Imagine this: You get a new hair-cut. Maybe, it’s just a “dust off” where you just do some maintenance and get dead ends got chopped off. Maybe you went from shoulder length flowing locks to a cute pixie cut. Maybe you threw some product in your hair fellas, or you trimmed your beard in a new way.
What is the first thing that you want? Someone to notice. ….and you probably want some residual effects (“rewards”) of maybe getting a date this weekend? Or your husband/wife to show you a little bit more affection, or your daughter/son to tell you “Hey mom/dad, cool haircut!”
Whether it be a big or small change, you want someone to say “Hey did you get your haircut?” “Hey I love your new haircut!” “Hey somethings different, you look great!”
This basic concept rings true across all of our lives whether it be our personal life, or our work life. The difference with millennials is that we don’t just want you to notice, we want you to notice and then YELL IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS so everyone else will notice too. Social media has made this over-dramatically possible on a personal level by allowing us to post our new haircut for thousands to see, or post a great pic of ourselves in great light hoping that we can get some likes or great comments. However, we can’t “ask” for public recognition at work by our peers and people leaders — it’s unprofessional and tacky to beg for attention at work no matter how great of a job we are doing.
This desire for attention and approval of what we were doing as if without it we would shrivel and die with insecurity was ingrained into our heads by society our entire lives from things like:
1. Getting a trophy no matter if my team won or not. (but I still did a good job, right mom? dad?)
2. Getting told 1,000x a day that we were special and meant for something more.
3. Getting praised for EVERY SINGLE THING we ever did. I swear, we got praised for just getting out of the bed in the morning or brushing our teeth.
Now, I am not saying praise us for every little thing we do in the workplace, but I am saying that it’s just a fact of life humans (especially us millennials) want public recognition and we want it in a way that is immortalized for people to see over and over and over. We don’t want just a shout-out via email that no one reads or cares about, we want it to be posted in a frequently used public forum and damn it I may even want a small to large reward for it if that’s too much to ask?!?!?
P.S. You know that great picture of you on your profile that has been your picture for 2 years because it got so much attention/recognition? It still makes you feel good to see those likes/comments……..doesn’t it?