Posted in Career Advice for Young Professionals Communication Skills Employment Trends Future of Careers Generation Y/Millennials Managing Generation Y Managing Generational Differences Now Trending Professionalism Work/Life Balance on December 6, 2013 at 9:00 am
In my “Now Trending” series, I curate five recently published articles that capture the future of work or embrace the Millennial mindset. Share your favorite articles of the week in a comment!
The unemployment and underemployment rates of today’s young people have been a hot topic in media this year, and the statistics are certainly staggering. In this Atlantic article, author Zachary Karabell offers a different take on the subject: that young people are choosing not to enter low wage jobs or have chosen an entrepreneurial path, not that the economic system is failing them all. As he says, this is not a “generation of despair, but rather a generation determined not to settle.”
In this stereotype-busting article, author Chris Taylor cites a study demonstrating that Millennials are a generation that started saving for retirement earlier than any other (at age 24). Another survey mentioned in this article reported that 80% of Millennials planned to contribute to their retirements in the next 12 months. I’m glad to see data like this come to light. There are lots of responsible Millennials out there, many of whom I’ve talked to about their finances during my “My Tomorrow” tweetchats sponsored by The Hartford. Thank you to Chris Taylor for countering the Millennial Shaming epidemic.
In this helpful blog post, my friend and fellow author Jodi Glickman teaches you how to be effective when you’re young and in charge. I love this article because it provides specific guidance on how to speak confidently without sounding either tentative or arrogant and how to solicit feedback without sacrificing the trust of your older employees. My next book is all about the subject of Millennials in leadership positions, and this read highlights some of the major themes I’m exploring, too.
This quick press release touches on a key component of today’s multigenerational workplace: people of all ages and lifestyles want great work/life balance. Outside of financial perks, this was by far the most coveted benefit for job seekers according to a recent poll by Monster.com. p.s. Gen Ys are often noted for their desire for flexibility, but remember that this doesn’t mean they all want to work from home all the time.
There’s a lot of negative talk about Millennials, and I was thrilled that this Huffington Post piece flies in the face of it all. Leslie Tolf notes that 1/3 of her staff are under the age of 35, and she composed this piece with five pieces of workplace advice to Gen Ys everywhere. I particularly like #5, practicing patience, especially when it comes to communicating with different generations. There’s a lot of benefit to having a multigenerational workforce, and Millennials need to keep that in mind.
What other content caught your eye this week? Please share in the comments!
Image credit: word cloud from wordle.net
The infamous traits of the Millennial generation have been studied, discussed and debated far and wide: they’re always connected, they’re ambitious, they’re approval-oriented and more. In this series of blog posts, “Millennials at Work,” I’m diving into each of these stereotypes and discussing how they impact this generation and those of us who work with them.
Watching news, sports and history happen across the globe has been a natural part of Millennials’ everyday lives since childhood. And while I had a single pen pal in Denmark in the ‘90s, today’s teenagers have hundreds of global friends through their various social networks. As a result of this international influence, Gen Ys are often called the “First Globals.” They are most likely to be culturally sensitive, view the world as their community and embrace opportunities to live and work abroad.
Gen Y’s changing definitions of “home”
Opportunities to live and work abroad have never been as plentiful, and Millennials have taken note. In a 2013 poll, more than one-third of this generation believed it was likely that they would call the capital of a foreign country “home” in their lifetime. More than half also reported that fluency in a foreign language was important.
But Millennials aren’t just interested in learning languages and living abroad: they do it, too, in record numbers. The Institute of International Education’s 2013 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange found all-time highs in numbers of college and university students studying outside of their home countries. More than 800,000 international students were studying at U.S. institutions and more than 283,000 U.S. students were studying abroad.
In the workplace, Millennials are likely to be most excited about opportunities to visit offices abroad, work with international clients and collaborate with employees from different countries. If you’re an employer, consider offering such short-term opportunities to your Gen Y employees or talking about your international exposure in your recruiting initiatives for this generation.
International awareness fuels the Millennial sense of duty
Another often-discussed characteristic of Gen Y is their propensity to give back. Being globally minded is no doubt playing a part in this generational trend. Seeing and experiencing the interconnectedness of economies, governments and societies has fed this Millennial sense of duty. In the 2013 poll cited above, more than two-thirds of Millennials reported that it is important that their workplace “provide opportunities to make a difference in their world.” I’ve certainly seen this in my role as chair of the board of She’s the First, a nonprofit that empowers Millennials to sponsor girls’ education in the developing world.
At work, it’s important to help Gen Ys understand the bottom line – and not just the financial bottom line. Millennials believe success is about more than just profit and they genuinely want to impact the world. What is your organization’s role in the world? Why does your organization do what it does? When and where possible, connect your work to the bigger picture and involve your young employees in defining the mission or values of your organization.
What is your take on Gen Y and the global mindset?
Image credit: flickr.com
No matter where you are in your career, your elevator pitch is an essential tool in your “how to get ahead” arsenal. How well you describe yourself in those first few moments of meeting someone is immeasurably important. It takes only 7 seconds to make a first impression, so your opening lines need to be just right.
What makes for a successful introduction? Over the past few weeks, I asked my Twitter followers to tell me what they thought.
Tweet me your top tip on elevator pitches. How do you introduce yourself to important people? Will share best ideas on my blog!
— Lindsey Pollak (@lindseypollak) November 7, 2013
There were some fantastic ideas pitched back. Here are a few of the best tips:
@lindseypollak Smile! Put nerves aside and demonstrate your enthusiasm for what you do (& the chance to talk about it) w/ nonverbal cues
— Shimrit Markette (@ShimritMarkette) November 7, 2013
The non-verbals are so important in moments like introductions – I agree with you, Shimrit! For more tips on this topic, read my 3 secrets of non-verbal communication blog post.
@lindseypollak Make sure your intro addresses the target’s needs. Think about what he/she wants to know about you and pitch that.
— Miriam Salpeter (@Keppie_Careers) November 7, 2013
When introducing yourself, it’s tempting to keep it “me” focused, but Miriam brings up an excellent point here: think about what’s going to be relevant to the other person. This will help you make the connection and find common ground much quicker.
@lindseypollak say something they can relate to and will remember like “I admire your experience with…” then ask to stay connected
— Lotus Yon (@lotus_yon) November 2, 2013
I love this tip because it accomplishes two things. First, by explaining what you admire, you establish that you’ve done your homework and can come to the table immediately ready to discuss something relevant. Second, you can make a sincere compliment by mentioning something specific that impresses you. That kind of positivity is usually rewarded with a genuine desire to learn about you.
@lindseypollak What’s the thing you want that person to remember most about you? Focus on that and ask to follow up.
— Matt LaCasse (@MattLaCasse) November 7, 2013
Matt makes another great point here: by focusing on your goal for the conversation, you can work backwards and aim the introduction toward that end. Especially with VIPs, time can be limited. Getting to the point quickly is important.
— Jan-Peter (@Jan_Peter) November 2, 2013
This tip is one I see people often miss. You want your pitch to be the spark of a conversation, not a lengthy introduction of yourself. Start short and engage the other person, allowing them to speak and allowing you to listen.
Thank you to everyone who tweeted a tip on elevator pitches – they were all excellent ideas! I’ll be continuing to ask for tips like this on Twitter, and I invite you to follow me (@lindseypollak) for more conversation.
What are your tips on introductions in career conversations? Share your thoughts in a comment!