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Professionalism in a Millennial's World

Having a career as a millennial is an extreme sport. Most of us battle with a quest to be the best. We juggle multiple tasks in the office, keep up a well-groomed appearance, maintain personal relationships and manage our health. Some of us even have the ultimate task of parenting or caring for a loved one.

Being an African American female professional takes it a step further. It’s so challenging. If you speak up in the workplace, you’re combative or angry. If you decline a work task due to other priorities, you’re lazy or not driven. If you go along with “the game” and play your position, some feel that you’re soft or a pushover. There just seems to be no correct solution.

As a professional, I often struggle with juggling multiple workplace tasks and also my other passions. There seems to be no “off” time. Are there any solutions out there? Can you maintain employment and a passion or hustle at the same time? When I get extremely overwhelmed I try to hone in on these vital tips.

Turn it Off.

Stop those phone notifications or un-link your work email from your personal cell phone. Staying connected at all times can be what stresses us out. Those emails will be seen once back in the office but not at your family dinner table.

Put it in Order.

Organize your to-do list by deadline date. Tackle what is immediately due right away. If running your business on social media, also consider scheduling your posts so one less item is on your list.

Get a Team.

Ask for help. You cannot do everything. Whether you need to ask the secretary for copies while you arrange a document; or ask friends to help ship out orders, a team is key.

SWOT it Out.

Write down your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. For finances some will have a budget. A SWOT analysis is like a budget for your career or business. Mapping out these items will give a clearer sense of expectation and strategy.

Be Mindful.

Self-care is necessary to maintain your health and wellness. Mindfulness activities aren’t just for kids. Adults can always gain from practicing meditation, praying and thinking. Be mindful of various levels of expertise in your workplace or business. Operate with respect as you move throughout your career.

Not Invited.

You are not invited to every argument or disagreement. If you get that gut feeling that you should not say something then you should not say it. Take the high road and fall back to save your sanity and dignity. It will pay off in the end.


As a professional it is important to always be willing to learn. You don’t know everything. Sign up for those training classes at work. Attend that webinar. Enroll into coursework for an advanced degree or certificate. Continued learning expands on your expertise and credibility.

Yes, you can be a professional as a millennial. It may be challenging but it can be done. Organization is key to relief. Be true to yourself and your profession will always follow.

Written by: Chaundra Scott, mother of one; author, social worker, early literacy interventionist and entrepreneur

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