The 4 Lessons I Learned From Job Searching During the Pandemic! #TheProjectTakeover

Hi everyone! I’m back! If you don’t know me, I’m Cameron (Tim’s middle son) and I have been featured several times on my Dad’s blog, podcast, and social media. Recently, I have been featured heavily on his social feeds and blog because I am doing what no one wants to be doing right now: searching for a job. I recently graduated from the University of Michigan into a horrible economy and job market. Just my luck! While this job search so far has been frustrating and agonizing (and is still ongoing), I have learned a few lessons that I hope might be helpful for anyone in the same position as me. 

1. It takes a village

In order to find a job, most times you will need some help. I have needed some form of help to get almost every job that I have ever had. During this period, I have reached out and asked for help from more people than I ever have before. Although I really don’t like to ask for help, I have received so many encouraging and positive messages from people that have been trying to aid my job search  in whatever way that they can. Thanks to my Dad, I have a plethora of HR pros to help me through this, but I have received help from so many of my friends, adults in my community, and random people who saw a post on social media and reached out to me. When I do find a job, I will have a village of people to thank when I’m on the other side. 

2. When you’re stuck, try something new

One of the first things that I started at the beginning of quarantine was learning how to podcast. I have been a huge fan of podcasts for years and I have always wanted to be a part of the production of one. My Dad asked me to help out with his podcast and now, I am a producer and editor of the HR Famous podcast. When I started, I had very minimal knowledge of audio editing and the production/distribution of podcasts, but I have been able to learn more and add a new skill to my resume. Not only has podcasting helped me feel productive during my job search, but it may potentially open up a new door for me in my job search. 

3. It is a full-time job to get a full-time job

I think anyone who has job searched before may already know this, but as a recent college grad, I had no idea how much time it would take to get a real job. I thought I would be able to spend a few hours a week applying to 5-10 jobs and that would be enough. Oh, how I was SO wrong.  After 6 months of being on the job search, I cannot even fathom the number of hours I have put into looking and applying for jobs, networking with people, and updating resumes, cover letters, and portfolios. Although it is extremely exhausting and at times debilitating, I am (kinda) grateful that I have had something to fill my quarantined days. 

4. Don’t be ashamed

I would say I am a pretty outgoing person and I am not too afraid to talk to new people, but it is scary reaching out to people who have no idea who you are and asking for help. I was very reluctant at first to reach out to strangers on social media or through email and try to make a connection, but I am so glad that I did. After doing this for several months, I am starting to see the beginning of the benefits of doing this. Some new opportunities are starting to open up and people have been reaching out to me about them. It is scary to put yourself out there in a vulnerable way to new people, but most likely they’re going to be nice and try to help.

All four of these lessons add up to one bigger lesson that is something I am still working on: you cannot tie your identity to the amount of rejection and failure you receive. It has been agonizing to see my friends start their jobs at incredible companies or get ready to head off to grad school, while I sit and wait for any company to email me for an interview request. However, I know that I did almost everything I could have done during college to aid me in this job search and the cards are just stacked against me right now. In the future, I will be grateful for all of this rejection because I will be better equipped to handle it then. It just feels pretty damn bad right now. But it will get better for me and for everyone. 

Cameron Sackett is a recent Communications and Marketing graduate from the University of Michigan with internships in social media and marketing at MTV/Viacom, Quicken Loans, Ann Arbor Film Festival, and Skill Scout.

If you think GenZs are Entitled Snowflakes, You’re an Idiot!

I made this joke on Twitter recently:

This has been a frustration of so many of my peers in Human Resources over the past couple of years. We have leaders, usually Gen X or Boomers, who think anyone younger than them are called “Millennials”. It’s uninformed at best, and just a bad look for leaders in our organizations.

The crazy part is it’s not just about getting the generational names correct, it’s also about how we tag a generation. I’m not a fan of “generational” training programs, but they are hugely popular. I get requests to come and talk about generational differences to organizations monthly, and I’ve never spoken about generational differences!

