From Yale to Leading Expert on Millennials…
Yesterday morning I got the chance to chat with Lindsey Pollak, the leading expert on training and managing Millennials and an ambassador for LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals. Pollak will be speaking to sophomores at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, later this month about how to stand out from the crowd.
Her main strategy to stand out when going from college to career in a digital world includes fostering one’s URL and IRL (In Real Life). It’s equally as important to maintain a good reputation and persona online as it is in person; it is just as likely someone will meet you for the first time on Google search before meeting you in person. What does your digital first impression say?
She herself stood out amongst the crowd as an undergraduate at Yale as a dorm Resident Advisor. “I loved everything about it: advising college students on their academics, extracurriculars, career paths and life choices, and serving as a resource for administrators, parents and other ‘grown-ups’ who wanted to understand the students I was advising,” Pollak recalled.
Through hard work and following her passions and interests, Pollak got to where she is today. After working at a start-up website, the company’s chairman told her to start her own business. This wasn’t the first time she was given that advice, so she figured she would listen.
She found her niche as an expert on Millennials by applying her favorite aspects of being a resident advisor during college to her writing and consulting work. She spoke publically about how to be a young person figuring out what to do with your life.
“Speech by speech, article by article, blog post by blog post, my business grew,” Pollak said. Her first book, Getting from College to Career was published in 2007, and then through a referral from a friend-of-a-friend, Pollak became an official ambassador for LinkedIn.
As a LinkedIn ambassador, Pollak expects to talk through how to make over your LinkedIn profile in her interactive presentation at Champlain College’s Sophomore Symposium on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. She encourages students and participants to bring their phones, iPads, laptops or other devices that allow them to critique and polish their own LinkedIn profile.
For the past ten years, the snowball affect lead her to new clients and new opportunities. Now Pollak not only advises Millennials by speaking at colleges and universities across the country, but advises corporations on how to recruit, train, manage, and retain Millennial employees.
“I continued to travel around the country speaking to college students and young professionals, providing highly practical, cutting-edge career advice with a lot of empathy for how hard the transition from college to career can be,” said Pollak. “Then, a few years ago, I started to receive requests from companies asking me to help them understand this new generation of young people known as Generation Y or Millennials.”
And now—some fun. Not only did I learn Pollak and I are both Virgos and love fro-yo, but we shared some laughs during some spitfire Q&A.:
What’s on your…
…nightstand? In all honestly, a book called “Understanding Your Three-Year-Old.”
…weekly grocery list? Lots of fruits and veggies.
…go-to take out menu in NYC? Sushi from Momoya.
…current music playlist? The soundtracks of recent Broadway shows I’ve seen, like Hedwig and the Angry Inch with NPH.
…ideal dinner party guest list? My husband and daughter. (awwww)
…must-see TV list? SCANDAL, SCANDAL, SCANDAL, and anything else by Shonda Rhimes.
…fantasy travel itinerary? Spain and Italy.
…fitness agenda? Getting better at Yoga.
…list of favorite/most used smart phone apps? Pocket saves articles so I can read them later; Evernote to link notes on all my devices; Blinkist, one of my new favorites, takes nonfiction/business books and shortens them into a 10-15 minute synopsis; and of course, Twitter.
…Twitter feed? @ypulse about Millennials; @Gothamist about NYC; career and workplace experts @DanSchawbel and Alexandra Levit @alevit.
…words to live by list? “Think bigger.”
…walls of your favorite room in your home? Copies of my new book on the shelf!
Pollak is releasing her new book, Becoming the Boss: New Rules for the Next Generation of Leaders, on September 16, 2014.
Read more of Pollak’s story on her website and Follow her on Twitter at @lindseypollak.