If I were 45 years old, running a thriving advertising agency and looking to retain young talent, this would be the first conversation I would have with my new 23-year-old hire —
Dan, I am beyond excited that you are part of the team and I look forward to watching you grow during your time here.
I apologize if this sounds blunt, but chances are, you will not be here for the next 5 years… and there is a possibility you won’t be here for the next 3 years.
Very rarely do I ever see young men and women right out of college stick with their first job.
With that said, I have two questions for you:
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years? And don’t give me the bullshit rehearsed answer that landed you this job.
- What are the skills you will need to develop to get there?
I am going to do everything under my power to help you get to where you are wanting to go and to help you develop those skills.
Now that we have gotten that sorted out, here is what I expect of you during your time here:
- Complete Transparency — if you are looking for another job somewhere else, let me know, I will write a recommendation letter. If you feel frustrated or discouraged, tell me, I will take you out to coffee and we can figure it out.
- Leave My Agency Better Than You Found It — if and when you decide to leave this place, I want you to be able to look me in the eyes and honestly say, ‘I left this place better than I found it.’ If you can do that, you will have me in your corner for the rest of your career, no matter where you end up.
Employers Need to Remember…
- Young People are Not Going Anywhere
If you are the employer that wants to complain about generation-y and how they are lazy and entitled, go ahead and be that person… but, they aren’t going anywhere.
Seriously, it’s like complaining to the umpire for calling a strike. You can throw a fit, stomp your foot and scream but never in the history of baseball has an umpire changed his call.
2. You Were Much Different at 23 Than You Are at 45
Chances are, at 23, you were confused and searching for meaning. You were trying to answer a big question — what is my purpose?
Instead of ridiculing young people for being young, set your ego aside and think about ways you can help them figure this crazy thing called life out. What you will find is that they will give you back 3x what you give to them.
By Cole Schafer
Cole is the copy chief at Honey Copy, where he helps startups make more money through emails and landing pages that read like poetry and sell like Ogilvy. When he isn’t slinging copy, he is right here on Medium sharing ideas about life, business and marketing. Or riding alpacas.