• Millennials … a key part of our future

    In 2015 the millennial generation surpassed the number of all other generations in the workforce.  In addition, in the United States alone, millennials have $1.3 trillion in annual buying power.  So without a doubt, millennials are important to consider when you are marketing your brand or attempting to attract them to your organization or to our industry.

    Here are a few key points when marketing to millennials:

    1. Segmentation – proper audience segmentation allows you to deliver your message where it matters most. Never think the millennial market can be segmented by age alone. After all, even the age bracket for millennials is debatable. Finding the ideal audience requires being very specific.

    2. Make it relevant – your content must be relevant to at least three factors: age, location and cultural interests. Drive your message around what is important to your organization and the type of millennial you want to work for you. Millennials also tend to make decisions based on data, so make sure that you are quantifying your value in a relevant way.

    3. Rock their emotions – millennials are emotional. If you can rock their emotions, they will feel obligated to share it, embrace it and want to be a part of it. Generate ideas about happiness, excitement, affections, hope, anticipation and more.

    4. Mind your length – millennials are not only exposed to several options, oftentimes, they are also incredibly impatient. They lose interest quickly. So if you want to grab their attention, say it quick and say it well.

    5. Don’t underestimate videos or going social – today’s generation is highly visual. A study by the NY Times reports that 34% of millennials watch more videos online than TV. Fifty percent also watch a video at least once a day. Social media is the top activity of a millennial. Use all the social tools to attract their attention.

    Millennials don’t remember a world where the Internet wasn’t around. Social medial, blogs, websites, apps and online reviews are their primary source for making a decision. For digital marketing efforts to be successful, we have to create a marketing effort that strikes a chord with millenials.

    Lady Lawyer, Can You Soar in a Man’s World?

    I recently spent a weekend by the beach with some friends, absorbing the sunshine and enjoying the beginning of summer.  A friend of mine invited one of his friends, who happens to be a ninth-year associate at a law firm.  We chatted a great deal over the weekend, and one thing was prevalent in her words: she is unhappy being a lawyer, as she believes it is a man’s world, and she’s having a hard time soaring.

    It made me start thinking: is it really a man’s world, and is it really difficult for women to be successful in this world?  Oh.  Perhaps it is.

    Let’s take a look at the big picture.  While more and more law school graduates are women, according to statistics provided by the American Bar Association’s Market Research Department, women in the law profession show that women account for only 36% of the profession.  There are many theories about why this is the case.  Do women, after graduating, simply decide not to practice?  Do they leave the profession after only a short period of time after realizing it’s not for them?  Or is their growth being stifled, causing them to seek other career paths?  I’m sure all of the different theories have some degree of validity, but let’s take a look at what women can do to shine in the profession, the things that I’ve done, and the things that I’ve been encouraged to do by my mentor, who happens to be a man in the legal profession.

    While every woman’s personality is different, they are generally more timid than their male counterparts, a weight that sags their wings.  While it may be easier said than done, women need to break out of their shells and prove their worth.  Take baby steps.  One at a time.  And be persistent.  Here are some things for a woman to keep in mind as she attempts to grow her wings.

    Give these a try, and you’ll notice changes.  And if you don’t, then maybe you’re just working for the wrong person, and it’s time to move on…

    Why Having a Sponsor is Integral to Career Growth

    Everyone looks for a mentor, but what you don’t know is that having an internal sponsor as well is a very important key to having a prosperous career. Whether you’re in an entry-level role or a higher position, a great combination of both mentors and sponsors positions you for career growth and success.

    Who is a sponsor?              

    While a mentor is usually someone you turn to for career advice, a sponsor is a person within the company that promotes your work internally and always has your back. Usually, sponsors are co-workers at any level that appreciate and promote you and your work. Your sponsor is someone who finds every opportunity to share examples of the great work you’ve done and promotes you within the organization. They believe in you, and because of that, they’re willing and ready to help advance your career.

    How can you get a sponsor?

    Sponsors often select you! Sponsorships are formed by working with others and having positive relationships, they aren’t usually pre-arranged. Sponsorship is a practice, and sometimes people don’t even know they are a sponsor, even though they are acting as one. You can — and should — have more than one person within the organization as your sponsor, so it’s important to meet and build positive relationships with as many people within the company as possible.

    Building these relationships should be a priority.  In my experience as both a sponsor and someone who  has been sponsored throughout my career, I’ve found that the best way for someone to find a sponsor is to consistently deliver results and collaborate with all levels of the organization. It’s important to work with people outside of management. By volunteering to be on strategic projects and taking on stretch assignments, it helps you to build meaningful relationships with key stakeholders in the business. 

    So, why do you need a sponsor?

    1. They promote you to others with in the company

    A sponsor is your biggest promoter. Often, a sponsor will be someone who has influence in company decisions, so it’s great to have someone on your side who is always putting in a good word for you.

    2. They defend you if negative comments arise

    Say you didn’t do so great on a project, and now, a group of your colleagues are talking about it. If you have a sponsor who is in that conversation, they will stand up for you. Negative comments can spread fast and harm your career, so it’s helpful to have someone who can stop them before they start.

    3. Sponsors give helpful feedback

    Advice from your sponsor can be extremely valuable. They are your go-to source within the company for key information, like unwritten rules, corporate history and culture. They also will offer advice on appearance and executive presence. Having someone willing to offer you candid feedback will help you continue on the right career path.

    4. They always want you on the team

    Having a sponsor is a great way to get to work on important projects. A sponsor will bring up your name when a team is being created since they believe in your work and always think you’ll be a great asset.

    5. A sponsor helps you grow your career

    Most likely, your sponsor will have credibility, influence and hiring authority at upper levels within the company. When it comes time for promotions and raises, your sponsor will advocate for you and the work you’ve done. Having someone at that level who truly believes in you will open up many doors for career growth and opportunities.

    For me, sponsorships have played a major part in my career. My best sponsor was a senior leader when I was a new manager. When he first joined the business from a competitor, and shared his strategy and plans for the company, I could tell right away that we shared values. From that point on, I would engage him in casual conversation about the business and my career.  Whenever I was in meetings with him and the rest of the leadership team, I would make sure I delivered the results and was always collaborative in my approach.  As my career grew, he became my mentor and internal sponsor.  I know that I was able to grow to a leadership position in a company with over 150,000 employees because he was mentoring and sponsoring my career growth.