“My wife’s niece is 26 years old and is currently living with us while she tries to find a job.” A gentlemen shared his story with me following a presentation I recently delivered. With 30.3% of Millennials still living with their parents this is an all too common story. The below should give you a sound idea of how to get Millennials to move out of their parent's house...for good.
The gentleman didn’t seem to thrilled about having a Millennial living in his house but I could tell he was anxious to share with me how the story concluded. He continued...
“She has been living with us for a few weeks and I kept seeing her on the couch with her laptop and on her phone instead of out looking for a job. I finally decided to ask her if she was ‘open to some coaching,’ she squirmed at the question and ultimately said no.”
He shared with me that later that day he attended a networking event where he met someone with a job opportunity and landed an interview for his wife’s niece. Eventually that interview turned into a job and the Millennial niece now has plans to move out.
Wide-eyed, grinning, and slowly shaking his head up and down as he finished telling me his story, the gentlemen could not have been more pleased with his efforts in "showing Millennials how it’s done."
Part of my presentation that day was on the varying communication preferences of Millennials, and this gentlemen was telling me this story as an example of how face-to-face communications and networking are still relevant today.
Face-to-face communications and networking are still important today but there is another side of this story.
The coaching that the gentlemen was going to offer the Millennial niece was going to be about getting off the couch and offline and networking face-to-face with people.
The gentlemen was not going to coach her on how to…
- Create a LinkedIn profile in order to connect with the 380 million professionals on LinkedIn.
- Use keywords and hashtags to leverage the 974 million people on Twitter to uncover global opportunities.
- Crowdsource available job opportunities with her 1,000+ friends on Facebook.
- Break into an industry by launching a blog and writing targeted articles.
- Launch a podcast, interview thought leaders in a desired industry and learn from their experiences.
- Create a website that showcases her knowledge, passions, and expertise.
All of the above suggestions open someone up to countless and global opportunities, while a networking event only offers limited and localized opportunities.
A networking event is a one-time event. A strong online personal brand, however, will work 24/7 and can be continuously updated and leveraged for career longevity.
These days Google is often the first handshake. Building a digital personal brand and leveraging today’s hyper-connected online tools can exponentially grow the opportunities available to someone.
There is a large digital divide that still exists between generations. Take cyberbullying for example. Cyberbullying was uncharted territory for many parents. They never experienced such bullying themselves so the coaching they were able to offer their kids in this area was severely limited.
A digital divide existed between the gentlemen sharing his story with me and the Millennial niece. The gentleman had no experience building an online personal brand or digital networking and thus could not help her in that way.
If the gentlemen was truly going to help the Millennial niece, he would have given her the following advice…
- Reflect on 2-3 times in your past that you were affirmed for your talent.
- List 5 things that you are passionate about.
- Identify 3 industries that align with your identified talents and passions.
- Create a LinkedIn account that reflects these findings.
- Create a blog and write about your experiences, thoughts, opinions, etc. on the topic.
- Leverage your social networks and blog to connect with thought leaders and hiring managers.
A part of me was sad for the gentleman. He was beaming with pride that he was able to land a job for his wife's niece but I fear that he missed an opportunity to truly help her long term.
Landing a random and passionless job out of desperation is a sure way for a Millennial to find themselves back to square one and on their parents couch in 6 short months.
A personal brand is a vital investment that pays opportunity dividends in today’s digital age.
Brand, job hunt, and network like it’s 2015.
Question: What’s your best advice for Millennial job seekers?