menu

Edelman Digital: Five Ways Millennials Can Become More Strategic Thinkers

Edelman Digital: Five Ways Millennials Can Become More Strategic Thinkers
culture

The younger generation should focus on what they can do to build their digital skills instead of assuming they already have them.

Edelman Digital
  • 15 august 2012

Entry-level digital professionals have received quite a bit of abuse lately, particularly that we allegedly feel entitled to be “digital strategists” just because we belong to our specific generation. What can we do to counter those concerns? We can put in the work to become more strategic thinkers.

Here are five ways millennials can become more strategic thinkers in the digital space:
1.Hack your brain to think in terms of opportunities


recent Forbes study noted that millennials are more “irritated, tired and anxious” about their careers than other groups. Perhaps that’s partly due to “taking work home” in the sense that mistakes or criticisms you get on the job affect your thoughts more than they would later in your career. In your 20s, you’re still learning how to handle negative emotions that might come from these failures or criticisms. But let’s be realistic—an honest mistake or constructive criticism isn’t the end of the world. Try “hacking” your brain to approach hurdles opportunistically rather than negatively. So what happens if you made a mistake on a project at work? As long as the mistake was honest, you now have a crucial new piece of data to refine your approach for next time.
2. Control information overload


If you work in digital public relations, you have your finger on the pulse of all the latest digital trends—from new social media platforms to tech news to the latest tweets from your favorite celebrity. Millennials spend an average of seven hours and 38 minutes on digital media every day. And with mobile as an increasingly important channel for information, we’re constantly absorbing data, forcing our brains to triage large amounts of information all the time.  That leaves little room to think proactively and creatively. Try to get away from the computer once in a while. John Cleese of Monty Python fame describes a solution in a hilarious 1991 speech: making time for the open mode gives your brain the opportunity to become a producer of innovative ideas rather than simply a consumer, which is an essential part of moving from digital tactician to digital strategist.
3. Learn from your mentors


A common criticism of our generation is that we act like we’re entitled to success. The backlash against therecent Cathryn Sloane article is a perfect example. But despite our “native” comfort with social media and digital media, we have to learn the industry and business skills that only come from experience. Millennials in digital careers can jump their careers forward in a big way by making the effort to build strong relationships with their mentors. Ask smart questions and use the advice they offer you—the best advice comes from experience. Most importantly, give back—the greatest relationships are two-sided. They’re investments in both of your futures.
4. Cross-pollinate your interests


You might think that so much work is on your plate that you barely have time for interests outside of work. Maybe you even compartmentalize your life—work and play should stay separate, you might believe. But think about this: some of the greatest innovations of all time have resulted from people “cross-pollinating” different interests: physics and engineering combined to start computer science, for example. Your outside-of-work interests are completely valid in a digital career. Read widely about linguistics (my personal interest), blog about classic films and absorb life outside of work. You never know what kind of innovative ideas might come from an unexpected place.
5. Think in stories and narratives


Think of the best storyteller you can remember. Chances are it was a friend, a colleague or a family member. It was someone you knew who told riveting stories. They didn’t speak in business jargon, “leet” speak or texting slang. They spoke like real people telling human stories. Whether you’re copywriting for a multi-platform campaign, pitching an idea to your team or engaging with a brand’s community, the essential underlying thread is storytelling. Learn to write like a human being—like how your favorite storytelling uncle speaks—and you’ll get your ideas heard.

We millennials have vast resources available to us in the form of information, access to thought leaders and few barriers for getting more strategic ideas out there. All it requires is that we put in the elbow work in the way we think about our world, discipline our thinking and how we approach opportunities. How have you worked on becoming a more strategic thinker in your career?

(Original article by Chris Rooney. Read original post here.)

Originally published on Edleman Digital, republished with kind permission.

 

Trending

Machine Printer Uses Coffee Drips To Create Intricate Portraits

Arts & Culture
Technology Yesterday

Why Nest Doesn't Get The Holidays

PSFK founder reacts to the damaging effects of poor email marketing

Children Yesterday

Robots Could Be Joining Dubai’s Police Force In 2017

The real-life RoboCops can salute, shake hands and collect traffic fines

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Travel Yesterday

Parka Hides And Charges Portable Devices

Bolt is a jacket that lets people carry and charge their various electronics without the need for an outlet

Related Expert

Yael Maguire

Connectivity, Accessibility, Wireless Technology

Food Yesterday

Yelp's New 'Yelfie' Feature Lets Diners Take Selfies

The update is designed to encourage people to attach a selfie when they share their experiences

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Build Your Own Savory Cheese Advent Calendar

A British food blogger has created a guide to building a different kind of holiday surprise

Fitness & Sport Yesterday

Floating Gym Concept In Paris Is Powered By Your Workout

The proposed design from Carlo Ratti Associati lets passengers ride a stationary bike as they travel through Paris along the Seine River

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed november 22, 2016

Digital Strategist: Why “Big Sensing” Is Key To Retail’s Future

Bud Caddell, Founder of NOBL, shares why the most capable and useful asset in any retail environment is the workforce

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Syndicated Yesterday

What Does The Future Of Android Look Like In A World With The Pixel?

Google’s decision to make its own phone might have looked like a blow to the likes of Samsung but the reality is much more interesting

Retail Yesterday

Customer Service Expert: Why Offline Retail Has Better Data Than Online Retail

Healey Cypher, Founder and CEO of Oak Labs, shares why we should be thinking about the physical store as an e-commerce site

Fashion Yesterday

Alexander McQueen Designs A 3D-Printed Umbrella

3D-printed fashion arrives in time for the winter season

Work Yesterday

Why Training Associates To Be Advocates Is Key To Retail Success

In our Future of Retail 2017 report, PSFK Labs discusses strategies to prioritize customer service, which begins with associate advocates

Media & Publishing Yesterday

Netflix Creates Binge Candle To Celebrate A New Season Of Gilmore Girls

The streaming service developed a special layered candle that creates candle with episode-specific smells

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Interactive Film Tells A Story About Living With Cancer

A moving song written by a father of a cancer patient comes alive in a 3D environment

Automotive Yesterday

Audi And LEGO Exhibit Autonomous Vehicle Installation

The installation at Design Miami explores the 25th hour, which represents bonus productive work or play time

No search results found.