Published on March 15, 2009
Insight on Coaching Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript Prepared for: Prepared by: IEC: Insight Ubiqus Reporting Educational Consulting
Time Speaker Transcript 0:30 Tom Floyd Hello, everyone, and welcome to Insight on Coaching. Insight on Coaching explores the many faces, flavors and sides of the emerging professional coaching field. I’m Tom Floyd, the CEO of Insight Educational Consulting, and your Host for today’s show. Well, today’s show continues our discussion of generations in the workplace. For those of you who have been tuned in the past several weeks, our show two weeks ago focused on Baby Boomers. Last week’s show focused on Generation X, and this week’s show focuses on the Millenial Generation, technologically savvy, eager and almost as large as the Baby Boomer populations. Millenials are graduating from Universities and entering the workforce in mass numbers. However, most are unfamiliar with the requirements and expectations of corporate life. Well, today’s show discusses how professional coaching can assist these folks in their transition to the workplace and effectively harness their ambitions and skills. To set the stage a little bit, in terms of which the Millenial Generation really is, we’re talking about people consisting of late teens, or I should say toddlers to late teens, born 1982 to 2000, and there’s about 76 million of them. And it’s actually a population that is still growing, as well, due to a variety of reasons. For those of you who listen to our generational coaching show last year, when we had Lynn Lancaster as the guest, she had talked a little bit about one of the reason being immigration as one of several that was continuing to contribute to the sheer volume of this generation and, in terms of how it’s continuing to grow. Now, one last stage to set in terms of the perspective of how folks like our guests could work with you as an individual, or as a professional within a organization - from an Insight on Coaching perspective, in terms of what a Generational Coach does, we define a Generational Coach as someone who: Can identify and communicate work and personal issues facing clients at different points in their work or personal lives. Has knowledge or experience with generational differences and the ability to discuss the characteristics of various generations, Assists clients in understanding how social, economic, and cultural factors of a certain period/location impact generational diversity. Describes and helps clients manage age-related diversity. Assists clients in maintaining work/life balance. 2 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 2 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript Well, to get started, I’d like to give everyone a quick overview of each of our guests today. We have four guests that I’d like to welcome to today’s show, Annika Hylmo, Bea Fields, Misti Burmeister, and Shweta Khare. I’ll give you a quick overview of each guest. I’ll start with Annika. Annika Hylmo is a coach and consultant with the Interchange Group, an organizational and professional development firm providing recruitment, retention and succession planning strategies and programs for intergenerational workforces. Annika specializes in generational shifts in the workplace and the impact of rapidly changing communication and technologies on all forms of business. As a professional coach and consultant, she has worked with organizations ranging from large size corporations such as Disney and Marsh to non-profits and universities. Her work has successfully allowed organizations to recalibrate their expectations and opportunities to better align with the needs of different generations. Results include increased retention rates and improved productivity and workflow across generations. She is published in several anthologies and continues to present her award winning research at internationally renowned conferences. Annika is also an Assistant Professor at Loyola Marymount University, where she teaches courses in Organizational Communication to Millennials. Welcome to the show Annika. 4:27 Annika Hylmo Thank you, Tom. 3 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 3 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 4:28 Tom Floyd Our next guest is Bea Fields. Bea Fields is an Executive Coach and the Owner and President of Five Star Leader Coaching and Training, which provides services to over 800 national and international clients. She is the author of EDGE! A Leadership Story About Bettering the Best Through Provocative Coaching (Spring, 2008), Leading at the Speed of Y: How to Lead and Learn From the Next Great Generation of Leaders (Fall, 2007) and a contributing author to Guerrilla Marketing on the Front Lines (Entrepreneur Press; January, 2008). Fields has published over 75 articles and has been featured in journals including Sales and Marketing Excellence and the Bottom Line Newsletter. Fields is the principal of The Gen Y Project, a research forum and podcast designed to educate the public about what she perceives to be the next greatest generation in world history. Drawing upon interviews with Millenial leaders including James Sun, CEO of Zoodango.com and current contestant of Trump’s Apprentice, Ben Casnocha, CEO of Comcate Inc. and Misti Burmeister, CEO of Inspirion Inc, The Gen Y Project is designed to teach Silents, Boomers and Gen X about why today’s young leaders are “doing things right” in the competitive business world and how to best market to and communicate with them for maximum success. Welcome to the show Bea. 5:45 Bea Fields Thank