Reaching the top of the corporate ladder, despite popular millennial belief, doesn’t happen overnight. Not in any career.
Robert Collier says it best... “Success is the sum of small efforts -- repeated day in and day out.”
Here’s a quick story of how I learned this at an early age.
I was 5 years old, right before Christmas. Mom and Dad told my two sisters and I we were going on a ski trip. Floridians have sand, not snow.
What an incredible experience to see snow for the first time -- quickly followed by crying in the bathroom as my dad ran cold water over my hands to combat (what I thought was sure to be deadly) frostbite.
The next day, my parents, who are awesome skiers, put me in my first ski class.
Needless to say, I was hooked… literally at that point.
Fast forward into my teenage years, I still didn’t use poles while skiing. Why you might be wondering? It’s simple… Dad wanted me to have an incredible foundation and know how to use my body and the edges of my skis before adding any additional elements to the sport.
Dad is a smart man (knowing my wild side) because when I continued to beg him to let me ski with poles one trip, something crazy happened… I jumped off a ski lift. It’s a good thing I didn’t have those poles to impale myself on.
Finally, one trip down the line, Dad said something I’ll never forget… “You’re ready.”
Now that I had a good foundation, I was finally ready to ski with poles and ready to hit some pretty gnarly black diamonds.
Lessons on the Corporate Ladder
Learning to ski taught me a tremendous amount about the corporate ladder and how, as a millennial, it’s not a straight shot to the top.
Growing up, I equated skiing with poles and going down double black diamonds as the epitome of a skier’s success.
The same is true as we begin our careers as millennials. We all-too-often have these preconceived notions that it’s going to be a fast track to the corner office and making six figures.
Boy was I wrong…
The road to success, unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg, is a process that takes time and patience. We forget that success is the sum of countless days hard at work.
Early on in my career, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by extremely successful mentors; men and women who already “made it” and had gone through the trials and tribulations of either owning a business or climbing the corporate ladder.
They were smart just like Dad.
They encouraged me and taught me to become an avid learner in life and business. They told me that, as talented as I or anyone else was, it would take time to grow into the businessman I wanted to become.
Mom always said patience was a virtue, and that couldn’t be truer for the modern day millennial marketer.
But enough fluff...
Let’s get to the crux of our topic, and discuss three key areas you must focus on as a millennial if you want to win in business.
I learned early on as a millennial marketer that sending an email or text isn’t enough. Nothing is more important than face-to-face interaction or even a phone call when you’re building relationships with people.
It’s easier to send these, yes, but you miss out on key emotional aspects of your relationship when you hide behind a screen. If you’re looking to build great relationships with peers, customers, mentors, prospects, or anyone for that matter… set time aside to ensure you get plenty of face-to-face time.
Whether it be through video chat or in-person, this will allow you to do a few key things:
- Practice your communication skills.
- Showcase your personal value proposition.
- Understand others through asking powerful questions.
- Build trust.
Outside of ensuring you allow time for face-to-face interaction, it’s critical to focus on building relationships with the right people.
Surround yourself with key players and a success mentor that will push you to your limits and help hold you accountable.
There’s a saying… “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Focusing on key relationships will get your further in your career.
2. Powerful Results
No matter where you are in your career, how much you make, what your title is, or who you work for… you must hyper-focus on generating powerful results.
It sounds like a given, but it’s easily forgotten. It’s especially easy to forget if you allow yourself to become comfortable in your position.
One of the most critical components for career growth is to generate awesome results, whether it’s for others, in a client or customer service position, or for your company.
You were hired for a reason. It’s a great goal to want to get your next advancement and a new title, but if you don’t generate results in your current position you lessen your chance of getting a promotion.
Apart from focusing on personal career growth, generating powerful results and doing the best job you can possibly do is, simply put… the right thing to do.
By focusing on generating results, it shows that you have integrity and are willing to work hard at the job at hand.
The third and very critical component to focus on in your millennial career is to be exceptionally dependable, something that too many people, especially millennials, forget to do.
Show up to meetings on time or early.
Send agendas to your team or customers ahead of time, not five minutes before a meeting.
At the end of the day… do what you say you’re going to do.
Lacking dependability with customers, your peers, or your boss is one of the quickest ways to lose trust.
If you focus on the task at hand, do it with excellence, and continue to show your dependability… you’ll have a much better chance of climbing the corporate ladder than others that are less dependable.
That’s why dependability is a core value here at IMPACT.
My biggest takeaway for any millennial marketer that wants to succeed faster in life and in business is to get a mentor. Surround yourself with extremely successful men and women who can give you insight into their own personal journeys and offer guidance on how to hit your goals.
The second key takeaway is to become an avid learner. Continuous learning will help you grow stronger, faster, and provide the tools you need to succeed.
One resource that changed my life was Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People.
This book transformed how I interact with others, view relationship building, and gave me the tools to succeed in life and in business.
Dale Carnegie says: “To be interesting, be interested” and I strongly believe that. Focusing on building amazing relationships, generating powerful results, and being exceptionally dependable will help catapult your career faster than you could ever imagine.
About Landon Calabello
Landon is a Strategist at IMPACT with over 10 years experience leading marketing strategies for SMBs to multi-billion dollar organizations. He’s worked with customers like The New York Times, Johnson & Johnson, and Hard Rock Hotels. Most importantly, Landon’s passion is to help others succeed, both professionally and personally. Outside of work, Landon is an avid golfer who enjoys spending time with his family.