By Hannah Baumwell
Sales Development, Computer Wizard, Millennial
Since graduating college about 2 1/2 years ago, I've worked for two very different companies.
Here is my experience of what it's like to be a millennial salesperson in the workforce today.
The corporate culture and management styles could not have been more different between these two jobs. Management and the corporate culture of my first job drove me to leave after only ten short months. It was uncomfortable and disrespectful.
Now that I've found my current job, I realize that management and the company culture is meant to inspire, challenge me and encourage me to succeed. My success is their success, and I'm starting to realize that my first attempt at "corporate America" wasn't a failure. It was an experience that taught me what I don't want, and gave me the courage to go out and find what I did want!
As a millennial, here are a few tips for how to foster the right environment to inspire people like me.
1. Respect our time. Millennials don't want to feel confined to only "hours".
Respect our time in and out of the office. I'm no stranger to having to put in extra hours to meet a deadline, but if you ask me to show up and dedicate 50-60 hours a week at a job where there's no specific work to do, I'll get burned out quickly.
Our level of commitment should be measured by the value we add, not by the number of hours we spend in the office.
2. Training. Millennials were educated differently than other generations.
Be ready to train us differently. We learn differently, and utilize a vast number of resources to understand what we're learning. Don't assume that because you had to learn a certain way that we'll pick-up on it easily.
Prepare resources in a way that enables us to learn on our own. Our dedication might surprise you when we learn outside of work, utilizing other tools to help us, aside from the in-office classroom and job shadowing methods.
3. Comparisons. Millennials don't want to hear about "how hard you had it".
We've been hearing it forever. You know, the "I had to walk up hill both ways to school" story. There are a lot of assumptions made when a manager or trainer says they had it tougher than we do. Try to understand the differences that every employee has (not just millennials), and teach to that person. How each person learns is different. How they respond to stress and get excited to succeed, are also very different from person-to-person.
4. Lead by example. Millennials are young, but we're not blind.
Most people getting out of college are completely green in the corporate world. It's difficult for us to pick up on everything we need to learn as quickly as our company wants us to. But, we can observe those around us and pick-up on cultural cues quickly. Lead by example and let us mimic your behavior until we start to demonstrate our own personalities in the workforce.
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