you. Great to be here, Tom. 4 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 4 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 5:47 Tom Floyd Great to have you here. Our next guest we’d like to welcome back is Misti Burmeister. As the Founder/CEO of Inspirion Inc., Misti Burmeister is committed to helping organizations and individuals reach their potential across the generations. With over a decade of experience, Misti is a recognized expert on coaching and empowering generations X and Y in their professional careers through individual and corporate coaching, speaking and emerging leadership seminars. Today, Misti not only mentors young people, but mentors the mentors. Her executive coaching has proven to be effective in reducing turnover among younger workers, and her facilitating communication between younger staff and more seasoned management results in more productive and effective work environments. Recognized as an expert on generational leadership who stimulates collaborative teamwork and a passionate commitment to mentorship, Misti delivers on two fronts – content and inspiration. She offers a practical blueprint for developing young leaders and for building strong, diverse teams. Welcome to the show Misti. 6:45 Misti I’m excited to be here today. Burmeister Thank you, Tom. 5 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 5 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 6:47 Tom Floyd And our last guest is Shweta Khare. Shweta Khare is the founder and president of Careerbright Career Coaching Services. She is passionate about helping career women who struggle with work-life balance issues and need help in re-entering the workforce after taking time off for personal reasons. Shweta is also the co-chairperson of the Career Resource Center at ICC in Milpitas, California, where she organizes and speaks at monthly career workshops and seminars. Author of an upcoming book for women who are re-entering the workforce, she specializes in coaching women are in career transition or struggling to re-enter the workforce after an employment history gap. Her Blog http://careerbright.blogspot.com has been listed as one of the best career sites by CHIMBY. Shweta is an advanced Toastmasters member and has won speech contests at different levels in the past few years. Shweta has a diverse experience working in the IT companies in Silicon Valley. She has her Masters of Technology degree from the IIT Roorkee, India and is a member of International Association of Career Coaches (IACC). She also has an upcoming book: BEYOND THE CAREER GAP– The Complete Plan for Women RE-ENTERING the WORKFORCE IN THE 21ST CENTURY. Welcome to the show Shweta! 8:05 Shweta Khare Thank you, Tom. Great to be on the show. 8:07 Tom Floyd Great to have you here. Well, now that we’ve given everyone a background about our guests, let’s go ahead and jump into the conversation. As we’ve done with our past several shows, it’ll be a panel discussion today, where we will be posing questions to our guests as a group and, Bea, I’d like to start with you, in terms of my first question. I know that you’ve interviewed over 30 Generation Y leaders for the last nine months and surveyed over 200 people on the topic of Gen. Y or Millenial Leadership. What are some of the repeating themes that you’re hearing about what this generation wants and needs, both today, and in the future? 6 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 6 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 8:44 Bea Fields That is a great question, Tom, and I want to just start by saying that I am, myself, a Baby Boomer. I’m actually right on the cusp of being a Boomer and Gen. X, and I got involved in this research project because a lot of the executive level leaders who are Baby Boomers and Gen. Xers were coming to me saying, “I’m having some problems with these 20-something leaders coming into my business. We don’t seem to be able to communicate. We’re having problems with things like dress code.” You know, it seemed to me like an incredible opportunity to really sit down and figure out what was going on. When I started interviewing a lot of Generation Y leaders, as a matter of fact, one of your guests today, Misti Burmeister, is one of my favorite Gen. Y leaders, and we actually interviewed her for this project. And I’m just going to tell you the three top repeating patterns because there’s many. But the three that I’m hearing more often than not is that most Generation Y leaders are really seeking for some type of very big purpose and meaning in the work that they do, and I’m not going to go into detail about that because I want to hear from our other speakers on that topic, but they want to make sure that what they’re working on is meaningful and has purpose. The second thing is that they really dedicated to a very fulfilling and enriched life. You have to understand that Generation Y was raised by parents who pretty much told them you can be it all, you can have it all, go for the brass ring. Learning has been huge for this Generation. Competitiveness is also a really big hallmark. And they’re looking for that enrichment to continue, so that learning continues throughout a lifetime. 10:30 Tom Floyd In terms of who their parents really were, we’re talking about folks who were mainly in the Baby Boomer Generation? 10:36 Bea Fields I’m sorry? Say that again. 10:39 Tom Floyd I said in terms of talking about what Generation raised the Generation, in terms of how they got some of the values and things around leading a fulfilling and enriching life and who it was that was really telling them you can have it all. Was that members of the Baby Boomer Generation? 