Career Woman

You’ve got this: How to deal with millennial mayhem

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Dr Froswa’ Booker-Drew answers your questions, putting her years of experience and practice into the goal of solving those knotty problems that beset us, and assuring us: ‘you’ve got this’. If you’d like Froswa’ to look at your particular problem, email it to [email protected].

To hear Froswa in action, listen to the podcast on why transformational social capital is critical to your career and business.

Question:

A totally entitled-acting millennial has joined our sales team, and he doesn’t want to do any of the novice work. Even though he has no experience, he wants to do the top-level work, dine out with the big clients, etc. How can I explain the facts of career life to him? Z.A.

Z.A.,

In reflecting upon my early career, I remember I had such a sense of urgency to make things happen. At 24 years old, I had a Master’s degree and felt I had so much to offer and I did.  In retrospect, there was so much that I didn’t know either. Thank God for great mentors, good and bad supervisors and life experiences to teach me that the more I knew, there was so much more to know.

In talking with many of the millennials I mentor, they, too, feel a sense of urgency multiplied by 100.  Social media has exacerbated the ability to become famous and important young and fast.  In some cases, just by making videos without any real talent or skill can land you millions of followers and advertisers out of the wazoo (you know what I mean).  They are exposed to individuals who are young and millionaires before they are 30.  This oversaturation of information focusing on a few has given the rest an unrealistic view of what it really takes for most to achieve some level of accomplishment.  Sadly, they see much of the end product without exposure to the behind the scenes work.  In this microwave, instant gratification world, everything is done but we don’t see the actual products that go into the making of the items we enjoy.  The same exists about life.

I often find myself sharing my story with young people explaining that what they see is a body of work and not an overnight occurrence.  I tell them to focus on the work, not on receiving the accolades which comes in time. Anyone who is successful at anything (and having money isn’t necessarily a sign of success) and has longevity in doing it will tell you that the focus is not on accolades and meeting important people.  It is knowing that you know what you know.  It is having wisdom, knowledge and understanding which continues to develop through living.

The best thing you can tell this young man is that if he wants to be successful, he needs to learn the work and most of that isn’t from a college degree.  It’s from working, understanding not just the high level and fun things but also knowing the inside and out of the role.  It’s having mentors who can help share their stories so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes but if he’s not willing to listen, it won’t matter because his focus is on being important and not necessarily being impactful.  Think about creating the space for others on the team to share their paths so that he can understand the work and characteristics of a successful salesperson.  If he has the drive to do the work, this can also be an opportunity to help him as a team to give him the tools he needs to make it happen.  And if you are his supervisor, explain to him the importance of why he’s doing the novice work first and how it feeds into developing the skills he needs so he can have long term success and not become a one hit wonder. You. Got. This, Z.A.

About Business Woman Media

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