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Each generation feels differently about the importance of an online presence. Those opinions range from “LinkedIn doesn’t pertain to my career” to “Facebook is my personal space, so I’ll should be able to post what I want to.” The truth is that LinkedIn does relate more to some industries than others.

However, you still need a basic presence and a well-thought out career summary. This is where the world goes to find out about your experience. It has been said before, but is worth repeating, that although Facebook likely reflects your personal identity, your profile should never contain anything incriminating or embarrassing. If someone else posts an image of you that doesn’t show you in the light you would like the entire world to see you in, follow up on it right away, so it can be deleted.

Remember, the online frontier is still wild, and there are no professional standards written in stone. It’s up to you to show the world who you are, but carefully monitoring and building your online presence. One thing is for sure -personal content online can affect your professional life. Don’t be fooled, human resources professionals take a look at Facebook profiles all the time.

The Millennial generation is often blamed for being self-centered, narcissistic and unable to sacrifice or perform at a higher level in order to accomplish long-term goals. They are also accused of not being able to collaborate with others or work well in groups. But are these claims accurate? A second look at the Millennials’ background gives ample justification for their outlook and behaviors. Millennials have grown up with choices rather than limits, and they are not only technologically savvy, but have fully integrated the tools of technology into every part of their lives. They can enter a new work environment, take a look at some of the entrenched processes and instantly see a faster, more efficient way to accomplish the same tasks, through the use of any number of tools.

Growing up in this environment also has left Gen Y inwardly focused, relative to other generations in the workforce. Consider that each time Millenials interact with technology, the internet, television or social media, the message they receive is targeted directly to their own personal interests and lifestyle. This represents a drastically different world from coming home each day to watch one of three standard evening newscasts on network television, along with millions of other Americans.

To their credit, young Millennials have a valid argument for the importance of change and the growing irrelevance of the traditional workday. For Gen Y, work can be done at any time of day or night, as long as it has meaning and can be integrated into their lifestyle.

The workplace course titled, Professional Presence in a Casual World, which has already been presented to over 1 million people, cuts through the accusations on both sides of the generational divide, and gives everyone in the mix a unified culture in which all employees can work together, and more importantly –succeed together.

All generations are able to learn how they can differentiate themselves as leaders and potential leaders.

  •     Develop the confidence necessary to achieve results.
  •     Build an image that is respected and models corporate values.
  •     Learn how to be viewed as a positive influence with co-workers.
  •     Cement strong business partnerships.
  •     Cement strong business partnerships.
  •     Add value to their personal lives through accomplishments.
  •     Be identified as a person who listens, communicates and clarifies.
  •     Focus on excellence in the work that they do.

Professional Presence in a Casual World shows attendees how to develop a professional presence, match the professional culture in their workplace and build professional competence.

Organizations that support members of Gen Y in polishing these professional skills will benefit over their competitors by gaining well-rounded employees who not only bring energy, new ideas and technological expertise to the workplace, but also have the ability to listen empathically, collaborate with others and communicate professionally. An added benefit to providing this kind of course in the workplace is that employees from all generations can be included, resulting in a common language of professionalism across the entire organization.

Listen to this Q & A podcast with EDSI’s CEO, Suzanne Updegraff, for insight into a new model for embracing professionalism in a contemporary workplace setting.


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