Thanks, but No “Thanks.”

You’ve given your precious time to a Millennial. Waiting for a “Thank You”? Good luck.

Thanks

 

 

It’s time to take matters into your own hands.

 

 

 

I learned the hard way. “Go to school” on me! You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.

True story: a few years ago my mom casually mentioned to me a year after the fact that one of my children (plus a few friends) never really thanked her for some substantial time she had invested in them. She wasn’t being rude – but clearly my mom was bothered.

On SO many levels I had missed the “teachable moment” that we all desire as parents, bosses, mentors, etc. Furthermore, the millennial offenders are just fantastic kids! (After all, 3/5 of my kids are millennials). They are our future.

So, here’s how I have solved the problem:

I ask.

That’s it.

“I’ve given my time to you. This is what I expect in exchange.”

From now on, each time I help someone (particularly a millennial!) whether it is in a job search, a resume review, college recruiting support, etc. I use it as an opportunity to explain my expectations. Crystal clear. I am no longer waiting. I do not want to be disappointed. I do not ever want to have the feeling my mom did. Rather, I have chosen to take the matter into my own hands and use it as a chance to “shape” someone in a positive way.

Here’s what I asked of a very capable young woman recently for whom I offered to write a college letter of support:

1) Please alert me as to when I need to complete my letter. (Note: timelines need to be her responsibility, not mine.)

2) Please follow-up with the school to be certain they have received my letter and it is appropriately in your file. (Note: I am asking her to “own” the process.)

3) Please write me a handwritten thank you note. (Note: while it seems so obvious, it’s not. These kids have SO many means of communication. They need to understand that the world is noisy. Stand out with a handwritten note. Period.)

4) Please let me know as soon as you hear of an acceptance, denial or deferral (Note: I am asking her to keep me in the loop; I have invested my time and merit inclusion of information.)

5) Please keep me posted over the next few years. I have taken my time. I care about you, your school career and probably even your post-college career. (Note: while she probably does not even realize it, I am “coaching” her for how to interact when she begins job prospecting. Further, to the extent that she really does keep me posted – it is likely that I will somehow help her!)

6) Lastly, please remember that “in life” there will be people who help you get where you are going. Please treat those people as “people in your life” and stay in touch. Drop them a line every so often. Send a Christmas card. Whatever. (Note: The important thing is that the gift of time comes with a responsibility. I gave her my time. If she plays her cards right, we can have an amazing relationship.)

Postscript: The young lady was denied admission (early admission) to the college she so desperately sought to attend. Not even a deferral. She and I have communicated a few times since her deeply disappointing news. It is my hope that she takes my “advice” and stays in touch. Trust me: if she does just that I would be thrilled to help point her in a direction, introduce her to possible internships, and even help her land a job after college, etc. [After all, she already successfully completed steps 1-4 with terrific success!]

Invest in yourself. Invest in others. Say thanks.

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Have YOU Ever Gotten a Retreat From Tory Burch?

Several months ago I woke up to this text.

TBtex

Oh my goodness? Did I win some sort of contest?! Did my husband surprise me and give me a retreat weekend with Tory Burch, a woman whose business acumen I really admire?! How thoughtful. [Frankly, I didn’t even realize there was a Tory Burch retreat for businesswomen or mothers.]  I happen to be fairly impressed by Tory Burch the brand. The woman, too. She built a very successful company and, since its inception in 2004, she has not only built a desired and recognized brand but also become a millionaire in the process. Her former husband and business partner, Chris Burch, recently launched C. Wonder in New York and is trying his hand at building a brand without her. Between prior marriages, they have a combined six children…and unfortunately a very messy divorce.

The day prior to receiving the aforementioned text I was sitting in the airport reading the Wall Street Journal waiting for a flight departure. When I turned the page I saw a full-page highlight of Tory Burch, WSJ Startup of the Year (“SOTY”). I didn’t realize it at the time, but the WSJ was beginning to feature startups and chose to highlight various entrepreneurs and mentors.

Tory Burch

Clearly Tory Burch was on my mind.

After hours of trying to figure out the ‘surprise’ I burst out laughing!!

THIS is what my friend was referring to in her text:

Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 11.24.33 AM

A RT.

A RETWEET!

I laughed to myself. I guess I should have been “happy” that Tory Burch “retweeted me” but to be honest – I was merely doing what I like to do: celebrating others’ success. In observing on and offline behavior I mostly look for beauty. Beauty in good times – but also in bad times. There’s beauty all around us – you just need to look for it. In reading  about Tory Burch and tweeting a picture of the WSJ/SOTY feature, I was merely trying to celebrate and share one woman’s success. I know that her success has come with a price – but isn’t she like any other female (or male) in the world: trying to figure it all out? Cute that my friend called a RT “‘cool”. I think it’s much cooler, though, celebrating success and knowing that each woman (and man) out there shares a common bond: we are all doing the best we can! That’s cool.