Posts tagged #millennial

Managing Your Career in the Age of Social Media: Creating a Professional Brand (Part 3)

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Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

When I was researching information for this series, my initial hypothesis was that the best strategy for young professionals and social media was to make your accounts private and minimize your internet presence. 

I was wrong (and I hate admitting that).

Social media is such a prevalent part of our lives today that people expect to see some sort of online presence and will use the content they see as an additional data point in their hiring decision.   In fact, they want to see what content you are putting out there, especially (but not only) if your career path has any intersection with marketing, branding, social media, digital content...you see where I am going with this. You are your own personal brand ambassador, and what better way to assess your capabilities than to see how you market yourself?

Since this is not my area of expertise, I am going to direct you to the experts in this space.  I’ve read through their recommendations and not only agree with their guidance but am also in the process of implementing their recommendations myself.

The first article is from Alison Doyle, a job search expert for The Balance Careers and one of the industry's most highly-regarded career experts.  Click here to read her take on creating a professional online presence.

Alison’s website, CareerToolBelt.com, has been recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 100 Websites For Your Career and included on the Job Search Bible list of 25 Best Career Websites, Alison has been noted as a leading person to follow on Twitter by Business News Daily, Career Sherpa, FlexJobs, The Guardian, YouTern, and Mashable, and one of the top people to follow on LinkedIn by CareerContessa, JobScan, Lifehack, and The Muse

The second article is from John DiScala, or @JohnnyJet.  Click here to read his five tips on creating a professional online presence.

John has traveled over 100,000 miles a year since starting his newsletter in 1995 and has visited close to 100 countries. He writes about how to maximize your credit card points, find travel deals and cheap flights, and benefit from insightful travel tips. He has hosted a television special on the Travel Channel and was recently named one of Forbes’s Top 10 Travel Influencers for 2017. He now appears every Saturday on Leo Laporte’s The Tech Guy show talking about travel and technology, and travels the world with his wife, Natalie DiScala, and their son Jack. 


Finally, here is a Q&A with tips on how to create your personal story and deploy it consistently and authentically across multiple online platforms.  Marketing expert and entrepreneur Vana Koutsomitis says that “We aren’t paying enough attention to how we market ourselves online” and that “the most common mistake I see is when someone ignores their online presence and hopes their story is told correctly.” 

Vana C. Koutsomitis is a speaker, a writer, and an entrepreneur focused on marketing, business development, and network-building. A former financial professional, she was a runner-up on BBC’s The Apprentice. She founded the financial networking company The CityStreet, flavored wine company VinobyVana, and, most recently, DatePlay, an app that combines online dating with gaming. Koutsomitis holds a BS from Cornell University and an MBA from Oxford University.

Are you already managing your professional “brand” online? If so, what tips and suggestions do you have for doing this effectively and efficiently?


Posted on July 22, 2019 and filed under Career Insights.

Dr. Megan Gerhardt on "Gentelligence, Leadership, and the Truth about Millennials"

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A few years ago, I was preparing for a recruiting trip at my alma mater, Miami University (Ohio), and had the opportunity to connect with Dr. Megan Gerhardt, one of the leadership professors in the business school. After exchanging emails, we met in person and had the first of many conversations about leadership, navigating generational differences in the workforce, and why Millennials have gotten such a bad reputation. She has also provided leadership training to a number of my colleagues through her consultancy, The Gerhardt Group, and I always learn a lot when I talk to her. Today, we dive into a lot, including what it means to be “Gentelligent” - a movement that Megan started, how different generations view leadership, the positive side of Millennials, and what Generation Z has in store for us. You can listen here, on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify. And, if you have not already, please leave a review either in your listening app or via the comments below. Thank you!


Key Takeaways from our Conversation:

On being “Gentelligent”.  With the recent college graduations of the first Gen Z’s, we now have five unique generations in the workforce: Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers, and Traditionalists.  These five generations bring diversity of perspective and talent to the work environment, but their intentions can often be misinterpreted by others. Dr. Gerhardt founded the concept of “gentelligence” which is helping organizations and people to understand why each generation behaves the way it does and to appreciate the diversity that a multi-generational workforce brings.   

On Millennials.  While Millennials have been at the forefront of negative stories and commentary for years, Dr. Gerhardt noted that Millennials bring a number of positive traits as well, including their tech savviness and ability to deliver a high quality project quickly.  She also shared that while Millennials can come across as entitled to other generations, she has learned through conversations and research with hundreds of students that they view behavior others might perceive as entitled as normal behavior based on the environment they were raised in - both through their families and the macro culture.

On leading people in other generations.  As Millennials comprise 20 percent of leadership roles compared to 18 percent of Baby Boomers today, there are going to be situations where someone in a younger generation is leading someone in an older generation.  Dr. Gerhardt’s leadership advice for Millennials is to follow principles that stand the test of time for all generations: understand the unique value that each person brings to the team, respect them and their experience (particularly Baby Boomers), ask questions, and show humility and vulnerability to others.

On her predictions for Gen Z. As Gen Z enters the workforce, Megan highlighted the opportunity for Millennials to welcome them and create a more positive environment than the one created for Millennials. She also noted that Gen Z represents a shift in what people are looking for in a “career”, with a portion of the generation looking for a conservative, traditional job in response to experiencing the recession as a child whereas others are pursuing the gig economy with multiple jobs, freelance work, and nontraditional careers (e.g. a social media influencer or a gamer). How Gen Z approaches their careers could have a major impact on work and careers in the future.


