Defying the Millennial Career Stereotype

Millennial. For some, this term brings to mind positive traits, such as tech savvy and an entrepreneurial spirit. For others, it strikes a more negative chord, bringing to mind laziness and a sense of entitlement. One thing is certain, however, Millennials are the subject of a great deal of stereotypes.

Among the most fascinating of these stereotypes, at least in the world of business, is the idea that Millennials frequently jump from job to job. Some attribute the millennial tendency to switch jobs to the fact that the recession inspired these new workers to take jobs they would have otherwise turned down, some attribute it to the Millennials’ notoriously short attention spans and others place the responsibility on employers for failing to adapt to Millennials’ unique career motivations. In reality, the trend may be due to a combination of any/all of those things. Perhaps, it’s nothing more than a myth born from coincidence.

Regardless, here at Mustang Marketing we are happy to say that our predominantly millennial team seems to defy this stereotype. Many of our team members have been with the company for more than five years, and our newer members seem excited to stick around for the long haul. While this deviation from the millennial norm could be the result of any number of things, we like to think that it is due, at least in part, to our company culture and philosophy.

Mustang’s work and our company culture both involve a blend of strategy, creativity, seriousness and fun — elements that we believe also contribute to our high level of employee retention.

 Strategy – Mustang’s dedication to strategy helps give our team a common goal, building a sense of unity, purpose and shared accomplishment.

Creativity – Working in a creative environment keeps our minds active, makes each day a new adventure, and allows us to explore our interests and passions.

Seriousness – Although Mustang is a lively, entertaining place to work, the success of our clients and our own company remain our top priorities. This gives our team opportunities to take pride in hard work, meet new challenges and continue to grow in our careers at Mustang.

Fun – Whether we are spending lunch playing cards in the conference room, attending a team member’s wedding or just playfully teasing each other, the team-building fun Mustang incorporates into our days keeps us refreshed in our own work and supportive of each other.

Maybe Mustang’s philosophy is the answer for any company looking to keep its millennial staff members happy, or maybe we are just lucky to have found something that works well for us. Either way, Mustang is proud of our stereotype-challenging Millennials!

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Challenges at Work

Sometimes the biggest obstacle of the day is you.

Your phone rings, social media buzzes, coworkers make noise, your mind wanders and before you know it, your deadline is here. You start to panic and stress about your project. You become so stressed, that you aren’t able to focus on your high-level, creative work. How could you? How could anyone possibly stay productive in all of this chaos?

We’ve been there — trust us. Mustang Marketing is a lively, chaotic, big personality company with high-level, attention-demanding, strategic projects that always seem to have tight deadlines. So, we’ve learned a few tricks along the way.

Although you might not be able to control external factors — coworkers, phones, those pesky search engines filled with adorable pictures of kittens — you can control your actions.

Here are some tips from the Mustang team to help you reach your maximum productivity:

Manage Your Time 

Decide how much time you need for your assigned task and block out phone calls, emails and other distractions to … focus.

Take a Break 

Go outside and walk away from your tasks for some fresh air. Give your mind a break and you’ll come back reenergized and ready to finish the task! A cool breeze, sunshine and open air may just inspire the creativity you need.

Stay Positive 

Remind yourself that you can do anything! And, you can. The less you stress, the more positive and productive you’ll be. Trust us.

Reward Yourself 

Every time you finish a big task or project, find a reward and treat yourself to something nice to keep you motivated and in the game.

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The Value of Internships — Especially for a Recent College Grad

Being a recent college grad, you tend to hear the same phrases—Congratulations! Welcome to the real world! So what now? What are your plans for the future? How’s the job search going? —And so on.

For me, my answers are simple—Thank you! I plan to finish my internship at Mustang Marketing, start my full-time career in marketing and move to a fabulous location!

Sounds easy, except it’s a bit more complicated. By the time you graduate, your resume has to be polished and full of experiences. But where do those experiences come from when no one will hire you without them? The answer is simple: internships.

Fortunately, I learned this early on and landed three different marketing internships throughout my college years. The most important thing I learned from my internships is that I chose the right career path for myself.

I am one of the few interns that have been hired by Mustang Marketing to provide assistance in various marketing and public relations projects. All of the projects and tasks are different from one another—scanning news articles, running errands, attending meetings, proofreading press releases, writing blog posts, updating social media accounts and compiling research. The range of projects gives me a better sense of the company and the experience that the “real world” is looking for.

The most important thing that Mustang Marketing taught me is there is no task too small. Without the little things, the big things could not be accomplished. My favorite part about interning at Mustang Marketing, besides being at a real marketing firm, is the company culture and the creative characters I get to work with.

Here are some reasons that both students and employers could benefit from internships:

The value of internships for the student:

  • Builds authentic work experience
  • Shows interest in a specific field
  • Enhances professional skills
  • Provides networking opportunities
  • Introduces company culture

The value of internships for the company:

  • Provides opportunity to try-out future employees
  • Enhances millennial prospective
  • Increases productivity
  • Supports local schools and students

Whether you are a student or employer, the value of internships are exponential. My internships have given me the opportunity to grow and learn from each company. As a recent grad, my advice to a student is it’s never too early for an internship; and to the employer, give an intern a chance, it may be the start of a career.

Sandra Abarca, intern

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The Importance of Taking Time Off

 

pool-690034_1280The perks and pains of a small business are well-chronicled: the intimacy and camaraderie that comes with knowing your coworkers so well is often met with high-pressure demands and everyone wearing multiple hats to get the job done. When one member of the team isn’t at their best, the company as a whole suffers.

This presents an oft-ignored conundrum: the importance of taking time off. Vacation time is there so employees can attend major life events and holidays, but it also provides critical relief from the day-to-day stressors of the job, so employees can return refreshed, recharged and ready to get back to work.

For any company, but particularly a small business, an employee taking time off comes at a cost. When one employee is unavailable, it is felt, and the rest of the team has to pull together to get all the extra work done.

Still, the ends typically justify the means. It may be more challenging while the employee is out, but they return grateful for the time off and ready to jump back into the swing of things. As long as the vacations remain balanced across the team—and don’t consistently overlap or happen back-to-back, which results in overall team-wide fatigue (and occasional grumpiness)—the company as a whole benefits from rested, happy members.

Some vacation timing can’t be helped, but sometimes employees take their coworkers’ needs into consideration and use up their vacation time with individual days off peppered throughout the year; in spite of what many may think, this is often both more disruptive and less beneficial than taking a week off. One day isn’t usually enough time to turn off mentally (or at least switch gears) and reap the rewards from being away from the office, and it’s more likely that your work will just pile on your desk rather than be dealt with if your team only has to wait one day.

Of course, vacations should be thought out and not come at the cost of coworker sanity or project completion. But do put the thought into them, do take them, and do help when your coworkers do the same.

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