[b]How do I overcome the negative stereotypes associated with being classified as a "New Millennial" by my 54 year old SVP?[/b]
In the usual M-T style, I have done my best to detail the context and background of my post for you. [b]Cliff notes are at the bottom.[/b] I have been reading the forums for over a year now but never posted before. I am posting this because I truly value this community’s input.
My SVP accepted my invitation to a one-on-one lunch next week to discuss my career development (It was my Boss’ idea). Just yesterday in a casual aside, SVP said "So... career development huh... I'm reading a book on you right now, you're one of those New Millennials … what you need is a coach." The way he said this did not have a positive connotation. I asked the title of the book and he said “I can’t tell you, then you would know what I’m going to say."
To gain some insight that night I picked up Cam Marston’s [i]MOTIVATING THE “What’s in it for me?” WORKFORCE[/i] about managing across the generational divide. The book is a guide for adapting your management approach to each generation from Matures to Boomers, Gen Xers and the New Millennials. I definitely recommend it.
[u]The bad news from the book:[/u] It affirms the generalizations I have always heard regarding Gen Xers and New Millennials. Primarily that they are loyal only to themselves, will change jobs without hesitation if they are not constantly learning (an avg. of every 1.3 years), see no need to “pay their dues” and prioritize their social lives before their careers.
[u]The good news from the book:[/u] As an employer, if you can retain them for 4 years, the chances of them leaving drop exponentially. They are natural early adopters of technology and change since they began using computers at such early ages. They excel at using technology to determine the most efficient way to accomplish a given task.
Today is my 4 year anniversary with my company. In another month, it will be 4 years since I graduated from college. I started with my company as an intern in my junior year of college. What a dream – it’s the pinnacle of our industry. I returned to school for 1 year to finish my degree. Two months before my graduation my supervisor’s boss called me to take his position 1 hour after he turned in his notice. I started managing the department 2 weeks later while finishing my last semester of school (a few hours away).
From the beginning I have managed my department and 2-3 interns. In the last 4 years, I have increased my department’s output by over 200% with the same resources, saved the company over $300k, have a plan to save another 75-100K this year, and continue to take on more responsibility.
[b][u]Where I’m at now[/u][/b]
Point blank: I’ve grown in this position, I see ways I could contribute even more to the company in 2 specific positions and I’m ready (eager, if you will) to take the next step soon.
Earlier this week, I received my best performance review ever from a demanding Boss who I enjoy working for. The highlights were “Just keep doing what you’re doing, I don’t have anything specific for you to work on” | It’s my job to keep you here | I know you’re looking to grow soon but you may have to look outside for the short term | You need to talk to my Boss (the SVP), you should invite him to lunch to discuss your career development - No, I don’t need to be there” I was thrilled with the review (credit goes to the advice of M&M here) but was a little shocked by the “look outside” suggestion.
1) Young person at a Fortune 500 company, 4 years out of school, 4 years managing my department (me + 2-3 interns) with over 200% increase in output, same resources, over $300,000 cost savings
2) I want to take on a new assignment with a team of full-time employees and greater potential for $ contribution to the company
3) Upcoming lunch with SVP to discuss career development. I'm looking to impress this SVP who stereotyped me as a “New Millennial” from what he read in a book – not a good thing in my opinion.