7 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 7 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 10:57 Bea Fields Baby Boomer and Generation X. 10:59 Tom Floyd Okay. 11:00 Bea Fields But you have to realize I’m a Baby Boomer. I was raised by a Silent Generation parents who really raised me to have a very, very strong work ethic. And then as a parent, I was raised reading books. Every book I picked up was about build your child’s self esteem. Tell them they can do it all, they can be it all, they can have it all. So that now has been translated into I want a life that has it all. 11:23 Tom Floyd Got it. 11:23 Bea Fields And then the third thing is that they really want appreciation for the work that they’re doing, which I think all humans want, but they are really looking for employers and communities that can appreciate what they are giving back to that organization or to the community. But I would certainly like to hear from our other guests, their thoughts. 11:44 Tom Floyd So just to recap what those three themes were, it’s purpose and meaning, leading a fulfilling and enriched life, and a real appreciation for the work that they’re doing. 11:54 Bea Fields Absolutely. 11:55 Tom Floyd Got it. 11:55 Bea Fields Absolutely. 11:56 Tom Floyd Well, yeah, let’s turn it to our other guests to get some of their thoughts now. Shweta, anything that you would add? 8 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 8 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 12:02 Shweta Khare I would definitely agree that what Bea says about acknowledgement and value for the work. That is exactly what they’re looking for, being acknowledged, are they being valued at work because it would be very hard to retain this workforce if they are not seeing that they are getting value out of their work, and also, they are being valued for their work. Also, I feel that this is a Generation which values flexibility a lot. They want a work-life balance. They want life. What they are doing right now is how does their work fit their lifestyle? It’s not the other way around. 12:38 Tom Floyd So in terms of if they were faced with you have to take a job that’s 9:00 to 5:00, and you have to be here every day at 9:00, the traditional chained to the desk, so to speak, and you leave at 5:00 or later, that’s not, necessarily, something that would be appealing. 12:55 Shweta Khare No, it definitely won’t be appealing for them, and that is the main generational change that I see from the Generation X and the Baby Boomers because most of the Generation X or the Baby Boomers have worked. They have just lived to work. And what the Generation Y wants is they want to work just to live. So they have their different ideals. They have different views of how they want to work, and flexibility, definitely is one of them. And the third thing that they are looking for is communication. They are great team players. They would be working, largely, in teams making great project together and communication, networking; it’s all part of their life today. So that would be how it would be for coming workplace in future workplace generations. 9 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 9 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 13:45 Tom Floyd Well, it’ll be interesting to talk later in our show about the tools that they use for communication around, or communication with other folks. I know that, in terms of technology alone, that that is definitely a theme and interesting topic when they talk about the Millenial Generation, as well. Misti, I’d like to go ahead and turn to you, especially since it also sounds like you were one of the folks that Bea interviewed, as well. What would you add to this? 14:12 Misti Well, first of all, you know, I have to say Bea’s one of my most favorite Baby Burmeister Boomer Generation/Xer, so I really appreciate being on the phone with her. She’s truly an extraordinary human being and out there making a difference in the world. So it’s neat to be on the phone with her. I really enjoy what everybody has said so far. The enrichment, feeling enriched by what you’re doing, the appreciation for the work that they’re doing, the purpose, the meaning, the balance and life, and the importance of increased communication, these are all really great Generation Y type desires, or wants, or needs. And what I’d like to land on with this is if we think about it for a moment, who doesn’t want all these things? So what I’d like to shine a light on is the only difference, really, is Generation Yers aren’t willing to settle for anything less. 14:58 Tom Floyd Do you find that some of the other generations are? 15:01 Misti I’m sorry? Burmeister 15:02 Tom Floyd Do you find that some of the other generations are willing to settle for less? 10 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 10 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 15:04 Misti Well, I think that when the Baby Boomer Generation came into the workforce, it Burmeister was we’ve got to get in here and build an economy. We just came off of the Silent Generation winning the wars and now we have great opportunities around. Let’s go in there and work hard, right, to get ahead. This is what we do. We put in the hours and so forth. Well, the Generation X and Y, both, saw what putting in 60 hours worth of work does to a family life, does to your health, and they said, “Well, we don’t want that for ourselves. We believe in what the Baby Boomers are saying. We believe that we can have it all. This is what we’ve told our whole lives. And we’re going to have it all. That’s what we want, and that’s what we can have because it’s been told to us.” And it just so happens that, in addition to their desire, they also have the opportunity because there’s not as many of them coming into the workforce, so they’re needed. So they have the flexibility of saying, “Actually, I’m not going to work for a company that’s going to treat me poorly. I want to work for a boss that treats me like I’m important and a valuable part of the process.” 