Resolving to Make ‘Millennial’ Your Unique Selling Proposition

January 1, 2015

[ikon images/corbis]
[ikon images/corbis]

For the past decade, people have been hotly debating the subject of millennials in the workplace.

“Millennials are lazy and think they’re entitled,” says one side. “Milliennials are savvy, and look at things differently,” says another.

Well, folks, both sides are right.

Some millennials are lazy and come to work thinking that everything will be handed to them. Other millennials are stellar overachievers who do look at things differently — but work tirelessly every day. Fortunately, whichever side of the coin you’re on, there isn’t a better time to improve and set career goals than the start of a new year.  

As you plan your new pros’ resolutions in 2015, think beyond just updating your LinkedIn profile or tweeting more.

Look holistically at your unique millennial characteristics and use them to your advantage daily. Look critically at your millennial downfalls and break those habits quickly. Doing so will ensure “millennial” is a positive, unique selling proposition throughout your career.

And, when you think about it, these traits span multiple age groups. There are slackers and superstars in every generation, and PR pros of all ages can adopt or fine-tune their “millennial-esque” skill sets, too.

Now, let’s start our new pros’ resolution. Embrace the following millennial strengths and overcome the millennial issues that others complain about for a fresh, successful start in 2015.

Strengths to embrace:

Digital savvy — We’ve been lucky to grow up using computers and smartphones. This helps us embrace new technologies as soon as they hit the market. It also means that our technology adoption time is quick, making us an efficient workplace asset.

How to embrace: When a new app or social platform comes out, sign up. Use it and — without being asked — provide your supervisor with an assessment of its target audience, benefits and ways that your company or clients could benefit.

Creative thinking— Each generation has had a different upbringing that results in various points of view. Our MTV, VH1 and AIM-filled childhood puts us on the pulse of pop culture and social media. This perspective is becoming increasingly important as brands target up-and-coming consumer demographics.

How to embrace: Every few weeks, brainstorm a creative idea that would help your company or client reach its audience. Pass it along to your supervisor as an offhand idea for the future, and include the strategy behind it. It’s a win-win: You impress your supervisor and you wire your brain for constant creative thinking.

Issues to overcome:

Understanding — We’re used to communicating via text message and multitasking with the second smartphone screen. But the workplace is full of multiple generations.

How to overcome: When you’re communicating with supervisors and clients, put your phone away — don’t multitask. When pitching journalists, pay attention to the type of communication they prefer. Do they respond best to email? Email them. Do they thank you for following up via phone? Pick up the phone. Just like reaching target audiences in public relations, you should meet your colleagues and external contacts, such as journalists, where they are — not where you want them to be.

Respect — We bring a lot to the table as millennials, but we’re not alone. Our colleagues have equally important skills, and in many cases, they have more experience and deserve our respect.

How to overcome: Always listen before talking. Remember that your superiors’ years of experience are important, and instead of bashing the old ways, see if you can leverage the best of new and traditional tactics to create an outstanding approach. For example, you could combine a traditional news release announcing a product with an accompanying Vine series demonstrating product uses.

As millennials, we have the world at our fingertips, and the culture we were raised in gives us an important perspective on the world. But that alone doesn’t make us valuable.

We’ll develop as esteemed young professionals by embracing our generation’s best traits, eliminating the negative ones and happily collaborating with PR professionals spanning multiple generations. This new pros’ resolution will ensure that the word “millennial” has a positive connotation in the workplace, making it your key to career success well beyond 2015.

Stephanie Vermillion

Stephanie Vermillion is a content marketer and journalist in the New York City area. She’s the founder of Stephanie Vermillion Studio, and you can follow her work at @StephanieVermillionStudio on Instagram.


No comments have been submitted yet.

Post a Comment

Editor’s Note: Please limit your comments to the specific post. We reserve the right to omit any response that is not related to the article or that may be considered objectionable.


To help us ensure that you are a real human, please type the total number of circles that appear in the following images in the box below.

(image of four circles) + (image of eight circles) + (image of six circles) =



Digital Edition