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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Not like all the others

In 1999, there was technological uncertainty in the business world as the new millennia approached. Now there is uncertainty in the business world as Millennials take over the labor force.  A Pew Research Center 2015 study found that Millennials made up 34% of the American workforce, surpassing GenXers, while baby boomers are declining at 29%. Unlike the old days where the new generation works for the old, now it is quite possible that the youngest is hiring the oldest. As the older generation of workers declines the more likely scenario is Millennials hiring Millennials. So as the job market becomes tighter with applicants of the same generation, how does one stand out?

No matter who’s hiring whom, resumes start to look similar-same types of schools, training, skills, etc. A very high percentage of companies have an online application process. Resumes are almost certainly filtered for keywords relating to job functions and duties. Step one in the application process makes it difficult to distinguish oneself. An applicant has to have a strong resume that specifically meets the requirements of the individual job posting.  If an applicant is lucky enough to land an interview it may be advantageous to use their own generation’s weaknesses to differentiate themselves from the masses.

All generations have personality traits that can be viewed as weaknesses in the workplace. Baby boomers are viewed as self centered, result focused, driven workaholics, who fight change. GenXers are seen as cynical and impatient, dislike inflexible work schedules, and have portable resumes. Millennials don’t care for mentally unchallenging tasks, need supervision and structure, and have high expectations for themselves.

As Millennials flood the workplace experts are documenting what would be considered negative stereotypes. Specifically:
  • Up talking-sounds indecisive/unconfident/immature
  • Speaking in abbreviations
  •  Focus issues caused by constantly changing electronic stimuli and lack of willingness, multitasking  Lack of social interaction skills, how to talk/deal with people; personal meetings
  • Aversion to using the telephone
  •  ‘Not caring’ persona
  • Entitlement
If you are a Millennial that possesses more traditional work place qualities, highlight those skills as opposition to negative stereotypes. Just because you don’t fit the stereotypical mold for your generation shouldn’t be seen as weaknesses. Turn your abilities and personality traits into positives. Know how others view your generation negatively and present yourself as not like all the others. Generational weaknesses can be used as your strengths.

As Millennials take over the higher-level management jobs the negatives will become positives. A Millennial based company may want Millennial qualities in it’s employees. Of course, as in any presentation, you have to know your audience. Learn the values the company finds important for it’s employees. Learn the mean age of the company’s workforce and its leaders. An interviewee may have to adjust their presentation per interview.
See our blog archive for other posts relating to interviews:

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Lasting impression

To be successful in business is the obvious goal of entrepreneurs. If your business grows to the point of value that someone else wants to buy it is a compliment to the success of the business. To build a business that is such a recognized brand that a buyer wants to keep the owner’s name is a testament to the original owner’s accomplishments.

Giving your name to a business can be tricky and not advised by some strategists. Owners should separate the business from their personal lives and if the business were ever to be sold, the name would most assuredly be changed. A rare occasion it is that a small business can garner such respect of both a business sector and the community that the owner’s name is synonymous with quality. So much so that it may actually hurt business to change the name.


The way to build that brand is by providing decades of honest work and maintaining the highest level of customer service at all times. The repeat customer is one of the best compliments a business can receive. If the customers are happy they’ll bring in their friends.

Stability and giving back to the community also helps build the business. The sports analogy, “What you do off the field counts too”, can be applied here. When the business is active in the community and becomes a stable part of that community, the business will be recognized as a partner that has the community’s best interest at heart.

Walt Eger’s Service Center is such a business. Walt began learning mechanics from his father at the age of ten. He became a full time mechanic in 1965 and has been in the business ever since. Early on, Walt worked at several repair shops learning his trade.  Eventually he developed a loyal following of customers because of his exceptional skill and customers sensed his honesty and integrity. He opened is first shop with two bays in 1986 and one employee, Walt himself. He moved to his current location on Grimm Road in Severn, MD in 1998 and has been serving the area for thirty years. During the years of building his business, Walt examined his mistakes and took note of successes. He not only received his hard knocks business degree but also learned how to treat customers.

If you’re happy with the service tell a friend if not tell me

Walt has lived by this credo throughout his business career. If something’s wrong he makes it right. Dedication to customer service has served him well. Which has been one of the many reasons his customer base continues to grow. Coupled with an uncanny ability to hire the best people for right job. Walt Eger has grown his two bay auto repair shop in to a thirteen bay service center. The business itself and his practices have become a model for others.

Walt Eger’s Service Center is not just synonymous with quality auto repair. This business is also on the donation rolls of many local charities. The owner and the business both being involved in multiple civic and community organizations. He is happy to give back and be a community member, not just a 9 to 5 business.

Mention his name in the sprawling suburban communities and people know the business or the man.
He’ll tell you he’s made mistakes along the way, his strong faith carrying him through. But those mistakes are not evident now.

Good luck, Walt.

See our blog archive for other posts relating to Customer service: