires a lot of deep thinking with no distractions.
My advice to millennials, including myself, is to focus deeply on the task at hand until it is satisfactorily completed. Do not rush to the next thing; instead, focus deeply, work hard at the task at hand, and go above and beyond to come up with the best solution possible. This will allow you to solve more complex problems and go farther in the modern work world.”