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: Layan El Hafi (27), account director
The non-millennial: Sasan Saeidi, managing director – group
Most important factors in a job:
- How employees are treated. There needs to be respect and trust as that is the foundation of any relationship, even a professional one
- Appreciation/recognition for my hard work and dedication
- A comfortable and fun environment for me to be myself
Best way for a company to retain you:
Show support, have a growth plan and always be transparent
Show me trust, promote a culture of meritocracy, and inject into people’s KPIs a clear entrepreneurship mandate.
Your driving force in this job:
I always wanted to be in advertising since I was a teenager and I’m really interested in consumer behavior so it pushed me to get into this field. How to speak to different consumers while still staying true to a brand’s personality is a daily challenge. It is a bit chaotic, but I personally love chaos 🙂
Passion for creating ideas. I work in the greatest industry in the world: the ideas industry. What a feeling to be surrounded by a bunch of people that come to work everyday with a mission to create “stuff” and “ideas” that change the world we live in.
Expected frequency of appraisals:
Every two years maximum.
It’s a question that needs no timing. Promotions are based on KPIs and how well you perform and achieve. We can’t set timings for this. Just because you spend five years in an ad agency, doesn’t mean you need to become an account director. You become an account director or planning director when you have earned the relevant stripes. Performance should dictate your career path, not how long you have been with the company. On the other hand, appraisals should be ongoing – either annually or twice a year – and feedback should be given on how well or not you’re doing.
Short term: Know everything I need to know so I never have a moment where I feel lost or unsure.
Long term: Lead an agency.
Short term: End the year with 100 percent client satisfaction across the board; and ensure that our agency is both culturally and financially happy.
Long term: Run more agencies and ensure I can duplicate my success across a wider network; be able to connect and influence more people to become better advertising professionals and better humans. Basically, do bigger things and positively influence more people, clients and brands.
My work-life balance took some time to tackle so I avoid it as much as possible, unless I really have to. After some time you need to force yourself to balance it, otherwise you will be burnt out, which isn’t good for anyone.
It is important but I don’t believe that success comes with out hard work and dedication. Work shouldn’t take over your life; but nobody has ever grown and reached somewhere without hard work. Do I check emails and work on weekends? Yes. Do I expect my people to do the same? No. It’s a personal choice.
What would motivate you to switch jobs:
New opportunities and challenges to grow mentally as well as within the industry.
Aligned relationships, relevant career fit and an aligned purpose.