Thursday May 4, 2017

'Millennial Reboot'

By Maureen Schlangen

A new book by a University of Dayton alumna is tailor-made for the newest class of college graduates entering the workforce this month — and may have some lessons for their employers, too.

In Millennial Reboot: Our Generation's Playbook for Professional Growth (Lioncrest, 2016), 2009 sport management graduate Kate Athmer and her co-author, Rob Johnson, contend that millennials* face lots of stereotypes: lazy, entitled, job-hopping, technology-dependent trophy seekers. Athmer and Johnson tackle those prejudices and lay out the ways "old-school" and "new-school" can do better than merely co-exist; they can move an organization forward.

"A lot of our peers, including some of our best friends, are frustrated with their options and not really sure how or where to start looking for a path to advancement," says Athmer, a four-year coxswain for UD's men's and women's rowing teams; she earned an MBA at the University of Tennessee after graduating from UD and later co-founded GreenLit Consulting with Johnson. "We've found ourselves coaching our friends and recent graduates on a lot of the subtle strategies that were missing from their previous training. We were lucky enough to have a lot of great mentors and opportunities that brought us to this point, and this is our way of paying it forward — or as we like to say, sending the elevator back down."

The book has practical advice on networking, negotiation, interviewing, attire and leadership development without sugar-coating reality: Work hard. Keep learning. Recognize when you're wrong. Respect cultural norms. Seek advice. Share your knowledge.

"All those issues between old-school and new-school mentalities in business aren't because of a generational gap," they say. "They're because of a communication gap. Both groups can learn from each other and must be able to appreciate what each brings to the table." 

Millennial Reboot is available for checkout from Roesch Library. For purchasing information or additional career development resources by the authors, see the book's website.

— Maureen Schlangen, e-scholarship and communications manager


* The "millennial" demographic has somewhat fuzzy parameters, but these pieces from The New York Times (2015) and The Wire/The Atlantic (2014) expound on its definition colorfully. Caveat: Opinions expressed in said pieces are those of the columnists and not necessarily of this writer or the University Libraries or the University of Dayton, none of which would ever affirm Philip Bump's contention, "We can all agree that Millennials are the worst."

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