For some reason, we are fascinated by the concept of having multiple generations working together in the workplace. We want to know all the broad differences between the generations, knowing as soon as we throw out one of those stereotypes, we immediately look like idiots.

I’m particularly triggered by older leaders who feel Gen Z’s are just a bunch of kids you are entitled snowflakes on their phone all of the time. I’m this way because I have three Gen Z sons and see who they, and their friends, are becoming and in so many ways they will outshine my Gen X generation over the same period of time, by a mile!

CNN did an article highlighting four GenZs who are doing amazing things:

  • One is teaching swimming to people with disabilities.
  • One started a movement to cheer up kids going through difficult times.
  • One is helping Vets in need.
  • One is making and delivering “Blessing Bags” for the needy.

What all of these GenZ people have in common is what I see from my own GenZ connections. GenZ grew up during the Great Recession and saw what hard times do to people. In turn, that experienced shaped them into young people who want to help others, are willing to do the work to help others, and do it in a way that is modern and digital.

Yes, they are on their phones a lot. So, are we all. But, they use this digital world to do things a speed we could have never comprehended when we were their age. They are consuming information at a rate far exceeding every generation before them, which makes them better informed than most before them.

I wouldn’t call them entitled or snowflakes. They are not delicate or looking for a handout. They were raised in hard times and they are giving back as much as any before them. You might call me a fan of this generation. I have so much hope for what they will bring to the world. As a parent, I guess we probably all feel that way about our kids.

As we get ready to go into 2020, I would love to see all leaders embrace this growing younger workforce in a way that is positive and hopeful for the future. I think we are in good hands with GenZ!

Is There Really a Problem with the phrase – “Ok Boomer!”?

You’ve probably heard it by now, the phrase “Ok Boomer!” Which blew up (cool graph showing how fast here)recently when Chloe Swarbick, a 25-year-old MP and spokesperson for New Zeeland’s Green Party. She was speaking to New Zeeland’s Parliament about climate change when she got heckled by an older member. Her response is below in the video (it happens at- :31 on the video) –

So, let me start by saying Ageism is undoubtedly a very real and serious issue we are facing in workplaces! I’ve written many posts on Ageism in hiring and selection, and I’ve witnessed hiring managers, executives, TA pros, and HR pros who show their ageism bias time and time again at organizations large and small.

The only people we hate to hire more than fat people are old people!

So, on the outset, you would feel that this is just one more form of Ageism. It’s definitely a slam and derogatory towards older thinking for sure! “Ok Boomer” is the same thing as saying “Ok Kid” when someone younger says something you think is naive at best. Chloe is talking science and she’s passionate about the climate, and she knows she’s surrounded by older members who don’t have much care for this issue.

Also, let’s put into the context of how “we” (media, speakers, leaders, trainers, etc.) basically spent the better part of a decade talking down to Millennials for believing their snowflakes (another trigger word) and not having a clue about real life. Gen Z comes along and they are just getting thrown into the Millennials bucket by most folks that don’t have a clue these are actually two very separate generations.

So, Chloe and Gen Z are fed up! When we get fed up, when we feel like no one is listening to us, we usually react in frustration and most of us say stuff that we believe will get the attention of the audience that we want to listen. Many times what we say is offensive to some, like, “Ok Boomer!” Okay, you dumb old person who won’t listen to real science and facts and you keep pissing away the future because you’re almost dead and don’t care!

I’m not a fan of name-calling, on either side. I don’t like it when we try to throw an entire generation into a bucket, because the moment you do that you meet someone from that generation that believes in the exact same things you do, and might even be doing more to fight for those beliefs than you are. Chloe knows this, but she was in a passionate speech to save her planet and some stupid person decided to interject and interrupt her and she came after them in a brilliant way to shut them down immediately and return to her speech. Go for her!

If you’re going to play the game, you better come ready, because the person you try to embarrass might come back on you in a much better way! That “Boomer” wasn’t ready and like “the kids” like to say, he got “served”! Okay, the kids haven’t said that for about a decade, but I’m GenX I basically only use historical pop culture references.

