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As we were growing up, we were all repeatedly told about the things we could accomplish, if we only set our bright millennial minds to it. I don’t believe we were lied to,. Clearly, our parents and teachers certainly left some key information out.

They gave us shiny participation awards. They made us believe it was good enough to try. But in an effort to raise our spirits and cultivate our self-confidence, they neglected to provide us with a healthy strategy to compete in the dog-eat-dog real world. They neglected to tell us, out in the workplace, medals are not handed out just for showing up.

Am I Not Special?

Alone, we face the overwhelming reality of competition. Competition baby boomers thrived on, gen-Xers wiggled around, and millennials face with total bewilderment… Do you mean to tell me I’m not brilliant?

As I wrote about on a previous post (here) belief is the ground where we stand.

But to reach the pinnacle of personal success our well-intentioned parents painted for us since birth we also need to re-shape some of those beliefs, work hard, in a consistent basis and compete with all other millennial egos in the room. That’s the part we don’t really appreciate.

You Must Win The Job

On a recent, quite eye-opening on-air class @CreativeLive, I heard design expert Debbie Millman tell it like it is: you must win the job. The fact is, competition is fierce and is only getting fiercer.

Let’s play it smart, let’s use our millennial savoir-faire to the best of our abilities, and just find the loophole, it’s there, it’s simple, it’s you.

The way to avoid swimming in the pond of options with the rest of the wandering koi fish is to create your own pond. Click To Tweet

Let’s do what we do best and break the boomers paradigms, forget about competing and focus on #1.

Here’re 5 healthy millennial ways to compete with yourself:

  1. Be Your Business. You are your own DBA. Think of yourself as a corporation. State your own mission, vision, long-term goals and short-term objectives. Think yourself as a freelancer even if your are an employee. This will help you gather contacts, grow your network, be an active participant and go to tip number two.
  2. Mind Your Hustle. You’ve chosen this or that job, maybe is your first step in a very steep ladder, maybe is the “dream” job or something like it. Now hustle! You do the job right, squeeze every ounce of opportunity out!
  3. Be Different on Purpose. Authenticity is our battle cry. Don’t give me a generic version of authentic. Dig deep in the bag of you and bring out those quirks, that unique perspective, that nugget from your life. We won’t stand out by looking and feeling the same as every other millennial… boring!
  4. Set Your Stats.Β Work is play, believe it and the job you need will become the job you want. What is your average? What can you do next to improve it? Therefore, you must constantly be playing against your last best effort. Those stats will keep your focus on self-improvement, that’s the healthy way to compete at work and life.
  5. The I in Team. Think of player one first. A recent read of Sarah Knight’s You Do You rekindle my love with selfishness. As millennials we selfish and self-centered by nature. Now I see that being a little bit self-ish can be healthy. Collaboration can be an antidote for competition. Keep in mind, the competition you engage in with yourself, to better yourself, advance yourself and feel happy and fulfilled yourself should always be part of the game.

Share your best healthy competition strategy below πŸ˜‰

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