15:56 Tom Floyd They’ve got more options. Got it. 16:01 Misti They get to be a little bit choosier as a result of the lower numbers of them coming Burmeister into the workforce. But the really important part there is that we all want to feel these things. We all want to feel valued and important, and special, and all the rest of those things. When the Baby Boomers hear this, they think, generally speaking, what I hear them think is, “Well, we didn’t get this.” When I go into an organization and I encourage them to do some mentoring, they look at me like I’m crazy, some of the Baby Boomers, because they didn’t get mentoring coming into the workforce. So they don’t have quite the understanding of the experience of the Generation Yers coming in. 16:36 Tom Floyd So do you feel that there may be some resentment from the other generations in the workforce because of that? 11 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 11 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 16:39 Misti I do think so. Burmeister I do think so, absolutely. And I would say resentment only in the sense that they also want these same types of experiences. They want to be mentored. Of course they do. They want to feel like they’re valued. All of these things that we just finished saying Generation Yers want; I think all generations would want those same things. So how do we take the Baby Boomers and Generation Xers and give them the hand up so that they can turn around and look down the Generation Yers and want to help them. If we all just turn to the Generation Yers and say, “Let’s help the young people move ahead”, well, who’s going to want to help somebody move ahead who doesn’t feel good about where they’re at? 17:18 Tom Floyd Right. If they’re not feeling they’re getting some of that same attention. 17:21 Misti Right. Burmeister 17:22 Tom Floyd Okay. Yeah, that makes total sense from a human perspective. Annika, I’d like to go ahead and turn to you. So we’ve heard about some of the themes that are coming up and this next question is closely related to that. In terms of your experience, if you had to summarize what the defining characteristics of the Millenial Generation are, and on the other side of that coin, what are some of the misconceptions that exist about that Generation, as well? What would your thoughts be on that? 12 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 12 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 17:51 Annika Hylmo Well, thank you, Tom. I think that’s an interesting question. I think some of it has already been addressed, to a certain extent. Let me backtrack a little bit, just to give you a little bit more context, in terms of where I’m coming from with the Millenials. I’ve had the opportunity to teach them at a University level. I’m teaching a lot of the students that are coming into the workforce right now. And part of that has given me the opportunity to actually watch them in action as they’re organizing themselves as part of one of the assignments that they had. So I’ve been able to watch how they organize, and from that, learned a lot about some of their expectations coming into the future and what they’ll be bringing into the workplace. You know, they’re an interesting generation. I think a lot of people think that they are the MTV Generation, but they’re really not. They’re the Post-MTV Generation. 18:37 Tom Floyd So you’re saying that Generation X is probably more of the MTV Generation? 18:41 Annika Hylmo Exactly. They are a generation that really never experienced any major new technological shifts. If you’ll look back at the Baby Boomers, they had LP’s. They had rock and roll. They had the space shuttles, and so forth. 18:59 Tom Floyd Right. 13 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 13 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 18:59 Annika Hylmo If you look at the Gen. Xers, they had CD’s and the internet. That’s all natural and basic to the Millenials, so they’ve always had technology around them, and that makes them very unique. They’re so comfortable using technology and they will continue to use technology in a way that other generations have not. So I think that makes them very interesting and very unique. That also means that they have a need for speed, a need for speed that previous generations did not. So when we’re talking about them feeling frustrated or feeling like they want to have attention and they want to feel like things are happening, it’s because that’s how they’ve grown up. They’ve grown up with reality television, with things happening now, and fairly immediate gratification. They’ve also grown up in a world where everybody supported them, where they were, literally, told that they were the greatest of the great. Their parents drove around with bumper stickers that are saying my kid is an honor kid in such and such a school. 19:56 Tom Floyd Right. 19:57 Annika Hylmo They were all honor kids, and they grew up with that kind of attention. They grew up with a lot of guidance, and that’s very different from previous generations. Previous generations would be expected to spend a couple of years paying their dues, as it were. 20:11 Tom Floyd Right. 