Company Culture Across Generations

There’s been a lot – A LOT – of discussion in the past few years about all the different generations in the workplace, how dissimilar they are and the challenges and opportunities they create for work. To quickly recap, at present, we have five generations in the workplace, typically:

  • Silents: Born during and before World War II.
  • Baby Boomers: Born immediately after World War II up until about 1965.
  • Generation X: Born in the late 1960s (culture change, Vietnam, etc.) until about the early 1980s.
  • Millennials: There is some argument here over when this cohort begins, and sometimes 1977-1983 birthdays are called “Xillennials” (mix of “X” and millennial), but generally this is early- to mid-1980s up until the late 1990s.
  • Generation Z: 1998/1999 region until now-ish.

The exact years will vary a little bit based on which source you use, but these are the big buckets. The important thing to remember is that each of these cohorts is millions of people, so while there’s a tendency to generalize – and we will need to do some of that in this article – the fact is that some millennials are bad at technology, and some boomers embrace technology instantly (both examples going against perception of their cohort). So, above all: Treat individuals as individuals in order to get the best results work-wise.

All this said, we still wonder how the interplay of these five generations impacts company culture.

What might each generation want from the culture of an organization?

Think about it in these terms:

  • Silents: The ones that are still working have been working for a long time, and they’ve seen an almost uncountable number of changes to how we work. You could argue their biggest cultural focus would be one of respect and, at some level, not wholly disrupting their final work years.
  • Boomers: They are established in their careers and see the exit ramp. They do want a culture of respect for elders and one where learning can be passed down the chain to “young bucks.” We get very stereotypical around boomers and technology, but in general, if technology is going to improve the org and the business, boomers tend to be in favor of it.
  • Gen X: This is currently the generation doing a lot of managing and “making trains run,” although it’s possible we’re not promoting them enough in line with all the work they do. They want a supportive culture where process is followed so that work can be optimized.
  • Millennials: There are a lot of stereotypes and misconceptions about millennials in the workplace. For example, there’s a perception that they don’t work hard and yet consistently ask for promotions. In reality, because they’re less-established in their careers, they tend to be workaholics statistically. They want a culture of learning, and they do want to broadly disrupt how work is traditionally done. They want to see change when change is relevant.
  • Z: Zers entering the workforce now were in elementary and middle school during the 2008 recession, and they saw how it impacted their parents. They have a different connection to work, understanding that work doesn’t always provide in the way it claims. They want to see different approaches culturally, which means more flexibility for the employees. You could also classify them as a “side hustle” generation, not fully believing in one W-2 job for years and years.

How would this knowledge help you shape work?

There are a few different ways:

  • First, treat individuals as individuals. We mentioned this above, but just because someone is 28, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have a millennial mindset. Their mindset might be akin to a boomer. So, deal with people where they are.
  • Learning is paramount. With the possible exception of Silents, every generation wants to learn, especially because work is changing so quickly. Unfortunately, organizations haven’t been great at prioritizing learning over the years. Consider different modalities, like video learning, auditory learning (podcasts about your culture, interviews with executives, etc.), session learning (standard with slide decks) and experiential learning (seeing how trucks are unloaded at a warehouse). Make learning a priority because the need for it cuts across all generations culturally.
  • Mentors/training. Because you have two established generations, two younger generations, and one squarely in the middle, you should create opportunities for each to impart wisdom to another. Host Friday afternoon sessions about hobbies outside of work. Have millennials teach boomers about chatbots, and boomers teach Z about professionalism. Create a constant exchange of ideas between generations, and have the knowledge move in different directions.
  • Constant assessment. Ask every generation what they think about the work, the projects, processes and the overall culture. You don’t need to ask every day (overkill) but try to ask once a month to get a pulse for how your employees are feeling. Break that information down by age cohort to see which cohorts are feeling least-connected to the culture of your business. What could be done to get them re-engaged? You might have an abandoned cart strategy for your e-commerce side, right? Well, now we need an abandoned employee strategy. If Gen X is disconnected, is it time to promote them more, for example?

