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Seeking A Corporate Job? Advice For Gen Y

The average tenure for a Gen Y at any given job is less than 3 years. If you do the math, this means they will have 15-20 jobs in their working lifetime! The competition in corporate America can be tough, especially if Gen Y seems to constantly be seeking out new opportunities.

The average tenure for a Gen Y at any given job is less than 3 years. If you do the math, this means they will have 15-20 jobs in their working lifetime!

The competition in corporate America can be tough, especially if Gen Y seems to constantly be seeking out new opportunities.

Gen Y, listen up. If you’re looking for your next corporate job, I have a few words of wisdom for you.

Over the past 25 years, I have worked for large corporations, including The Coca-Cola Company and Kellogg’s. I know a thing or two about landing a corporate job. And it’s executives like me who are making the hiring decisions right now (that’d be your Gen Xers and Baby Boomers).

COMPETITION

Understand the landscape; know where to position yourself and who the key players are.

  1. Find your style – identify what is going to set you apart from the rest of the candidates.
  2. Capitalize on what is in your arsenal – identify your strengths and be prepared to give examples.
  3. Find some friends and practice – this is crucial. Before any phone interview, Web interview or face-to-face interview, you should practice with a live audience. If you don’t feel comfortable getting your friends involved then at least stand in front of a mirror and practice.

LASER-FOCUSED

I know this may be extremely difficult; however, envision where you want to be in 10 years! Then, focus on the companies and positions that will get you there. If you want to manage a billion dollar business for a Fortune 100 Company, then understand the skills you need to develop in order to achieve that goal. This will help you chart your course and identify the positions that you should seek in the corporate world. This will also help you answer the one question I guarantee you’ll be asked in your interview: “Why do you want this job?”

COMMUNICATE YOUR VALUE

During my career, I have been both a mentee and mentor. The best advice I can give is to know the difference between ego and confidence. Keep in mind, your generation (Gen Y) has been branded as the “trophy kids” and unfortunately there are preconceived notions that come along with this stereotype.

Understand what it is that executives might think about your generation and blow them away. Clearly communicate your value proposition and be ready to give 2-3 examples of how you were able to deliver on your promises.

After an interview, it is common practice for all of the interviewers to provide feedback to the human resources department or hiring managers on what they believe you will contribute to the organization and role. It is crucial for each and every panel member to align behind your value proposition and belief that you being a part of their team will create value. Make sure you communicate your value proposition with confidence not ego!

The success of your career in corporate America is linked to your effort and how much you are willing to fight for what you want. The old clichés “don’t burn any bridges” and “you never know who your boss will be,” are true.

Your generation may be known as the “hit-and-run” generation when it comes to careers; but if you leave too many fatalities along the way it will surely catch up to you.

Image courtesy of Joplin Job Center.

Elisa Webb Hill

Elisa is a workforce strategy and innovation expert. Prior to becoming a speaker and trainer, she held senior roles in such notable companies as Kellogg’s, Coca-Cola, and Federated Department Stores. She brings these executive management insights to her presentations, helping organizations navigate workforce shifts, engage young professionals, and implement future-focused talent strategies.

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