Posts in Millennials

Intergenerational Consulting

July 15th, 2019 Posted by Consulting, Millennials 0 thoughts on “Intergenerational Consulting”

Plato wrote in Republic that necessity is the mother of all invention. Society finds ways to adapt as new needs and problems requiring novel solutions arise. This could apply not just to physical inventions but also to the labor market. The global social and economic flux throughout the decades define how each generation approaches work, and as a result, various industries have come up to meet the changing labor landscape. An example of this change is the increasing number of working Millennials and what makes them different. The “invention” that will help you serve this booming population? Intergenerational consulting. 

The rise of Millennials in the workforce opened a gap that needs to be bridged. Investing in intergenerational consulting means getting the tools and insight you need for the task at hand. As we dive headfirst into what this type of consulting is, let’s take a look at how each generation was shaped by the social, political, and economic forces surrounding them. Then we can gain a better understanding of how different Millennials are from generations past.

The Silent Generation (ages 72-89)

This generation was born between 1925-1942 and, according to Forbes, makes up about 20 million U.S. adults in their 70s and 80s. This Time magazine essay dubbed them the Silent Generation, a cohort that grew up in the time of war. They were considered silent because of their avoidance of protests. Economically, they are considered the wealthiest– well-educated and pensioned homeowners with hefty retirement funds that were sold out before the 2008 housing crash. 

Baby Boomers (53-71)

If the last of the Silent Generation turned 65 before 2007, Baby Boomers turned 65 in 2011. This cohort was born post-World War II. There were 3.4 million babies born in 1946 compared to the 2.5 million average birth rate in previous years–hence the term Baby Boomers. This generation had quite the tumultuous economic, political, and social experiences–the moon landing of 1969, Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement, Watergate, and more. Between Millennials and Boomers, the latter are more conservative in terms of home ownership, views on family, and stance on social issues. 

Generation X (37-52)

After the Boomers came Generation X, or Gen X for short. Gen Xers were born between the mid-60s and early-80s. There are about 50 million members of the Gen X cohort. They are the “the last analog generation” but also the first Internet and tech generation. According to Investopedia, about 68% of Fortune 500 CEOs come from this group. However, Gen Xers are not as financially stable as the Silent Generation especially in light of the Great Recession. A Vanity Fair article interestingly describes Gen X as “ cynical, wised up, sane,” and as a kind of “market corrective” to the generation that preceded them. Gen Xers have a different philosophy compared to the Boomers–they were activists and socially liberal. Some famous Gen Xers include Jeff Bezos, Michelle Obama, Jay-Z, Tiger Woods, and Elon Musk.

Millennials (20-36)

After our tour of the different generations starting from those born in 1925, we have at last arrived at the Millennials or Generation Y. This generation was born between 1981 to 1996. Millennials in 2018 were between the ages of 22 and 37. Compared to the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers, Millennials are less slower to get married and own homes. This cohort is the most racially diverse and better educated but are not necessarily the most stable economically.

It is interesting to note how a lot of women from previous generations were not part of the labor force. Today, Millennial women make up 72% of the workforce according to Pew Research. But while that is the case, Millennials have inherited the after effects of the Great Recession making the job market more challenging. This is why a Millennial can be educated and still have a hard time entering the workforce–and these factors affect all of their lifestyle choices such as delaying starting a family.

Get Intergenerational Consulting For Your Business

There is so much more that we can unpack about each generation, but we can safely conclude that there are some major differences all of the groups we’ve covered here. But in spite of these differences, we can create shared experiences and help build those gaps. This is where the value of intergenerational consulting shines through–we can work together to uncover where your business or organization is at in terms of the population it employs and serves. How can you bring Millennials into the fold? What can they learn from you and your experiences? 

Let’s ask these questions together, bridge that gap, and create an environment where everyone thrives no matter which generation you’re from. Contact me to learn more about intergenerational consulting and how it can help you.

Mentoring Millennials in the Workplace

June 30th, 2019 Posted by Millennials 0 thoughts on “Mentoring Millennials in the Workplace”

Pop culture is a treasure trove of the mentor archetype. Think Mr. Miyagi to Daniel, Professor Charles Xavier to the X-Men, and Yoda to Luke Skywalker. These teachers and leaders have walked alongside their students to help chart their course, teach them in their failures, and support them in their heroes’ journeys.

In the same way, real life mentors play a key role in the professional development of their colleagues. They pour into the lives of others to help propel them to the next level of their careers and even in areas outside of work. Good mentors establish mutual respect with their mentees, provide meaningful feedback, and strive to keep growing themselves. 

