Dear Trusted Advisor
attended a workshop where you recommended the book, How
Not to Look Old, by stylist Charla Krupp. In it, she
says acrylic fingernails are a no-no, and I know you don't like
them either. What do you suggest for someone who has been wearing
them for fifteen years?
M. J., Tysons Corner, VA
happy you're taking Charla's advice (it's OK that you needed a
second opinion!). Seek out a manicurist who will help you transition
from false to naturally fabulous over the course of several weeks
by trimming away the acrylic as your new nails grow in, or by
removing the acrylics entirely and beginning the arduous (but
not impossible) process of rebuilding your natural nails. Short,
slightly squared natural nails are the way to go-and think of
all the money you'll save.
The New Professional's Guide to Success, a 90-minute
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Building for Professional Success (May 4-6, 2009). Early registrants
When top grads from our most elite universities received their
job offers, all was going as planned. Who could have predicted
that some of these same eager achievers would see their offers
for next year rescinded? Or that those just starting a career
in professional services would be sent packing before their third
grande macchiato grew cold? For the first time ever, new professionals
are seeing signs that it's not all sunshine and Skittles out there
on the mean streets of Manhattan, Boston or DC.
Under the title "Millennial Trophy Kids Meet the Cruel Adult
World," the Opinion section of The Wall Street Journal
recently printed a letter in response to the excerpt
from Ron Alsop's new book, "The Trophy Kids Grow Up." Francis
J. Vitale of Norwalk, Connecticut, beautifully expressed what
I know to be on many a manager's mind when he wrote:
"I am amazed that every article about this subject refuses even
to suggest that this trophy kid generation should somehow, even
minimally, work in concert with their co-workers of all ages and
generations to find solutions and move forward for the common
good. It's always the company or the people they work with that
have to adapt to them.
Grow up, get over yourselves and start working together."
With a tip of the hat to Mr. Vitale, here are five ways you can
work with your newest professionals so they understand that life
at your organization isn't all about them.
- Set your expectations. The more specific
the better for members of the Millennial generation, so make
it abundantly clear what you expect from them daily and weekly,
as well as what they need to have accomplished by year end.
Members of this group look for explicit rules, and without them,
make their own (ergo, wearing yoga pants and Ugg boots to the
- Make a list and check it twice. This generation
lives for all kinds of directives, from to-do lists, guidelines,
to show-and-tell. Let your new employees know what it will take
for them to be successful at your firm, and provide them with
training and professional development tools
specifically designed for this group.
- Follow through with consequences. If an
employee wears inappropriate clothing to work, he or she should
be sent home. If they fail to meet a deadline, fall asleep in
a meeting, or display unacceptable behavior at a firm event,
take action. This might include a come-to-Jesus meeting, memo
to the file, or a formal warning.
- Paint the big picture. New professionals
need to know where they fit in the grand scheme of things where
they work. Let them know that there is a hierarchy in place,
what it looks like, and what it will take for them to progress
up the ladder. You must also manage expectations conservatively career
development is not always an "if/then" proposition, so don't
make promises you can't keep.
- Stop being so fearful. My experience with
organizations bending over backwards to please this generational
cohort is that there is a lot of fear out there particularly
the fear that Millennials will leave if they're not happy. Here's
a flash: by all accounts, they're leaving anyway.
Without a doubt, the newest additions to your organizations are
bright and full of promise. But keep in mind that the tide has
turned it's now a buyer's market. It's neither useful nor appropriate
for you to perpetuate the myth that Millennials are the cat's
pajamas or the next thing you know, they'll be wearing them to
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the leading provider of soft skills training to professional services
firms, covering all areas of business communication.
Company, Inc. – Strategic Business Communication
P. O. Box 623, Boston, MA 02117
800-975-7031 ext. 701
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