Overgeneralizing about the existing generations can lead to navel-gazing, and navel-gazing can lead to non-impactful decision-making. But if you prioritize learning and treat everyone as an individual while constantly assessing how people feel about working for you, you’ll put yourself on the path to designing a culture that works for everyone, regardless of age.

Other aspects of company culture

What each generation wants from their company differs, but every employee wants to work in a culture that is supportive and consistent. To learn more about how to promote an organizational culture that is positive and sustainable, check out King University’s guide What’s All the Buzz About? The Importance of Company Culture.

With all the benefits of great culture, it’s easy to see why focusing on it is a must, but it’s also a challenging task. It’s imperative that culture be sustainable and permeate throughout the entire workforce. Much thought is still being put into how to do that, and all companies must customize their approach.

You can learn the latest in this and other business topics by earning an online MBA through King University. Throughout the program, you’ll study management, research, theoretical systems, quantitative analysis, ethical practices and more, preparing you to become an effective and strategic

Career Confessions of Gen Z: “Greener Grass”

A criticism I often hear of my generation is that we don’t stay at a job or company as long as previous generations. I call it “grass is greener” thinking. It’s on my mind often, both because of the direct and indirect experiences in my own career. I wish I had a clearer position on it, but I don’t. I’m still figuring it out and thought it might help to throw some stuff down on paper.

As with everything in our lives, we have tremendous visibility to new opportunities more than ever before. I receive daily updates of not only the new opportunities at new companies available to me but the potential earning power I might have at those opportunities. I don’t think this is a bad thing, but how will it continue to shape the way we, as Gen Z, view, interact, and ultimately move between opportunities? Furthermore, what are the positive and negatives to “grass is greener” thinking?

In my opinion, this type of thinking is ever-present early in one’s career, and it’s arguably the most important time to act, or not act, on the thought. The majority of us switch jobs at an incredible pace, and we all have our own justifications for doing so. We sometimes get frustrated at work when the fruits of our labor do not appear to pay off the way we think they should, which can lead to feeling undervalued or simply stuck. As those feelings well up inside of us, we begin to take advantage of resources that show us where the grass could be greener. Rightly so, but are we truly helping ourselves and those around us by looking at new opportunities outside of our current company?

Fully exploring and vetting a new opportunity is a TON of work. It’s not difficult to submit applications via LinkedIn, and many companies make it simple to apply to a few different positions at once. This isn’t what I am talking about. I mean actually taking the time to research the company and opportunity requires a lot of time and attention. Not simply for what both are, but also for how they align with your own goals and mission statement. Should you be fortunate enough to move through the interview process, another set of commitments begins. You may need to spend a few additional hours per week prepping, in addition to the hours you will spend interviewing. After all of this, there is still your current role. One of these opportunities will be sacrificed. If you’re thinking you can handle both, stop. Maybe you’ll get close, but one of your opportunities will take a backseat.

I think that there are serious pitfalls to juggling new opportunity exploration and current role responsibilities. What might you miss out on in your current role? You might be getting by day-to-day, but just getting by isn’t going to lead you to a promotion. Just the same, are you giving your all to exploring the new opportunity? I’d argue that people can certainly move through an interview process and successfully get the job without doing an appropriate amount of opportunity vetting. Simply put, the grass seems green, so they graze. However, after a few months, they realize that the grass isn’t greener and so begins the process of looking for something new all over again. Nobody wins in this scenario; the company is out the investment they put into the new team member, and the person has taken a few steps back, both professionally and personally.

I recently read “The Servant” by James C. Hunter, and it led me to contemplate how leadership intersects with grass is greener thinking. One of my key takeaways of the book is that leadership opportunities present themselves on a daily basis. It really doesn’t matter the position we have or where we are at in life. So, the question is, as we look for greener grass, are we being the best leader we can be? I truly am not criticizing because I don’t have the answer, but I think it’s worth pondering. If we slack a little in our current role, however minimal because we are looking for the next big thing (for ourselves), are we being a good leader? Or, if we happen to obtain that new opportunity, but ultimately find ourselves unhappy because the grass isn’t as green as we thought, are we being a good leader?