With the rise of automation, cloud computing, and all things Internet, workers–particularly the Millennial workforce–need mentors more than ever. The mentor and mentee relationship takes work just like any other relationship, but the human to human connection is irreplaceable and worth the effort.

Benefits to Mentoring

Not all business leaders recognize that mentoring will yield dividends not just for the mentees, but for the mentors themselves. Mentoring or coaching allows the mentor to build a legacy and pass on lessons they have acquired over the years to a potential successor. For someone who has been in the game for a while, taking someone under their wing could reinvigorate their own careers and avoid plateauing. It truly is a wonderful exchange, so how does one become a good mentor?

Ways to be a Better Mentor

* Establish Mutual Trust and Respect. In a study conducted by Deloitte, results show that “Respondents do not think highly of leaders’ impact on society, their commitment to improving the world, or their trustworthiness.” This is huge. Millennials in your workplace need to see that you are proactively improving the quality of life around you and that you can be trustworthy. You can do this by pursuing your passions, supporting a cause you truly believe in, being true to your word, and many other ways. Living a life of integrity both in and out of the workplace makes a great impression on your millennial and Gen Z team members.

Once you gain the respect of your constituents, remember to give that same respect to them. Respect their ideas, put yourself in their shoes, and let them know that you are on their side even when they fail; this isn’t to encourage repeated mistakes, but a way to communicate that you are their advocate.  

* Mentor, Not Manager. It is important that business leaders do not simply manage their team in a detached manner. As the first point above suggests, millennials need someone who doesn’t just tell them what the rules of the game are–they need someone who is inspiring and can lead a team without pulling teeth. A manager will dictate; a mentor will teach by example. A manager will hover and be singular in their methods; a mentor allows creativity to flourish, lets someone make their own mistakes, learns from them, and supports them in the process. 

* Communicate Well. Communication is a pillar of any good relationship, including those of mentors and mentees. Provide constructive feedback to your mentees and welcome feedback from them as well. Once you’ve established mutual trust and respect, your mentee will be more receptive to what you have to say and your lessons will stick better. 

* Lifelong Learning. Remember that learning doesn’t stop in the classroom. Keep bettering and challenging yourself. Again, how you approach your own career and how you live your life speak volumes to your younger peers. This way, you will always have something new to share. In the same way, recognize that you can learn something from your millennial team members, too. When you establish mutual respect and have solid communication, the result is a positive and great learning environment. 

Millennials and Gen Z need mentors not just for the day when they reach the top, but here and now as they occupy your workspace. Respect and trust each other, provide feedback, and continuously learn from one another. You and your business will be better for it.

Tips & Advice for Millennials

April 18th, 2018 Posted by Consulting, Millennials 0 thoughts on “Tips & Advice for Millennials”

Hello, dear friends. I am proud to share this generational title with you, even though we often receive backlash — both warranted and unwarranted. We are a generation full of dreamers, doers, overachievers, and risk takers. We are young and full of life. The world is our oyster!

However, before we get too high and mighty, let’s get back to reality for a second. Yes, we are the newest generation in the workforce. Yes, we are more connected and technologically savvy than any generation before us. And yes, we can work quickly and multitask. All of this may be true, but when it comes to the workplace, it doesn’t matter. Without being a team player and understanding that we still have so much to learn from our older colleagues, we are setting ourselves up for frustration and failure.

Through my work, I have interacted with professionals of all ages and how workplaces can best bridge generational gaps where everyone feels heard, needed, and relevant. I am “team Millennial,” so I want you all to succeed.

Here are a few ways that you can work with your Generation X and Baby Boomer coworkers better.

  1. Put your phone away. One of the biggest frustrations I hear about our generation is that we are too dependent on our phones. Let’s not give them more reason to feel this way. When you have a task in front of you, finish it in a timely manner. When you have completed it, instead of pulling out your phone immediately, ask your supervisor what you can do next. Believe me, this simple act will be noticed. This shows you take your job seriously and you are focused on your work and your future. Also, before a meeting begins, use that time to interact with your coworkers and build relationships, not check your Instagram. Building relationships will help the team value you more.
  2. Listen. This sounds easy, but we all know it is not. If you want your ideas to be considered, you have to consider others’. Taking the time to listen to your older coworkers and leaders will show that you are open to learning and growing. By listening, you are giving your colleagues an opportunity to share their thoughts and hopefully in return, ask for your thoughts as well.
  3. Show up. You may be the low man on the totem pole, but you’re still on it. When your workplace offers events, socials, or team building initiatives, do them. This will help build comradery, respect, and trust with your fellow coworkers. Be appreciative of the time and effort your organization is putting in to make your workplace a positive one. (And if your organization isn’t doing anything specifically to enable a beneficial workplace for all generations, ask to spearhead it. You can help create a positive generational change!)
  4. Be adaptable. Take advantage of your youth and learn as much as you can in your current organization. Your older colleagues have put in years of hard work to be where they are today. Although it may be challenging sometimes, you can’t change all the rules. To thrive, you must be flexible.

