I’m sick of being told how to win the hearts and minds of millennials. I’ve never bought into the notion that an entire generation of human beings falls into a prototype we can master. I’ve been brewing this sentiment for decades. I thought the HR meetings I attended as a young HR leader (including charts of “what Gen Xers need”) equally silly.
There’s a spectrum of humans in every generation.
The world changes fast, the generations work to adapt. We ALL need to learn to navigate the evolving landscape. That’s what I found most intriguing about millennial, Dan Schawbel’s, new book: Promote Yourself: The New Rules of Career Success He’s a millennial giving advice to other millennial. It’s full of fantastic advice for millennials, and some for the rest of us.
How to Become an Intrapreneur
What moved me from reading to giving Dan a call was his advice on Intrapreneurship (see definition). Intrapreneurship can serve as a gateway to acquire entrepreneurial skills for later use, or as a way to make a difference and get noticed in your current company.
Dan’s advice on WHY to be an Intrapreneur
- Allows you to create new positions and advance in your career faster than you might have been able to on the regular track
- Gives you unique experiences that differentiate you from your peers.
- Is less risky than being an entrepreneur because you’ll have the corporation’s resources available.
- Can be a bridge to becoming full-on entrepreneur later on
Not just kid stuff.
So how do you know if Intrapreneurship is right for you? Dan suggests that if half or more of the following statements are true for you, you should “definitely” consider pursuing intrapreneurship
- You’ve got a passion for something your company isn’t doing right now.
- You see opportunities that other don’t.
- You’re creative and innovative in your thinking.
- You’re willing to take risks.
- You’re a great networker and can build cross-functional relationships
- You’re a natural salesperson.
- You’re good at working on teams and collaborating.
- You’re politically savvy and understand how your company operates.
What I didn’t see on his list is be “under 35.”
Want to be an intrapreneur? If you are a millennial ask these questions:
If this was your company where would invest?
What’s the next break through idea?
If you are over 35 ask the same thing. It’s not too late.
What are you waiting for?
Note: While I was writing this post, the guy on the train next to me (not a millennial) and I got to talking. He shared, “Oh, my company is all about this. You come up with your transformative idea and then you have to sell it in.” That’s how they break through. He was headed back from such a meeting. Game on. His big question, how do companies track the success of such adventures? We chatted about Google’s approach and others. Who’s got examples?