Much has been said about millennials and what they want from their personal and professional lives. If popular notion is anything to go buy, it seems that they want travel, technology, and bean bags. We decided to find out what it is they really seek in their professional lives – and in the process dispel some rumors – and draw a comparison between what their more senior counterparts seek as well. Turns out, their aspirations are not always quite so different.
As part of the series, we interviewed a millennial and non-millennial from several leading agencies in the region. This article features:
The millennial: Stephanie Franczak (21), account manager, Xaxis MENA/Group M
The non-millennial: Michael Messerschmidt (40), digital director MENA and sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), Group M
Most important factors in a job:
Best way for a company to retain you:
I need to have a genuine passion for the products I am suggesting to my clients. If I feel halfheartedly about whether the company’s offering will fulfill the brief, I will move on. Also, recognition where due for my time and work is an important element.
Besides getting the hygiene factors right, such as salary, equipment, etc, providing an active role to shape the future of the company and create new ways to operate business.
Your driving force in this job:
My driving force is building a career that I am passionate and driven by without attending university first. Back in the UK, there was a lot of pressure to rush into studying for a degree with little focus on how it would lead you into the professional environment. Instead, I wanted to study on the job. I continued my education through an apprenticeship in digital marketing that threw me straight into the working environment and from the start I’ve had a drive to excel in digital advertising. My current job has given me access to consistent, varied training opportunities, mentoring through my seniors and the opportunity to relocate to a new continent, so I’m certainly set!
I am exploring the digital business since 17 years now and it still gets me excited how fast our business is changing and how the digital industry has changed communication and advertising in particular. I am an explorer and I like to apply what I know but also learn every day what can be done better. This job gives me the perfect opportunity to do so.
Expected frequency of appraisals:
In line with my previous mention of recognition being important in retaining me as an employee, I would expect this to occur on a yearly basis.
In senior roles, promotions become fewer, obviously, but of course, I am ambitious to move further. Like I switched into my current role, I am open to explore opportunities in the company around the globe.
Short term: More client-facing interaction.
Long term: It will be focused on which area of the market I want to move into in the next few years, whether it is more product or creative orientated.
Short term: A positive contribution to GroupM’s digital development in the region and fulfill the expectations that come with my role.
Long term: Having an even stronger involvement in our global development.
Having a good work-life balance is paramount to your sanity! I’m not religious about checking emails over the weekend, as I believe you need at least a day or two where you can completely switch off. I like to go into the new week with a fresh head.
Work life balance is important, but, at least for me, it doesn’t mean having to choose one or the other. I don’t work if I have leisure time but I do read mails over the weekend and partially, even on holidays. Why? The people I work with might be very impatient.
What would motivate you to switch jobs:
I was recently given the exciting opportunity to relocate from London to Dubai, which I would cite as a big motivator for making the switch. Aside from relocation, I would be motivated to move on if it meant progressing my career on from a role where I was plateauing in my personal development.
Nothing at the moment, but generally, it would be more involvement of myself and my ideas into the development of the company.
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