Don’t get me wrong:  As much as this sounds like a criticism of Gen Z’s insatiable desire for the next great opportunity, it isn’t. I graduated from college 6 years ago. I’ve worked at 3 different companies for an average of 2 years. Truthfully, I didn’t expect to move this much, and the jury is out on whether or not I think I’ve made the right decisions. I’ve seen a lot of positives in my moves, but I can’t overlook some of the negative impacts they have had on my career development either. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I currently work in talent engagement. The grass is greener thinking keeps me in business. However, I urge you to really think about your career. Do you want to build a portfolio of experience, or is grinding in your current role perhaps better for the long-term? I don’t know, but you will.

All of this said, at the end of the day, sometimes you need to find greener grass 🙂

What are your thoughts?


Quintin Meek a talent consultant at Pillar Technology (part of Accenture Industry X.0). Also an active member of Detroit’s startup and tech community. Every day is something new and challenging, and I am learning more than ever before. I’m finding that I’ve become a lifelong student, and I’m excited to see how that continues to shape the road ahead.

Career Confessions of Gen Z: Intent, Purpose, and Focus

Last week, I wrote about the benefits of being connected to work. Not only the flexibility that can come from it, but the true edge it gives us to move throughout our day in the most productive way possible. Despite this, I didn’t mention much about the dark side. We lead these connected lives on an extremely slippery slope. If you didn’t read my last post, I promise this can be read as a standalone.

How do we ensure our connected lives don’t get the best of us? Be intentful. Be purposeful. Approach everything with a results-oriented focus.

I find these few words of advice are so difficult to follow. Each day, just when our minds begin to turn off, that familiar temptation takes over – to take a peek at what was left behind after a long day, to check in for just a minute. While that little peek always feels harmless, it sometimes leads us to see that colleagues are still working…er…maybe just looking busy. It makes us question whether or not we should be doing the same, or if we simply aren’t doing enough. Sometimes it feels like everything to us, when it may be nothing at all.

I’ve fallen victim to this before. At times, it has hurt my career and personal life, but just the same, there have been times some level of advancement can be attributed to it. All in all, I enjoy being connected to work, but it’s something that our generation would be wise to keep in check. It isn’t a danger only for millennial generations, but I think the temptation of connected busyness is stronger for those in the first 5-10 years of their career. The desire to impress is ever present and showing effort by staying connected feels like a key part of that. The lines become blurred so quickly, however, that it may take years to recover – if we ever will. Showing our consistent connectability to a job can become an obsession.

While it feels different, showing our connectability isn’t limited to work. You know the word, FOMO. It’s really the same thing in our personal lives. What a travesty it is for us to miss out on something in our personal network. When you really think about it, after work and play, there’s not much left. It becomes difficult to find the peace that we need to re-energize. Don’t get me wrong, the benefits of advancements we’ve made to live in this connected world are tremendous. Lives are consistently positively affected by these advancements. However, we shouldn’t overlook the unintended consequences.

In pondering all of this, I think we can take plenty of different actions to recover. As big business never fails to show us, mindfulness is now a foundational key to reducing stress in a connected life. That said, the ways in which we direct that mindfulness is extremely important. I really think it circles back to having intent, purpose, and a focused approach. Having intent and purpose in all that we do can help “weed” out some of the unnecessary tasks that tempt us to stay connected at all hours. Focusing on results can guide our thinking and eliminate the poorly directed focus on short term gain that may result from unnecessary tasks. By combining these three principles, we can stay on track and hopefully curb the busyness of our lives, without sacrificing personal and professional advancement.

 


Quintin Meek a talent consultant at Pillar Technology (part of Accenture Industry X.0). Also an active member of Detroit’s startup and tech community. Every day is something new and challenging, and I am learning more than ever before. I’m finding that I’ve become a lifelong student, and I’m excited to see how that continues to shape the road ahead.