To all you millennials out there, I am proud of you. Keep chasing your dreams. But remember those who came before us. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

 

Best,

Amelie 

An American Millennial in Brazil

November 1st, 2017 Posted by Millennials, Travel 0 thoughts on “An American Millennial in Brazil”

In September, I had the pleasure of being one of CONAREC’s International Keynote Speakers at the 15th Annual Congress held in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  This was my first international work trip as well as my first trip to South America. Besides my speaking engagement, I also wanted to make the most of my time there. While I had only had 48 hours in Brazil, I felt like it was 48 hours well spent.

Here are some highlights from my experience.

  • Learning about Millennials in Brazil. Since I was speaking on Millennial mindset and knowing not all Millennials are created equal, I first had to learn about Brazilian Millennials. Many of the basic trends of Millennials in the USA and Brazil are similar. However, the Brazilian Culture differs, which ultimately is reflected in the difference between Brazilian Millennials vs. American Millennials.  For example, Millennials in Brazil want their organization’s manager to serve as a role model for them. Whereas, Millennials in the USA want a manager who empowers their employees. 

 

  • Getting a Visa. Several of the wonderful people at the Chicago Brazil Consulate and I developed a lovely friendship. (I had to make several visits in order to finalize my Business Visa.) I now have a great appreciation for the patience of those employees. I’ve been told you have one chance to make a positive impression. Your countrymen at the Chicago Brazil Consulate made a great first impression on me about your great country.

 

  • Flying to Brazil. To get to Sao Paulo, we flew Aero Mexico from Chicago, to Mexico City, to Sao Paulo. As we made our way farther south, I loved hearing how the languages and people began to change. Having taken Spanish classes in high school and college, I went from completely understanding the flight attendants in Chicago, to somewhat understanding the flight attendants in Mexico City, to not at all understanding flight attendants in Sao Paulo. Chicago is a “melting pot” city. Yet, it did not prepare me for the language difference of Brazil.

 

  • Arriving in Sau Paulo. Once my cousin, who traveled with me, and I arrived we made our way to the TransAmerica hotel where the 15th Annual CONAREC Congress was being held. The drive to the airport was an adventure. I was amazed at all of the motorcycles and how the rules of the road seemingly didn’t apply to them. They zipped past us, hanging on tightly to their bikes. Once settled at the hotel, we went to Feijoada do Bolinha for their famous Feijoada. It was wonderful! These two Americans were delighted to have such delicious and local food. Sao Paulo food is full of flavor, color, and textures. I loved discovering the Brazilian cuisine.

 

  • Speaking at the CONAREC Congress. The CONAREC Congress was an incredible speaking engagement, and also a wonderful experience. This Congress was unlike one you would find in the states. Everything was grand. Speaking in the main theatre in front of 1,200 people was an amazing experience. Those who did not speak English wore headphones. A translator translated English to Portuguese for them. Working with a translator was a new experience for me.  As a presenter I had to try and bridge the translation gap. The attendees were kind and gracious and I loved sharing my Millennial insights with them.

 

  • Serving on Panel Discussion at CONAREC Congress. With the CEOs of Pepsi Co Brazil and Whirlpool Brazil, the tables turned when I served on a panel with them. These two leaders spoke about the incredible things they are doing to keep their companies fresh and multi-generation friendly. I wore headphones so a translator would translate Portuguese questions back to me in English. What a gift she was!

 

  • Exploring Sao Paulo. After the Congress, my cousin and I used our remaining time to explore the great city of Sao Paulo, thanks to our wonderful driver and our Translation Apps. We ate Pao de Queijo, bought Havaianas flip flops, walked around different malls, and  saw sights all around the city.  My biggest take-away was how large Sao Paulo is. We drove through the city for an hour and it still seemed that we were in the heart of the city.  The size of Sao Paulo was something I had never experienced in any of my U.S. and International travels.

 

  • Flying home to Chicago. With sad hearts but full stomachs, we boarded our flight back first to Mexico City and then to Chicago. I felt like a new person. I had fallen in love with the city and people of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

 

I had a fantastic trip.  Millennials love to travel and adventure.  Sao Paulo, you have fed my heart and soul. I look forward to my next trip to Brazil! Obrigada!    

