It's funny. I am preparing a web presentation for upperclassmen in college. It's a one-hour how-to on navigating the transition from campus to workforce. It includes everything from socialization for the role of employee or freelancer to the nuts and bolts of resumes and cover letters.
What dawned on me is this: There is a generational blurring. At one time, youth had more than a decade to develop into professionals. In the mid-1990s, I co-wrote a book on that "The Critical 14 Years of Your Professional Life." It's went from hardback to paperback to e-. So some of its content still holds.
What's no longer relevant is that youth is classified as a kind of protected category. Just like us seasoned professionals, Millennials and members of Generation Z are expected to produce from day-one. That means they better learn quick. My presentation covers that.
Likewise, we Baby Boomers have to produce from day-one on each new job or contract assignment. There is no longer the entitlement that used to go along with having built a brandname in our field. Each work situation has its own specific set of demands. And, just as youth, we better figure those out quickly.
It took a colleague 18 months to connect the dots on how he was supposed to manage the interview. His cover letter and resume got him that far. Until recently he made the mistake of sticking in the past, citing old accomplishments. Then he got it. He learned that he had to frame the interview as: Here is what I can do for you, from day-one. He is now the second in command in a real estate development boutique in Florida.
In all my marketing, ranging from the resume to the in-person pitch, my focus has become entirely on getting results for the prospect. Incidentally, it's all about the employer. It's nothing about us. In "Death of a Salesman," Willy Loman never recognized sales isn't a process of superimposing personality.