There are common stereotypes about millennials that are often unfair, and on the whole mostly untrue.
Some of these include being lazy and constantly wanting more, whereas oftentimes they are interested in more of a work/life balance and greater transparency from their organisation.
The truth is that it’s often harder for younger people to be taken seriously when they enter the workforce, especially when they start to climb the corporate ladder.
Use these tips on building your credibility while you’re in your 20s.
Become An Expert
While everyone may look upon you as a person with little experience, you will have to prove your colleagues wrong by becoming an expert in your field.
You may not have had 20 years on the job, but by staying current on happenings in your industry, you will prove yourself to be competent and knowledgeable.
Start by educating yourself at university, and stay on top of trends, developments, deals and competition.
Learn industry-specific jargon and incorporate it into your conversations.
The most important rule, however, is never to say anything you are unsure of.
If you make a fool of yourself once trying to show off, it will be much harder to rebuild your credibility.
Make The Right Connections
You’ve likely heard the saying “it’s all about who you know,” which couldn’t ring truer than when it comes to the working world.
Nepotism plays a big role in who gets accepted into certain positions, and while you may not have a family friend employed as the CEO of a large corporation, you can start building your connections right out of university.
Join industry-specific associations and clubs, and attend events and soirees.
Research who the important players in your field are, and think up ways to approach them and start a conversation.
Utilise online sources, such as LinkedIn, to join forums and groups to network with those that may not live in close proximity to you.
When you associate with important people, you will automatically be regarded more seriously.
Plus, connections will always be useful throughout your career if you want to switch jobs or get promoted.
Although you should never be arrogant or pompous, the first step to being seen as credible is having self-confidence.
If you act like you don’t know a thing, or always defer to others because they are older than you, you will be treated like a second class citizen.
You need to believe in yourself above all else, and exude confidence in your skills and abilities.
Make others see that you are always in control, and you will soon gain the respect you deserve.
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 25 May, 2017