I have a new client who inspires me. Michael is one of those twenty-somethings aka “Millennials” whom I wrote about earlier this year. He is a member of that most documented, photographed, bubble-wrapped, awarded and applauded of generations. (So far, that is.)
Here’s why Michael inspires me: Through his first seven years out of college, he has worked very hard and learned about money and business and relationships and himself. But every morning he goes to a cubicle inside of a traditional command-and-control company. Because he can’t imagine four more decades of work in this environment, he calls me and we hold a strategy session. I begin to ask him “5 Big Questions”:
1. What do you want more of?
2. What do you want to offer customers and colleagues?
3. How do you like to work?
4. How do you want to be compensated?
5. Who’s in your corner?
And Michael answers like a Millennial “Everyman”: He tells me, “I want more complexity and opportunity to learn. I want to become expert and to be able to communicate my ideas well. I want to work with an energetic and respectful team. I want variety and I want acknowledgment that is specific and earned.” (Like most Millennials, Michael has figured out the “show-up-and-get-a-trophy” scam).
I pay special attention to the way Michael answers Question #5. According to Forbes last month, “More than twice as many Boomers than Millennials are doing any sort of offline (read: real world) networking to find employment.” They may have a thousand friends on Facebook and be more than a little isolated and socially unsure.
Every time a new client like Michael contacts me, I start with a free strategy session. Together we explore questions like these, and we find out if now is the time to dive into them. Give me a call if you think you’re ready for some big questions–and some significant next steps. Especially if you’re a thoughtful Millennial like Michael. I have a soft spot for you.
(And if you’re Michael’s boss, call me.)