We all want to further our careers, and millennials are no exception. But what does that actually mean? A recent survey by Olivet Nazarene University revealed the following four points that younger workers are hoping to improve upon. If you feel the same, a little effort could be your ticket to meeting your goals.
1. Earn more money
For 87% of millennials, the primary objective on the career improvement front is to earn more money. If you have a similar goal, don't hesitate to ask for a raise. But also, approach that conversation strategically. Dig up salary data for your industry so you have a baseline to work with. List the ways you add value to your company so you're not grasping at straws during that discussion. And, if possible, attach numbers to your accomplishments. For example, if your individual efforts increased company sales by 8% last quarter, put that specific number in front of your boss.
2. Attain a better work-life balance
Improving work-life balance is a key objective for 52% of millennials. And often, the ticket to do doing so is working more efficiently and setting boundaries. To the first point, get in the habit of mapping out your on-the-job priorities on a daily basis so you know where to focus your efforts. That way, you're less likely to get stuck at the office late to meet deadlines. To the second point, be firm with your manager and colleagues about leaving the office on time several nights a week, and schedule plans you can't easily break to force yourself to pick up and go. If you don't, you'll risk getting trapped in a very unhealthy pattern that leaves you perpetually chained to your desk.
3. Do more meaningful work
For 34% of millennials, improving their careers means getting to spend their days doing more meaningful work. If you feel largely unfulfilled at your current job, figure out what your passion is and how to get there. If it's a completely different field, start mapping out a career switch. Pulling one off may require some sacrifices, but the upside is getting to actively enjoy what you do. Furthermore, if you think it's possible to find more meaningful work within your company, talk to your manager about what that might entail. It could very well be that by pursuing tasks that are engaging to you, you also end up fulfilling an important business need.
4. Earn more respect
A good 28% of millennials feel they can improve their careers by earning more of their colleagues' respect. If that's a sentiment you share, keep boosting your skills and studying your industry so that your co-workers actually have an opportunity to learn from you. At the same time, go out of your way to treat your peers with respect. Chances are, they'll emulate your positive behavior to some degree.
You deserve to feel good about your job, whether that means earning more money at it, striking the ideal work-life balance, engaging in meaningful tasks, and earning other people's respect. If you're lacking in any of these areas, make an effort to steer your career in the direction you want it to go. A little hustle or strategy on your part could pay off big time in the long run.