About Dr. Megan Gerhardt

Dr. Megan Gerhardt is a Professor of Leadership and Development at Miami University (Ohio) as well as the Director of Leadership Development for the Farmer School of Business, Co-Director at the Isaac and Oxley Center for Business Leadership, Founder of the Gerhardt Group, and a Gallup Certified Strengths Leadership Coach. SHe has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Iowa and a PhD in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business. Along with her teaching, program leadership, and research work at Miami University, she provides leadership and Gentelligence consulting for business across the county through the Gerhardt Group.

9 Ways to Invest in Yourself This Year

Photo by  Andrew Neel  on  Unsplash

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

With nine months (and some change) left in 2019, here are nine ways to invest in yourself this year.  I have found great benefit from applying these practices in my life, and starting them in my early to mid-twenties has led to them becoming habits today. While there are benefits to all ages, many of these are particularly relevant for young professionals today.


Read More Books.  Research continues to highlight the value of reading.  From the ability to feel greater empathy for others to improving your memory, reading is a low-cost, high impact way to learn.  This year, aim to read or listen to at least six books on topics you want to learn about more.  Take notes as you read and, when you are done, determine how you will act differently. I’ve set a goal to read one nonfiction and one fiction book every month, which is more of a challenge with having a toddler but is still achievable.  

Set Goals.  Several years ago, a mentor introduced me to the idea of personal goal-setting.  I was a fan of setting professional goals at work, but I had not considered applying this concept to other areas of my life.  Since seeing the personal transformation it had on him, I have practiced the same approach. He showed me the goals that he set for himself every year as an example, and each goal had milestones and measures to track progress and measure success.  I have found that setting goals in this way allows me break them down into actionable steps and see progress as I check off each step. Since 2013, I have set annual goals for myself in the areas of financial, physical, professional, personal/family, and spiritual.  I break these down into actionable steps, and then prioritize specific steps every week. It is amazing to see the progress that can be made in a quarter or a year when you take a planned approach.

Network in your Community.  Your community may be where you live, where you work, or a virtual community of people connected by mutual interests.  Regardless, find ways to network and build connection within your community. There may be ways that you can give back, such as volunteering, as well as people who can help you with a goal or keep you inspired to pursue a passion.  

Listen to Podcasts.  Podcasts are an easy and free way to learn about anyopic.  I love listening to podcasts while I am working out or cleaning; while I am not a big fan of multitasking, neither task requires a high degree of mental focus so it allows me to learn by listening while I run or clean more or less on autopilot.  Along with the podcast I launched this year, here are a few of the podcasts in my library: How I Built This, The Tim Ferriss Show, Y Combinator, Sharpen, and HBR Ideacast.  

Update your Resume Quarterly.  Regardless of whether you are in the job market or not, it is always a good idea to keep your resume fresh.  You never know when someone may ask you for it, or when an amazing opportunity might present itself. Rather than asking someone to wait for a copy of your resume while you update it, or sending them an outdated version, take time every quarter to jot down your accomplishments and update your resume with relevant job and professional accomplishments so the information is fresh in your mind.  I’ve recently switched from a chronological resume to a combination resume and am excited with the changes that I have seen.

Become an Engaging Public Speaker.  One of the most important sources of success is the ability to communicate with other people.  Whether you are selling an idea you have or selling your personal value, the most successful people I have seen are those who excel at inspiring others through their words.  During my Year of Speaking Boldly challenge, I gathered and applied feedback and best practices on public speaking, and held myself accountable to present at least once a month.  

Prioritize your Health and Wellness.  If you are not already making time every day to sleep, sweat, and savor good food, it’s time to do so.  Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs from Psych 101? Taking care of your physical needs first is the precursor to all other activities and accomplishments in life, including the ability to be creative and achieve your full potential.  In my experience, dedicating time to exercise, sleep, and eat healthy the majority of the time gives me more energy for the day and a clearer head to make decisions and develop new ideas.


Set Aggressive Financial Goals (and Stick to Them).  Whether you are currently focused on repaying student loans, saving for a down payment on a home, or investing in retirement, you owe it to your 60-year-old self to learn more about personal finance and to develop goals that will allow you to enjoy retirement.  There are a plethora of personal financial strategies and advisors with their own ideas on how to manage money, but here are some universal basics: develop a budget and stick to it, pay off debt as fast as possible and avoid future debt (with the exception of a mortgage), start investing early in retirement, and be proactive about where your money goes rather than surprised at the end of the week or month.  Different approaches work for different people, and it may change depending on your season of life. For example, when I was paying off undergraduate student loans and cash flowing my MBA, I went to a cash system where I paid myself a certain amount in cash every month for all expenses so I could avoid accidentally going over budget by putting purchases on a credit or debit card. Several years later, when we were saving money for a down payment, we transferred money to a savings account earmarked for the house every month.  In both cases, I was able to see my money and either manage my expenses based on how much cash I had left or build excitement and momentum by seeing the number in the house fund go up.

Take Time to Dream.  As a child, I remember the joy of being creative, using my imagination, and dreaming.  While those skills naturally fade as we get older, for millennials, I think the introduction of electronic devices and social media during our childhood or adolescence has caused us to lose any interest in taking time to think and dream as adults.  Instead, it is so easy to fill our idle time by scrolling through Facebook or Instagram to see what other people are doing, or to take the time to post something that we want others to see about our lives. While I have traditionally shied away from posting on social media, I used to fill idle time with scrolling through social media or would turn the television on to have noise on in the background.  Last year, when I was preparing to go back to work after maternity leave and found myself with too few hours in the day, I tried giving up TV and social media and was amazed with how much more productive and joyful I felt.  As I have continued this (with the exception of using social media to share content from this website), I have noticed that I am more observant and present in the moment.  It has also given me time to think and dream about the future.


What other practices do you use to invest in yourself?