During the last three-and-a-half decades, the world has seen rapid and paradigm-shifting changes in technology, economies and culture. It’s no wonder that the Milllennial workforce appears to be unlike any generation that came before it.
From the day they were born, Millennials have known only rapid-fire change and uninhibited innovation. Advances in technology have taught them that anything is possible while providing them with a megaphone to shout out their ideas to the world.
And, why wouldn’t they believe that they can do anything? Fellow Millennials like Mark Zuckerberg and Kevin Systrom have proven that passion, hard work, and a little bit (okay, a lot) of bravery can take you further, faster than the slow-and-steady corporate climb our parents endured.
But there is another side to the coin. By entering into the workforce, the Milllennial generation has launched as many misconceptions as they have startups. What some see as drive, others view as self-entitlement. Yearning for upward mobility in a career can seem like disloyalty to one’s company. And, out-of-the-box thinking can be viewed as downright unprofessionalism at times.
Are the stereotypes true? Do Millennials need to “grow up” before they can offer anything to the world?
WashingtonExec doesn’t see it that way, and we have a hunch that many of our readers don’t, either. In our reporting, we tend to focus on those government contracting professionals who have “made it,” who are seasoned experts in their fields. But, what about those government contractors who are working hard to carve out their own success stories? Can these young professionals counter the negativity surrounding their generation in the workforce?
In our new series, “Millennial Mavericks: Dispelling Generational Stereotypes in the Workplace,” we’ll interview some Millennials who are leveraging their generation’s characteristics for success in the government contracting industry.
Our first interview is with Branko Primetica, who actually did help to launch a startup as a Partner of eGlobalTech (eGT), a successful government management and IT consulting service provider. Specifically, we asked Primetica to provide examples of his own life to counter common Millennial misconceptions.
Misconception 1: Millennials have a sense of entitlement and don’t want to roll up their sleeves and work hard.
Branko Primetica: I started my career as a management consultant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and left them in 2004 to help build eGlobalTech. The firm started by Sonya Jain, I joined as a Partner, and today we have more than 250 employees. I serve as the Senior Vice President and focus on overseeing our delivery and technical innovation.
Misconception 2: Millennials are self-centered and sheltered.
Branko Primetica: I co-led the National Defense Transportation Association’s Mentor Protégé Program, help to tutor high school children of recent immigrants to the Washington, D.C. area, and support the National Association on Mental Illness (through donations and participating in their organized walks). I also actively participate in ACT/IAC, AFFIRM, and AFCEA. I was the lead author of the Practical Guide for Federal Service Oriented Architecture, the Practical Guide for IPv6 Transition, and served on the Board of Affirm helping to launch their Innovation Series.
Misconception 3: Millennials are impatient and disloyal.
Branko Primetica: I work tirelessly to support my firm and the missions of the clients that we support. I not only handle internal quality control of deliverables and technical proposals, but I provide hands on support to our teams to help them bring innovative and cost effective solutions to the government.
Misconception 4: Millennials are the “Me Generation,” and they don’t work well with others.
Branko Primetica: All of eGT’s senior directors report directly to me. In turn, I work with them and their teams to provide guidance, training, mentoring, and quality reviews to ensure that all of our employees collaborate and leverage our combined technical expertise.
Misconception 5: Millennials are disorganized and unprofessional.
Branko Primetica: I’ve helped to develop internal processes for business development, collaboration, employee retention, etc. In addition, I work closely with each of our directors to define eGT’s service offerings and to develop our proprietary methodologies for those service offerings.
When it comes down to it, Branko believe in what he is doing at eGT and truly takes a service approach to his career. “I love the work that I do, and I like that it helps to improve the services that our government provides to U.S. citizens,” he says.
Over the course of this series, we’ll introduce you to quite a few Millennials who are countering the stereotypes of their generation. We’ll ask them the tough questions, digging deep to dispel misconceptions and, hopefully, to find some common ground where we all can work to better serve our government clients.