14 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 14 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 20:11 Annika Hylmo And this Generation is expecting to just be able to walk in and to be able to ascend in the corporate ranks fairly quickly. They expect that kind of acknowledgement, to know that they’re good and they’re doing great things. So I think that they have a lot to offer. They definitely do want to have it all. They do want to have it all, and they do that multi-tasking with the technology. They’re very quick, in terms of getting things done, but they, sometimes, might need some help to take a step back and slow down a little bit to say, “Let’s take a look at the bigger picture. Let’s see where things are going.” If they don’t’ get that kind of assistance, then they, sometimes, get to a point where they feel like, “This doesn’t have meaning for me anymore.” They feel like, “I can’t see where my contributions are going.” How is this going to lead to something? So they’ve done it quickly. 20:58 Tom Floyd So it’s very important for them to see how what they’re doing fits in with the big picture. 21:02 Annika Hylmo Exactly, exactly. So they might have completed it quickly. They might feel like they’ve accomplished something for the moment, but then what’s the next step and how do these pieces fit together? 21:12 Tom Floyd And how about some of the myths? 15 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 15 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 21:14 Annika Hylmo Some of the myths are that Millenials would be, I think, just that they are entitled, that they are a little bit self righteous coming in. I hear that a lot from people in workplaces talking about their entitlement. I don’t know that they’re, necessarily, as entitled as all that. I think that they’ve grown up with some expectations, but they’re certainly willing to work for it. I get the sense that a lot of people feel like they’re lazy, but I think you get that with any new generation, the sense that they’re lazy, but that’s, in part, because they don’t know exactly what they need to be doing just yet. I think that’s a misconception. I think, perhaps, the action-oriented ness is something that people don’t quite understand, that they really need to be active all the time. So I’d say those are some of the things that people need to pay attention to. 22:06 Tom Floyd Got it. I’ll turn to the rest of our guests now, anything, Bea, Misty or Shweta that you would add around the characteristics, or on the other side of the coin, any myths that you commonly hear about this generation? 22:20 Bea Fields Well, this is Bea. I just wanted to comment on what Annika said about this generation being lazy. I’m the parent of three Gen. Y kids and I can’t help but look back at what I and a lot of my colleagues have done to actually create some of what we’re seeing. I’m sitting here just owning my responsibility in really raising kids where parents have done a lot. They’ve micromanaged, and we’ve all done quite a bit for this generation. They’re very self-sufficient on one hand; they actually can do a lot. And on the other hand, parents have micromanaged them so much that when it then comes time for them to really take on ownership on something, they appear to be “lazy”. And so I just want to say that we have helped contribute a little bit to that. As a parent, I can’t help but say that. And so I think it’s a point for employers to understand that you can’t separate the person from the culture. This is something, culturally, that is now engrained in this generation. And so, very often, I hear employers say, “Well, why don’t they just change? Can’t they just stop doing that? Can you just talk to them and tell them to stop doing that?” 16 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 16 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 23:47 Tom Floyd Like a change is so easy for people. 23:48 Bea Fields So then I’ve got to sit down and really talk about you is asking me to take part of their soul, which is part of their culture, out of them. Right? So I think they’re sort of like, “Let’s have a meeting of the minds” and really look at, culturally, what this generation is coming to the table with. 24:07 Tom Floyd Got it. Now, to go back to one of the points that I’d mentioned earlier around technology because that’s something that, like it or not, I hear mentioned when folks talk about the Millenial Generation, as well. In terms of how each of you is finding how they embrace technology and use technology, and really make it a part of how they get work done, what are some of the things that you’re seeing there? Shweta, let’s start with you. 24:35 Shweta Khare Yeah, sure, definitely. See, this is the generation which is completely, completely tech savvy. What we have seen previously they have grown up seeing technology, being with that, and if you compare with Generation Xers, what we have done, we have developed the technology for them. We have been there. This is the generation which is entirely immersed in it, which is entirely using it. And they’re generally being called the iPod Generation, but they don’t want to be termed that. But it’s true that their network is always on. It’s like a 24-7. They’re using their technology for either networking with friends, or even at the websites for information on what the new career spot could be. And this is a generation which is also the entrepreneurial mind, which will be developing more new technology, for their use and for the use that would be coming up in the 21st Century. So if they are using it so much, we have to also understand, and the coaching has to keep up with the new technology, as well. The Millenials selected the services from those who provide them with the high tech services, as compared to those who might be competitively more approachable or experienced. 