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What UM MENA’s millennial (and non-millennial) want

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What UM MENA’s millennial (and non-millennial) want

Much has been said about millennials and what they want from their personal and professional lives. If popular notion is anything to go buy, it seems that they want travel, technology, and bean bags. We decided to find out what it is they really seek in their professional lives – and in the process dispel some rumors – and draw a comparison between what their more senior counterparts seek as well. Turns out, their aspirations are not always quite so different.

As part of the series, we interviewed a millennial and non-millennial from several leading agencies in the region. This article features:

The millennial: Melissa Moubarak (28), strategy manager

The non-millennial: Tom Hardstaff (36), head of strategy

Most important factors in a job:

Moubarak:

  • A culture that supports growth and risk-taking
  • A strong sense of ethics and wanting to give back to the community
  • A flat hierarchy

Hardstaff:

  • To be surrounded by brilliant inspiring individuals
  • To work for a company that leads and doesn’t follow
  • To feel like you’re part of a big family

Best way for a company to retain you:

Moubarak:

To make me feel that the work I put in is making a difference and is appreciated. Also, the teams that I work with and a supportive culture are also important.

Hardstaff:

By being aware of my personal motivation and professional development. By keeping me motivated – and I’m not talking about financial gain, but more so through people and our products.

Your driving force in this job:

Moubarak:

I’m excited to get to the office every morning to work with smart and fun people. Together, we are breaking ground introducing a whole new level of data science to media. This puts me in a unique position where I can merge my economics background with my creative tendencies.

Hardstaff:

Every day is different. The industry continues to innovate and I work across a plethora of great clients, all at different stages of their communication journey. People intrigue me and in this job I meet many different personalities on a daily basis, both internally and externally.

Expected frequency of appraisals:

Moubarak:

At this stage of my career (mid-level) I believe that I’m moving up the curve very rapidly, which is why I would expect promotions or appraisals on a yearly basis, or every 18 months.

Hardstaff:

Ideally, you would be reviewed every quarter with an end-of-year appraisal for goal setting toward the next year.

Career goals:

Moubarak:

Short term: I want to keep working on perfecting my craft, expanding my network within the industry, and solidifying my reputation.

Long term: A few years down the line I hope to be leading my own division. This doesn’t need to happen in the same city though. After working in London and in Dubai, I’d be keen on moving to yet another large metropolis; perhaps Singapore, or somewhere in South America. Emerging markets are the most exciting destinations for young, global professionals.

Hardstaff:

Short term: I continue to learn. To think you know everything is naive, so I will push my boundaries to absorb new techniques and listen to those more experienced around me.

Long term: My approach to life is to take one day at a time so I’ll let the universe decide what my long term goals are.

Work-life balance:

Moubarak:

Work life balance is of the utmost importance to me as I learned (the hard way) after burning myself way too quickly in a previous job. I know that I work better, harder, and faster when I cut away from work in the evening and start fresh. I also need to disconnect every once in a while, travel and take a break. Funnily enough, each time I’m back from holiday my team notices that I’d be brimming with new ideas and I’m quick to point out to solutions we might have missed.

Hardstaff:

It’s everything; if this balance is out you won’t perform to the best of your ability. I’ve been in the game long enough to know how we operate, often into the night. Therefore, my routine is such that I make sure this balance suits my interests as well as my job. I’ve learned to switch off out of work, but I do check my emails on the weekend, because I love what I do.

What would motivate you to switch jobs:

Moubarak:

If I feel that I’ve hit a ceiling and I’m no longer stimulated by what I’m doing then I’ll start feeling restless and will look for something new

Hardstaff:

A lack of vision by my employer; if I felt we were not innovating in line with the industry or didn’t wake up and feel excited about my day ahead.

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