-Amelie

This Millennial’s First Podcast

September 26th, 2017 Posted by Millennials, Travel 0 thoughts on “This Millennial’s First Podcast”

 

Last month while in South Carolina for work, I had the pleasure of meeting Creating Space owner, Wes Knight and his business partner, Lo Myrick.

PodcastPhoto-2 millennial consultant & speaker

After chatting about our respective jobs, it was clear we had much in common about interacting with people and our passion for our work. Wes invited me to be a guest on his podcast. Here are a few thoughts from my first podcast experience:

  • Good questions. In interviewing, whether written or verbal, good questions are key. Wes did a great job asking me both easy and challenging questions. This showed me that the interviewer’s skill of asking questions is vital to the overall theme of the interview.

 

  • Passion. Passion is a great connecter! I immediately saw how Wes and Lo’s passion for their work seems to be a driving factor in everything they do. Saying “yes” to sharing your mission, vision, and passion for your work helps bridge gaps to create and build new friendships and ideas.

 

  • Technology. Technology has drastically changed interviewing. It was amazing how simple it was to connect and record this podcast while halfway across the country from one another. Moments like this make me truly appreciate the technological advances my generation takes as the norm. A few simple clicks helped memorialize our conversation.

 

  • Authenticity. Being someone who always prefers the art of the spoken word, I really enjoyed the freedom that came with our conversation. The more we shared, the deeper and more truthful the conversation became.

 

  • Our stories. We all have a story. This is something I continuously go back to, but in working with my podcast and listening to others, it becomes even more apparent. Each one of us has a story and voice that is reflected in who we are. Sharing those stories brings people together. It diminishes walls and builds community.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed my first podcast experience. Feel free to listen to our conversation by clicking the picture below. Hope you enjoy!

-Amelie

Amelie-Karam-300x300 millennial consultant & speaker

What is a millennial?

May 5th, 2017 Posted by Millennials 0 thoughts on “What is a millennial?”

Millennials, also known as Generation Y or the Net Generation, are the demographic cohort that directly follows Generation X.

What, exactly, is the Millennial generation?

The term Millennials is usually considered to apply to individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century. The precise delineation varies from one source to another, however. Neil Howe and William Strauss, authors of the 1991 book Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069, are often credited with coining the term. Howe and Strauss define the Millennial cohort as consisting of individuals born between 1982 and 2004.

Other proposed dates for Millennials:

  • According to Iconoclast, a consumer research firm, the first Millennials were born in 1978.
  • Newsweek magazine reported that the Millennial generation was born between 1977 and 1994.
  • In separate articles, the New York Times pegged the Millennials at 1976-1990 and 1978-1998.
  • A Time magazine article placed the Millennials at 1980-2000.

Overall, the earliest proposed birthdate for Millennials is 1976 and the latest 2004. Given that a familial generation in developed nations lies somewhere between 25 and 30 years, we might reasonably consider those the start and end points.

There is a great deal of variation from one individual to another within any generational cohort. Nevertheless, the particular environment for any generation affects those individuals in ways that are observable as broad tendencies. This definition of the term discusses those reported tendencies for Millennials in the workplace, Millennials and technology, Millennials and culture.

A snapshot of Millennials, according to their press:

Millennials grew up in an electronics-filled and increasingly online and socially-networked world. They are the generation that has received the most marketing attention. As the most ethnically diverse generation, Millennials tend to be tolerant of difference. Having been raised under the mantra “follow your dreams” and being told they were special, they tend to be confident. While largely a positive trait, the Millennial generation’s confidence has been argued to spill over into the realms of entitlement and narcissism.  They are often seen as slightly more optimistic about the future of America than other generations — despite the fact that they are the first generation since the Silent Generation that is expected to be less economically successful than their parents.

One reported result of Millennial optimism is entering into adulthood with unrealistic expectations, which sometimes leads to disillusionment. Many early Millennials went through post-secondary education only to find themselves employed in unrelated fields or underemployed and job hopping more frequently than previous generations. Their expectations may have resulted from the very encouraging, involved and almost ever-present group of parents that became known as helicopter parents.

Understanding Millennials in the Workplace

May 5th, 2017 Posted by Millennials 0 thoughts on “Understanding Millennials in the Workplace”

Check out a recent radio interview with Technori Live:

http://wgnradio.com/2017/02/14/millennial-specialist-amelie-karam-understanding-the-millennial-mindset/

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