Career Confessions of Gen Z – Every Day Is the Weekend

Over the past couple of years, I’ve observed a number of situations where past generations viewed the working habits of current generations (Gen Y and Z) with a level of angst, dare I say spite, specifically when considering “hours spent in the office”. This isn’t new, in fact there is almost a comedic undertone to the inherent daily misunderstandings resulting from the coexistence of Baby Boomers, Gen X, Y, and Z all working together in the same place.

I feel this specific case boils down to a noticeable disconnect in how Gen Z and many millennial’s “work for the weekend” compared to the generations that have preceded them.

To Baby Boomers and Gen X (probably some of you in Gen Y too) — there was a time when 9am – 5pm mattered. Coming in early and working late certainly got you further ahead than punching a time clock piously, but a standardization of the work day mattered. There was a time when clocking out at 5pm meant that you were unplugged. Each day was one day closer to Friday night and a few days of mostly uninterrupted freedom.

Then email arrived and cell phones became more prominent… you can see where this is going.

It’s not that a standardized work day doesn’t matter now, it just matters less. It matters less because the weekend matters less. It matters less because time has changed. Information is processed and transmitted quicker, tasks get accomplished quicker, conversations are completed through different mediums, and being present can get you further.

Check this out:

I can wake up and have a quick discussion at 7am with a colleague via text, phone, slack, or a number of other platforms. Then, I can work out, take some spiritual time, eat breakfast, and be ready to go for my 9am (did I mention that I used a 7 minute workout app?).

I can be present in meetings and play catch up all morning while also quickly staying on top of my social feeds. I go out for lunch around noon simply because I have the time to do so. I jump back in around 1pm, catch up on more tasks and handle my meetings until around 4pm.

Feeling tired, I swing through a coffee shop. I decide to read a few books for the next hour or so.

I swing home to take care of my dog and while he’s eating I realize it’s probably a good time to eat my dinner too. I’m done with dinner around 7pm. For the next hour or so I catch up on a few outstanding work items, of which I’m not the least bit concerned on timeline because I forgot to mention, I was keeping tabs and taking care of “quick hit” items from my phone while reading at the coffee shop.

From 8pm – 10pm I exclusively work on my stuff. I’ve been getting into real estate investment on the side, so I need to plan out some next steps. I lazily watch TV until around 11pm and go to sleep. I wake up around 6:30am the next day to do something similar. I get 7 hours of sleep (variably), and I am getting just as much, arguably more, completed as the 9-5er.

This is a huge reality now.

Obviously not everyone’s day is like this. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that many of my current teammates, all of us which are in a rather progressive company, don’t necessarily have the freedom to be remote. It’s all in perspective, but adjustments can be made.

I feel that days like this are perpetuated by my generation’s ability to multitask and briskly cross back and forth on the line of personal and work time, not only as a result of technology, but an increased exposure and utilization of that technology.

I’m not damning the office environment and saying a total remote workforce is the future, but flexibility is, and it’s destroying 9am – 5pm.

It also isn’t completely accurate to say that the concept of the 9-5 work week and the weekend doesn’t matter at all. But now, there are so many ways to productively enjoy each day as much as professionals enjoy the weekend. Ultimately, we can plug in and answer a few emails on the weekend, but we can also take a few extra hours here and there during the 9-5 while also remaining plugged in.

Monday, Tuesday, Saturday… they’re all just another day.


Quintin Meek a talent consultant at Pillar Technology (part of Accenture Industry X.0). Also an active member of Detroit’s startup and tech community. Every day is something new and challenging, and I am learning more than ever before. I’m finding that I’ve become a lifelong student, and I’m excited to see how that continues to shape the road ahead.

 

 

 

Career Confessions of Gen Z: Are We Too Busy For Fun?

A few weeks back I came across a video of a guy that put a giant ball pit downtown New York City to see if people were too busy to have fun. On that same day, I had a conversation with my fiance about how I always have a million things on my mind at once. None of which are ever fun things. It’s more like a chore list that constantly runs through my mind.

