Guest blogger Joan Kuhl of Why Millennials Matter has some tips on not being a stereotypical millennial who’s on your parents’ cell phone plan and in their basement until you retire from never working. Pretty rad, right?
Millennial Women are #Bossy. Millennials are engaged and ambitious. More than any other generation, 71% of Millennials aspire to the top job compared to 54% of Gen X and 39% of Baby Boomers. 43% of Millennials are willing to do whatever it takes to get the top job. I see this in young women who are brilliant rising stars that work hard to know their worth. Research from The Center for Talent Innovation cites that Millennial women see themselves as ambitious, they are willing to go the extra mile and they want to love their work. The following five tips are success strategies to help keep them on track to flourishing in their career and advancing their personal and professional goals.
1. Put your passion at the center of your career.
No matter how stretched you are with time between work and life, make time for activities that develop new skills and experiences that open up your network.
2. Don’t just Lean In…Lean ON EACH OTHER!
Champion your peers and the leaders who are women that inspire you. Strive to be the type of leader that provides honest feedback in a way that is intended to empower and help someone achieve their potential. Be an advocate for the women on your team, in your department and in the executive offices to demonstrate the pride you have in their work.
3. Continue to always hone your personal brand and promote the brands of your mentors and sponsors.
The first step for young women is to develop an Executive Presence. Sylvia Hewlett, one of the world’s top thinkers, describes EP as the “intangibles of having IT”! Leadership roles are given to those who also look and act the part. Sylvia’s research revealed that the top jobs often elude women because they lack executive presence or underestimate its importance. This was a huge study conducted with the sponsorship of several large global companies: American Express, Ernst and Young, Marie Claire Magazine, and The Gap. She explains that presence alone won’t get you promoted, but its absence will impede your progress. EP is a combo of qualities – communication, appearance and gravitas – that true leaders exude, culminating in an aura that telegraphs you are in charge—or deserve to be. This is the time to do all that you can to achieve your full potential and grow your influence across your organization and in your communities.
4. Learn to negotiate.
Men initiate negotiations four times more often than women. This was a finding from Linda Babcock’s books, Women Don’t Ask and Ask For It. These two books were go-to guides for me in my twenties that helped me negotiate multi-million dollar deals at 25 years old for a global company. Younger women (such as these new graduates) tend to express higher confidence in their efforts to ask for their worth but the data including that from Carnegie Mellon’s Hinds College doesn’t support their belief. My advice is to do the research to understand the value associated with your skills in your general industry and your education. Experiment with simple negotiations by asking for more or for a better deal when shopping, in discussions with your friends, partner or even family members!
5. Channel “Grace Under Fire.”
Life can get messy in your twenties as you are immersed in this journey to launch a successful career, continue to hone your passions, develop meaningful relationships and stay healthy. Stress can trigger us to act in ways that are not reflective of our true emotions and which may leave the best impression on others. You need to have a core support team of people in your life who bring out your best and can be your source of encouragement when life gets tough. Many young women are working in positions all over the world away from their families and friends so I would encourage you to join local groups aligned with your interests and passions. Don’t work 24/7 … find time to connect with new people, make new friends and contacts, which will ultimately help shape your perspective, your values and your confidence.