Young people don't know what they don't know. If I had to tell a young Millennial what he or she doesn't know, here's what:
1. All organizations are dumb and irrational. Management is mob rule, and usually it's mob rule by crazy people. Though I realize it's an outrage that momma never warned you about, yes you do need to waste some of your energy doing dumb stuff just because people say so. Luckily, you have lots of energy to spare.
2. Yes, you are already almost as smart as your bosses, and in some cases you are smarter. What they have and what you don't is subtle—mere matters of polish, taste and fine judgment. But you'll eventually understand that those are the differences that make all the difference to your company's customers. It takes far longer to sand and polish a table than it took to build it. And no one wants an unvarnished table.
3. If you go too far too soon you will hate that too. By the time I was 28 I was Ragan's editorial director, bossing new people who were 24. I had things to teach them, but I had a strong sense that this was still my time to learn, and I felt I was rotting as the youthful old man of the department. Also, my own rookie misery was still very fresh and I was determined—foolishly—that these newbies not have to suffer as I had. There were a couple more bad years before I found the next happy place in my career.
Your twenties will probably be uncomfortable in one way or another, or both.
I hope I'm wrong. But if I'm right, don't lose heart.
Tomorrow, I'll have some sharp words for your bosses.