17 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 17 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 25:53 Tom Floyd So have you found in your experience if a Millenial approached a company that they viewed as old school, not cutting edge, not current with some of the technology and tools and things that are out there, that that might be more of a turn off to them than a flashy, cutting edge, Silicon Valley type of company that has current technology and all of that, that that type of environment might be more appealing? 26:21 Shweta Khare That’s exactly what I mean, Tom. As I was telling you before, if you remember, I was talking to my niece, who’s actually taking her first job this coming July, and she was saying that I asked her, “How did you decide on this new job?” And she was there, “Oh, I just needed a company that would look good on my resume. 26:41 Tom Floyd And that was the entire criteria for finding the job. 26:44 Shweta Khare Exactly. And I was asking her, “Did all of your friends decide on the same thing?” She said, “Yeah, pretty much the same way because we are not looking much ahead for about two to five years. What I’m looking for, will it look good on my resume? Is the company good? And it’s in Silicon Valley; it’s a tech savvy company. And when I hop on to other jobs, the responsibilities that would be clear because I have that kind of experience with me.” So all these things are taking up. They might not have the clear perspective, but they do have the clear perspective of what they want, like it would be if it looked good for them, or the company has a really good reputation, or it is a future-looking company. They’re really tech savvy. So all these things are into consideration. 18 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 18 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 27:33 Tom Floyd Got it. I want to go ahead and build upon something that you said and something that I heard earlier in the show, as well, and that’s the Millenial Generation’s view on entrepreneurship versus the traditional working in the corporate world type of job. And I want to turn to Bea and Misti on this. Bea, is that something that you saw in your study, as well, in terms of you’re seeing more folks in that generation that are interested in doing their own thing, starting their own business and really working for themselves versus someone else? 28:11 Bea Fields I am, Tom. And I want to hear from Misti on this because she’s a classic example of the entrepreneurial swagger, as I call it, that this generation’s bringing to the table. And the research that I started conveniently coincided with a series of articles that were coming out that were being published by USA Today and Business Week, and they were highlighting some of the top young business leaders for 2006, and the majority, I don’t think any of them were not entrepreneurs. I think the majority were entrepreneurs. And what I discovered in talking with these men and women is that most of them started their first businesses at age 14, 15 and 16. I would have never considered starting a business at that age. 29:00 Tom Floyd That’s unfathomable to me. At age 14, my mind was so not there when I was 14-years old. 29:01 Bea Fields I know. And one of the most influential leaders right now is a man by the name of Ben Casnocha, who’s the CEO of Comcate, Inc., and they are one of the top software providers for government entities, and he started his business at age 14. 29:20 Tom Floyd That’s just phenomenal. That blows my mind. 19 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 19 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 29:21 Bea Fields I know. It just blows my mind. And I think because, number one, as Annika was saying and everyone else in the call, this generation, technology is an extension of their personality. It’s a part of their being. And they see nothing at all inhibited, whatsoever, about going online and opening up a business. And they seen an opportunity and they run with it. So I’m not here to say that Gen. Y is not going to be attracted to the typical vertical structure of a corporate setting. I think there will always be men and women who want to go into a corporate setting, but most of these Gen. Y’s are going into their first job knowing that this is one of many jobs they’re going to have in their lifetime, and they may be inside a corporation and also moonlighting by running their own business on the side. 30:17 Tom Floyd Got it. Misti, what would you add? 30:18 Bea Fields They see this as multiple jobs, not as one where they’re going to go in, and they’re still going to be with the same company at age 60. But Misty, I’d like to hear from you on this because you’re living it. 20 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 20 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 30:32 Misti Well, you know, it’s interesting. Burmeister As I listened to you, I’m remembering back to my coming out of my masters program and into the workforce, and the last thing I ever wanted to do, to be really honest with you, was to start my own company. I really wanted to work for somebody that I could feel empowered by and build my experience from somebody else’s experience. And I’m remembering this company that I was working for before I started Inspirion. I