To say the least, I am constantly stressed and feel like I am moving a million miles an hour without time to breathe. What stresses me out the most, is that I don’t have time for me. I don’t have time for fun. And I’m only 22! Is this how the rest of my adult life is supposed be?

My fiance asked me what things I want to do aside from completing things on my chore list. What do I want to do for me?

It made me think. There are a lot of things that I would love to do. I can’t remember the last time I did something for myself or even spent decent quality time with my family.

And why?

Because I am always to “busy”. Busy prioritizing the needs of everyone and everything except for myself. It brought me to question why we as humans get so caught up in all of these other things and forget about ourselves. Do we really not have five minutes out of our day for ourselves? Five minutes for fun?

I’m sure that I am not the first person to ever get caught up trying to keep up with the speed of life and as a result let my own enjoyment fall off the wagon.

The question is, how can we bring that enjoyment, the fun, back into our lives?

It’s really up to us to prioritize it. We are responsible for our lives and how we run them. For people like myself, we need to start saying no to things that can wait and start putting fun first. We need to say, “yes,” to that vacation we so badly need. “Yes” to drinks after work. “Yes” to catching up with friends. Work and house chores will still be there tomorrow.

I am not saying throw all of our responsibilities out the window and run wild. I just mean we need to do something for our own enjoyment every once and a while.

It’s also up to employers to encourage their employees to unplug and have a healthy life outside of work. Below 10 things that employers can do to help employees prioritize themselves without feeling major guilt.

  1. Don’t allow employees to have their work email on their phones.
  2. Don’t call employees or expect them to respond to emails after hours or on their days off.
  3. Require that employees leave the office for at least half of their lunch hour.
  4. Offer work from home days.
  5. Offer flexible work hours.
  6. Make the workday shorter by a half an hour.
  7. Don’t require employees to take PTO for appointments.
  8. Have fun at work. Throw office potlucks, cookouts, or go for a group walk.
  9. Have team outings.
  10. Don’t let that ping pong table in the office get dusty. Encourage employees to take at least 10 minutes out of their day to play a game and give their brain a break to recharge.

Ask yourself, are you too busy to have fun? If the answer is yes, it may be time to re-think your priorities.


Hallie Priest is a digital marketer for HRU Technical Resources, a leading engineering and IT staffing firm based in Lansing, MI, using her skills to create content to serve all involved in the job seeking/hiring process. When she is not strategizing campaigns, going over analytics, or talking about her dog you can find her at the nearest coffee shop fueling her creativity. Connect with her on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/halliepriest

Career Confessions of Gen Z: An Interview with Johnny Campbell of Social Talent

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak with, and conduct a short interview with, the CEO and Co-Founder of SocialTalent, Johnny Campbell. SocialTalent is an online training platform where recruiters, sourcers, and recruitment marketers alike can become true business partners by way of bite-sized videos.

I’m a daily-user and huge advocate of SocialTalent, so I reached out to Johnny the second I found out that he was a featured speaker at SHRM Talent this year. I got to watch his presentation twice, and both times, I looked around the room as people scrambled to record every word and capture every slide he presented.

This was initially going to be Q&A type of interview and as time went on, I realized I just wanted to hear what he wanted to share with me, about anything. I left the conversation with both a profound sense of inspiration, along with a better understanding of my own mind.

(Answers are paraphrased but reflect exact responses. Direct quotes will be in quotations.)

1. How did SocialTalent come about?

Answer: SocialTalent was made by design but became by accident. Believe it or not, it started as a hedge. About a year in, we were doing things differently and we knew it was effective. It was just a matter of time ‘til everyone started doing it. We were amongst the first in the space and we were faced with the question, “Is this actually scalable, or do we teach people how to do it?”. SocialTalent would give in-person presentations and at a conference someone said it should be digital.

2. How do you partner with the best of the best for SocialTalent content?

Answer: I’ve always had a knack for patterns. I was figuring all of this out and felt the need to share, so I started blogging. I had eyes on my content early on, which led to meeting with guys like Dean Da Costa, Bill Boorman, and others. We have a sort of “Spotify-model”, in that we have the space for the most knowledgeable people in our space to share their ideas digitally. So there are royalties that come with that – it works great.

