8 Distinguished Trophies Millennials Deserve to Win at Work

Winning an Award

You made it to work three weeks in a row on time? Who, you? Yes, you deserve an award!

It’s happening. We’re taking over.

The Millennial generation, which is 80+ million strong and larger than the Baby Boomers, has started to fill management roles at companies big and small. You could say our journey into the upper ranks isn’t going smoothly.

In a recent workplace study, older employees believe Gen Y managers are entitled and only concerned with ourselves.

Part of the problem: the idea that we deserve trophies for everything — even the stuff we’re expected to do all along like work hard or not burn down a forest (seriously).

Then we young folk, the so-called “Trophy Generation,” think even the smallest accomplishment is cause for major celebration. Then we figure we’re awesome. And then people call us entitled.

When you hear your name, please come to the podium and accept this year’s “honors.” You earned them!

The “Arrived on Time for Three Straight Weeks” Award

Remarkable. You have greater precision than a fine Swiss watch. If you stay punctual an entire month, the company might even name a wing after you.

The “Worked Late to Finish a Big Project” Award

Company policy says the day ends at 5:30 pm but somehow you soldiered on and didn’t leave the office until the clock struck 10. Forget about a trophy. You, fine sir or madam, deserve a medal of bravery.

Schmidt

The “Successfully Explained Twitter to the CEO” Award

The boss is 67. You’re 24. A outside observer might say you were the obvious choice to educate the CEO on social media. But no, what you did forever changed company culture and solidified your place as a future leader of the organization.

The “Effectively Dealt with an Annoying Client” Award

We all watched in amazement as you handled the thorniest client in company history. Until then, none of us had ever encountered a difficult business relationship. It had all been like a dream. What would we do without you?

The “Took Out the Garbage Even Though No One Asked Me” Award

The trash spewed from every can and threatened to overwhelm helpless co-workers. You calmly rolled up your sleeves, emptied each can and rid the office of vicious waste. Selflessness of the highest order. We know a trophy isn’t enough, but it will have to suffice.

The “Survived a Rough Yearly Review” Award

You entered the review feeling invincible and left with a dark shiner below your right eye. No matter. You slapped a frozen steak on the bruise, fought the urge to quit, made improvements and came back stronger than ever. Good on ya.

Kenny Powers

The “Stayed at the Same Job for More than 2 Years” Award

Everyone figured after year two you’d be long gone. Somehow, you found the strength to settle in and grow with your current organization. It takes a special kind of courage to be so committed.

And the most heralded trophy of all…

The “Lifetime Achievement by Age 27″ Award

Shut it down. Game’s over. At only 27, you became a manager with a corner office and a team of people under your dominion — some of whom are older than you. What else is there? You’ve reach the summit.

And why hasn’t someone topped off your coffee already? Interrrrn.

—–

OK, here’s the deal. A manager and a leader are not the same thing. Management means to oversee people; leadership is to inspire. As we assume management positions, we can’t forget what it means to lead.

Team-first over me-first. Don’t need credit for a job well done. Be grateful rather than entitled. Sort of like…

The “Most Fortunate to Have Reached a Management Position” Award

Someone oughta make a trophy for that one.

(This content was originally posted at News to Live By.)

Author:

Danny Rubin

Danny Rubin is a media strategist and the managing editor of News To Live By™, a blog for Millennials that highlights the career advice and leadership lessons "hidden" in the day's top stories. A former TV reporter, he's always looking for ways to apply the news to our own lives. Follow him at @NewsToLiveBy.

  • Paula Lynn

    You don’t have a big enough mirror.

  • CWduh

    I get the joke and where you are going with this, fine. Be grateful for the experiences, work hard, and celebration is ok. We were all young once and were happy when we did things that pleased our boss, got us ahead, and it made us feel good. But the difference is that we didn’t expect anything and our celebrations were mosly in private with our friends and family. Most of us went home to our dingy apartments, sat down on a hand me down couch and smiled or maybe went out and splurged on something we couldn’t afford. We never thought about an award or a trophy just the happiness that we had triumphed and would live to fight another day in the world of business.
    I just will never understand how the Millennials are so happy to get trophies and awards – this need for affirmation, since everyone gets them – how special can it make you feel? I know the awards that I have recevied in my lifetime that NO ONE got them but me – at least that year. Isn’t the rareness more special?

    • DannyRubin

      Keep in mind: we didn’t buy ourselves trophies and awards as we grew up. Our parents made those purchases for us.

      We’re all implicated here.

      • CWduh

        Noted. I see your parents have moved up from buying you trophies to getting you jobs. You are right we are all implicated and we will all pay the price for a self indulged generation.

        • Danny Rubin

          Let’s just hope there are enough selfless Millennials to carry the load as we grow older.