Monday, June 27, 2016

How a 22-year-old Can Help Your Career

I'll admit I'm not 22 any more, but neither am I so old that I don't know about Yik Yak.

I get there are new ways of communicating every day, and I make it a point to try to understand how they fit into the lives of employees. But again, I'm not 22. So, the way I view Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Periscope may be different than the way a 22-year-old employee views them.

In a recent story, this idea of better understanding the "context" of how younger workers develop and use various media habits is explored. It is noted in the story that while many older employees are pretty tech savvy, they may lack the knowledge that comes from being young in a world where new apps are developed every day.

That's why it is so important that older employees spend time with younger workers, simply exchanging thoughts and ideas. It's not so much that older workers need mentoring, but that they need that fresh outlook that comes from younger workers. Specifically, while older workers may understand how to use apps like Snapchat, it isn't fully integrated into their lives as it is for younger generations.

Successful older workers understand how important it is to network in the business world. Not only can those contacts help you land a new job or a new client, they can help provide perspective and knowledge. Just because someone is 22 doesn't mean he or she can't be valuable to the career of a 45-year-old manager.

The next time you're looking to make a career investment -- a seminar, podcast or certification -- think about including time with the college intern or the 25-year-old who was just promoted to your department. By spending time with them and learning how they use technology and apps in their everyday lives, you'll gain context that can be invaluable.

At the same time, these younger workers can gain valuable knowledge and "context" from interaction with a more seasoned worker.

In business jargon, that's a win-win. What can be better than that?

1 comment:

John Miglautsch said...

I'm working with my 25 year-old son. First I had to show him that I had more than 10x the followers he had... and I could code html and php. Once we got past some of the hurdles, we've both learned a lot from each other.