actually researched the whole company, read every document they put out into the media in the 25 years they’d been business, and I presented to the head of the company to show her everything I knew so that she could really utilize my talents and skills, and take me to the next level, use my skills, and at the end my hour long presentation to her on the company, she said to me, “Misti, what did your parents do to deal with you? It’s clear you have problems with anxiety. Do you take medication for that?” And those were the real words that she said to me. And certainly, she didn’t mean harm by what she said, it was just very clear to me through her language that she wasn’t about ready to use my energy in a good way, she wanted to hold me down, which is what had me turn in my letter of resignation the next day with really no clue as to where I was going or what I was doing. Starting my company really came from these experiences that I had, myself, coming into the workforce and working with Baby Boomers. You know, you said something a minute ago, Bea, which I really want to take that and run with it. She said, you know, she owns responsibility for the way the Generation Y is right now, took ownership of that. And when she did that, I almost had a shift inside of my own being, where I went, “Oh, I can talk to her, then. I can have a conversation with her about how excited I am about whatever it is that I’m excited about and she’s not going to judge me.” I was totally taken off guard, put my guard down, just hearing her say that she takes responsibility for the way the Generation Yers are, and suddenly, I would want to learn from her. That’s what the Baby Boomers inside these organizations can do. Instead of saying to Generation Yers, “How dare you think that you can get into my position in six months? Don’t you know I’ve worked really hard to get here?” They can say, “Wow, you’ve got a lot of ambition and I’m very excited to have you on board. Let’s see what we can do to harness that energy and excitement. I see where you are, and I see what you want to do. Let me help you get there. Maybe some of things that you could use are some skills. Let’s talk about the skill building that we could do with you. Let’s talk about how you come across.” So instead of saying they shouldn’t be here, let’s meet them where they are. Let’s meet them where they are without their people skills. Let’s meet them where they are and help them. 21 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 21 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 33:20 Tom Floyd Well, I can just imagine, too, anyone who had gotten that feedback; too, it would be such a shock just to hear that from anyone. Well, I’m hearing the music for a commercial break, so let’s go ahead and go on pause. Stay tuned everyone. More on the Millenial Generation when we return. 35:57 Tom Floyd Today’s show focuses on Millenials in the workforce, and it continues upon the past two shows that we’ve aired, one on Baby Boomers and one on Generation X. I want to move into a conversation with everyone about the Millenial Generation and coaching, and some ways that coaching can be useful, particularly in terms of some of the challenges that we’re seeing that some folks from the Millenial Generation are experiencing in the workplace. And Annika, I’d like to start with you. When you think of ways that coaching could be useful for members of the Millenial Generation because it certainly sounds like, as an intervention, it’s something that Millenials may be pretty open to, since they’re looking for guidance and direction, and really wanting someone to partner with them and help them. A, do you think it’s something they’re receptive to, and B, what are some of the typical challenges that you’re seeing Millenials experience? 37:02 Annika Hylmo I think that’s a really good question, again. Millenials are very much open to the idea of being coached. They’re looking for guidance. Remember this is a generation that grew up being guided along the way, and coaching really serves a good purpose for them there. It’s also a great opportunity for them to feel like they can reach some goals, set some benchmarks, so they can develop a plan. 37:24 Tom Floyd Okay. 22 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 22 Millenials: Newcomers to the Workplace Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 37:26 Annika Hylmo I think that’s very important for them in a coaching environment, to see that there’s a plan of action and that they can take steps, one step at a time, to get to where the next level, with support along the way, instead of being thrown into an environment where they really don’t know what’s going on. What I hear from some Millenials, especially in larger corporations, the old traditional ones, is that they don’t see where their career is going. They don’t see what they can do to get to the next level. They can’t really see the map ahead of themselves. Coaching can help them figure out what the map needs to be, what the plan of action needs to be, and what the steps are that they need to take to get to the next level. 38:06 Tom Floyd Do you think that goes back to, in terms of some of the things we talked about at the beginning of the show, especially with wanting to see how the work that they’re performing, or what they’re doing, is fitting into the big picture, fitting into the mission of the company, things like that? It sounds like coaching is something that could be helpful, in terms of helping them see that, or get that. 38:27 Annika Hylmo Absolutely.
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