3. How do you decide what’s important? And how do you stay on top of producing new and relevant content?

Answer: We test EVERYTHING. We also ask our customers for suggestion on what our platform is missing. We do mapping exercises that layout everything about the recruiting process and then decide how we can make an impact in each of those steps.

4. How do you show the impact of sourcing matter to a very traditional recruiting team?

Answer: The reality is, leadership doesn’t care about the technical work you can do as a sourcer – despite how impressive it really is. It all boils down to the unexpected insights and presentation of your data. How can you present your data to make it matter to leadership, a hiring manager, recruitment marketers, etc? Don’t share the process, share the answers.

5. (BONUS) Does Bill Boorman really always wear a hat?

 

Answer: I have not seen Bill without a hat in 9 years – at conferences, meetings, everywhere. He has an array of them too!

Although the purpose of this interview was to learn more about the coming of SocialTalent, we were able to have a casual conversation. The highlight of the conversation you may ask? It was when Johnny, mid-sentence, said the following:

“You’ve got the best name in the world for a sourcer… like the best [expletive] name!”

It’s safe to say I’ll be keeping my eye out for the next moves from Mr. Campbell and the SocialTalent team. For those who have yet to check out SocialTalent for yourself or your teams, you oughta hop on the platform, or else you’re missing out!


Hunter Casperson — Self-proclaimed “Sourcing Nerd” — Is from Southern California, where he spent lots of time outdoors and in turn, loves nature. Hunter attended UC Berkeley where he studied Math & Psychology for three years before joining Quicken. His all-time favorite thing to do is beat-box, where he has consecutively ranked amongst the Top 10 in the United States over the past 3 years (under the name Huntybeats)!

Career Confessions from Gen Z: Welcome to the Workforce!

Within the next month, several college students will be graduating and entering the workforce. This post is targeted towards you.

First of all, if you’re about to graduate and haven’t found a job yet, don’t freak out. It’s hard to land a full-time position before you graduate. Many businesses are looking to get employees in right away and may be turned off by the fact that you can’t start until after graduation. If you find a good company and they really want you, they will hold the job for you.

Landing your first full-time position after graduation is also difficult because you don’t have much experience yet. However, you are graduating at a great time. The economy is good, and companies are short on employees.

Secondly, working a full-time job is so much different than college. You’ve been in school for at least the last 15 years, but sitting at a desk for eight plus hours a day is very different.

While you were in school you sat in class most of the day and then came home to do homework at night. When you start out in an entry-level job, you will probably not have to bring work home every night or on the weekends. Sure, this may happen occasionally, but it won’t be as constant as homework was in school.

With this being said, you will probably have more free time in the evenings, but being at work all day is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting so you may not be up for doing much with your additional free time.

I consider myself an extrovert, but by the end of the day I don’t want to interact with people anymore because that is what I spent the last eight hours doing.  When you are at work you have to constantly be “on” because the phone will ring, or someone could walk into your office at any point and you need to be prepared.

While in school you were also always surrounded by people your age.  This is not the case when you first enter the workforce. Since our generation is just entering the workforce, finding coworkers our age is few and far between.

All of my coworkers are married and have kids, but I’ve gotten used to hearing stories about their kids and enjoy it. Having friends at work is great, but it’s also important to have friends outside of work too in order to separate yourself from work sometimes.

For those of you about to graduate from college, congratulations!  Welcome to the real world. It is time to start “adulting!”


Mallory Armbrustmacher graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2017 with a BA in Human Resource Management. She is an HR Generalist with the State of Michigan, Talent and Economic Development Department Human Resource Office, where she coordinates ADA Reasonable Accommodations and Ergonomic Assessments. In addition, she takes the lead on various special projects, conducts new employee orientations, processes payroll, and assists in labor relations, classifications, and selection. She is currently studying for the SHRM-CP exam, but also loves spending time with her family and friends, playing games, and cooking.