In today’s industry opinion piece, the man in the top job over at Atomic 212, Jason Dooris, talks about millennials – the “interesting bunch” as he calls them – about the lessons they should heed when entering this industry.
There’s a lot of pressure on media companies these days to be at the forefront of technology, fads and trends. Realistically the most effective way of doing this is to hire the target demographic…and millennials are overwhelmingly the target generation and an ever-changing one at that.
From my experience, these younger professionals with their cutting-edge mentality and creative work ethic are the ones you want. They are quick and bold and more often than not, extremely clued in. I believe agencies need a good mix of young future stars in addition to the wise seasoned veterans.
The veterans are key to creating the maturity in the business and bringing forward the lessons from the past, which complements a fresh young-gun outlook.
Millennials, you’re an interesting bunch. At the risk of sounding condescending by calling you millennials, I’m going to do exactly that and provide a few pearls of wisdom, drawn from dozens of job interviews. Many of which went right, and many of which went horribly and spectacularly wrong.
Come in, sit down and let’s chat.
Please refrain from the art of embellishment and admit your weaknesses.
This is an activity that should be left with the creatives. Quite frankly, a fabricated wordsmith is a rare find, both curious and canny – however, if you “have the literacy levels of a born Parisian” please ensure you can master the art of “bonjour”. Don’t embellish the skills on your resume. You will get caught.
Also, (and I’ve heard both of these phrases used in an interview situation) your biggest flaw cannot be that you: a) are a perfectionist or b) work too hard. Levelling with your interviewer and providing real truths about what you could be working on to better yourself as an employee will pay off in the long run.
Working smarter, not harder.
Forget the “work-life balance,” try and think of it as “work-life integration.” Your job won’t feel like work if you love what you do – I truly believe that. Like real life, your career won’t always be smooth and stress-free and yes you may have to spend a couple of months getting coffees and doing menial tasks, but take those lemons and make lemonade.
Listen to what is being said and figure out where you could fit in. Capitalise on your ability to surprise – if no one has an expectation of you, then seize the opportunity for what it is – a chance to command your own destiny.
Craving commitment perhaps?
The mobility of the workplace also means that it is easier for Gen Y workers to bounce from employer to employer and so forth. Simply put, there is a fear of long-term employment. A jam-packed resume a year out of uni perhaps indicates an issue with commitment.
Find your ground and stick to a role that offers growth and development, not promiscuity. Rest assured this also feeds into how well a business can show the prospective millennial a diversity of training opportunities, mentorship programs and (most importantly $$$) tuition reimbursement.
Don’t hide away in your dorm room!
I get that you might be worried about your experience, or even thinking “I have no idea what a content lead is.” That’s totally fine. It’s my job as the employer to guide you along the way and make sure we are getting the most from your employment.
If you have a good idea, email someone, call, send a drone, do something and make someone hear you – the best companies will take notice and your youthful ideas won’t be wasted.
Sharpen those social media stalking skills.
I understand that your world moves at warp speed, but don’t forget a name two seconds later. I’ve heard this only too often and it’s an immediate downfall. When I hear the generic “Hey” ripple through the room, you can almost forget it.
Don’t you know me? I’m kind of a big deal. But in all seriousness…don’t forget a name, particularly in an interview.
Overconfident at an Olympic level.
Gen Y, we all know that you have been conditioned by helicopter parenting to exercise a wonderful sense of self-esteem. Interestingly, I have come to believe that the overconfident and arrogant Gen Y stereotype is more of a personality type than a relationship with age.
It’s a shame it’s been connected to your age range but there is some truth to it – try to discredit this negative ethos through mindfulness and a slice of humble pie every now and then.
Your Baby Boomer employer will like you all the better for it and that certainly goes a long way if you’re looking to progress – and isn’t that the main objective? To do everything you can to get ahead and make a name for yourself?
You can push my scathing and sarcastic ways aside because by 2020, 86 million millennials will be in the workplace. Maybe It’s time for us older generations – the tired and cynical Generation X- to stop judging and instead spend more time engaging the millennials.
You’re a wonderfully infuriating but brilliant breed.