Gaining Relevent Employment and Career Success


Thank you Larry Crep for giving us this wonderful talk.





  • There’s a big difference between a job and a career:
    • A job is viewed as temporary from the start—it may be a task, a project, or even a prolonged program. But it’s not expected to last for the entire working lifetime and is less likely to bring much growth on its own.
    • A career is a process of constant growth and learning that may involve many different jobs. It increases a person’s well-rounded experience, qualifications, and personality.
  • Start thinking about which one you want in a field. Your potential/current employer may offer you a career path where promotion and growth are possible. As you rise higher in the corporate ladder, they’ll send you to more and more training for higher forms of management.
  • There are several reasons for changing positions: someone’s position is vacated, seeking more opportunities, company mismanagement or decline, seeking a change in personal life conditions, etc.
  • To succeed is a two-way street. You need to know how you’re perceived and where the other person is coming from.
  • Our generation is termed Millennials, for the purpose of this talk. The latest generations, of which the last three are now in the workforce, are as follows:
    • Traditional
    • Baby boomer (top bosses)
    • X (the current employers)
    • Millennials (the candidates)
  • Millennials (the candidates) have to appeal to Baby boomers (top bosses) and X (the current employers) and what they want, if they want to get their end of the bargain. When communicating with them, think about how they judge your work ethic.
  1. Baby boomers:
  • There are a lot of them.
  • Optimistic! (they lived through worse times)
  • They work hard more than they seek enjoyment (the work-life balance is tipped toward work).
  • They are extremely competitive (engineering qualifications had to be proven continuously and it was easy to get fired).
  • They’re going to revolutionize retirement because of their large numbers.
  • They judge work ethic according to your loyalty.
  • They’re experienced and knowledgeable. Look for mentors in them.
  1. X Generations:
  • Dedicated!
  • Parallel thinkers: They set aside time for multiple tasks to get them done within the same time period efficiently.
  • Independent/resourceful (they may be team players, but they’re efficient on their own even without help from others).
  • They’re comfortable with diversity and not afraid of change.
  • They judge work ethic according to your dedication to your assignments.
  1. Millennials:
    • Cautiously optimistic!
    • The novice generation.
    • Rite of passage: enter the workforce, starting at the bottom. But we already went through this in school. We started from kindergarten and here we are in university! We grow and we achieve. We’ve gone through rites of passage as we graduated each level. That’s also how the workforce is.
    • E-learners and grew up with available digital technology.
    • A state of continuous partial attention.
    • Accustomed to instant communication, feedback, and gratification.
    • Accustomed to giving feedback and asking questions.
    • Collective/team oriented and accepting of diversity..
    • Speed? Most of them are in a rush.
  • Free agent means someone with zero loyalty. Career paths for most are hopscotch more than steps. Hopscotch means they have one foot in one place and another foot in another.
  • Training is the biggest corporate expense there is. Your trainers and superiors are investing so much into you and if you just leave them after all they’ve invested without really contributing you’ve been a waste and have done them a disfavour.
  • Employers will want those with strong understanding of definitions and strong self-awareness. Sometimes you should be silent and selective of what you say and what you answer. It’s similar to how you would behave when being questioned by a police officer. You have to be thinking about what the interviewer is trying to gauge from you and learn from you. You have to recognize what they’re looking for.
  • For example, wait until the person who has authority has sat down before you sit. Show that you’re paying attention and think about how you’re answering. If they ask what salary you expect, say “We can talk about that when we get to the stage of my position’s specifics. I want my salary to be something agreed between you and me, in the best interests of the company.”
  • If asked about your worst trait, come prepared. For example, it could be, “I get slightly irritable when someone interrupts my focus on a task I’m doing. When that happens, I might be snappy at first but I quickly stop myself and apologize.”
  • How millennials are perceived: Lacking respect; arrogant; entitled; unreliable; technologically dependant; intelligent but not humble; selfish; can’t put themselves in others’ shoes and think of things from their own perspective; sheltered; immature; overwhelmed easily; lazy; fiercely independent, yet very reliant on their parents; need constant and rushed motivation but work in slow motion.
  • “If they had their talent and my drive they would reach higher limits.”
  • You have to use your intelligence and try being at least as smart as your interviewer.
  • “What do you have to offer me that I would hire you?” You can’t just go in like, “You owe me a job because I’m (at least somewhat) qualified.”
  • You could get preference over a more qualified person because of a better attitude and personality. It’s important to develop your emotional intelligence (EQ).
  • Somethings to pick up on (DO NOT DISREGARD IT):
    • You need both the practical and analytical skills, but keep it simple.
    • Anytime you think you can step up in a crowd, step up. Manage your time—it’s critical.
    • Plan your life and figure out contingency plans.
    • Understand ethics, scruples, morals, and confidentiality—keep classified info classified and make it known you can’t give that info.
    • Take care of your family and realize what’s at stake.
    • Consider the sociological aspects of your behaviour and of the technology you use.
    • You need credible resources. The majority of what’s on the internet is unreliable.
    • You need to be resourceful and improvise.
    • Learn how to listen.
    • Learning and mentorship are two-way streets.
    • Learn accounting and return on investments. Start thinking about the PESTEL aspects of your work and your career.
    • Plan your career based on what you want and not what you wish.
  • What millennials offer employers:
    • Innovative thinkers
    • Globalization
    • Social awareness (can be a good thing or not—think about it in your work but don’t bring it to work)
    • Well-rounded perspective
    • Street smarts (but not exactly—always be on guard with others until you know you can trust them)
  • Always seek the gold medals, not the participation medals.
  • Book smarts are an asset but won’t get you what you’re seeking. You have to be innovative, open-minded, personable, and cooperative. Remember that everyone else knows something you don’t. Treat everybody with respect regardless of how they treat you, within reason.
  • If you start your own business, you’re going to work twice as hard. Working from home is harder than working in the office. You’ll work practically 24/7 if you’re unable to manage your time. You have to work really hard, especially if it’s your own business. After a while, hopefully everything will work out and your days will become much more free.
  • You will get reviews, but not likely as frequently or timely as you want. So make sure you build rapport with others so that, when they do give reviews, it’s positive. Also, it will make their feedback more likely to be timely.  Be personable. Connect with them on an individual level.
  • Summary of today:
    • “Meet them halfway. Show that respect and behaviour that may seem a little thing but goes that long way. If the other person has to spend their time mentoring you, it’s not for free. You want to know what you can do for him in return. You have to find out how you can give back to them. Put yourself in their shoes. What would you do if you were them? How would you want you to behave towards them?”

About the author: eman

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