Rebel Human Resources Podcast

RHR 109: Early Career Success with Mark Zides, Author of #PACE

July 19, 2022 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 3 Episode 109
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
RHR 109: Early Career Success with Mark Zides, Author of #PACE
Show Notes Transcript

Mark Zides is the founder and CEO of CoreAxis Consulting, an award-winning learning and development, and talent management firm. He has a passion for helping companies mold their future, drive growth, and create things that matter, and for helping individuals find the success they've always desired. He lives in Boston with his wife, three kids, and two labradoodles. 

By 2025, experts predict that Millennials and Generation Z will make up the majority of the world’s workforce. They’re two of the most populous generations on earth, and they’re going to have to navigate a work world full of unprecedented challenges.

During his time as CEO, Mark Zides noticed something troubling: today’s younger generations aren’t prepared to launch their careers. Somewhere along the way, they missed out on the most crucial keys to success: grit, charisma, perseverance, and emotional agility. The #PACE Process for Early Career Success is designed to help them unlock those traits, find their footing, and achieve their goals in any field.

The career landscape is rockier than ever, and navigating it takes more than just résumé to find a perfect job. The #PACE Process for Early Career Success is designed to help readers unlock the mindset, traits, and techniques needed to Plan, Apply for, Commit to, and Explore an ideal career path. Whether you plan to enter the corporate world, join a startup, or start your own business, you will learn how to build a network, master interviewing skills, leverage your personal brand, and even how and when to move on to your next opportunity.

Leveraging more than twenty years of experience as an entrepreneur, businessman, and CEO, Zides teaches young adults the skills they need to get their feet in the door, climb the ladder, and not stop achieving until they find success. Using real life examples, research, and a little tough love, The #PACE Process for Early Career Success will equip you to not just survive the modern workforce, but to conquer it.

Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals and leaders of people who are ready to make some disruption in the world of work.

We'll be discussing topics that are disruptive to the world of work and talk about new and different ways to approach solving those problems.

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Mark Zides:

You know, the other thing that we've seen work really well at many of our clients are leader talks, right? So have a leader once a month, once a quarter talk about what they see in future leaders. I think that's really an effective way to kind of communicate to the organization as well. And that's inspiring on many occasions. Also,

Kyle Roed:

this is the rebel HR Podcast, the podcast where we talk to HR innovators about all things people leadership. If you're looking for places to find about new ways to think about the world of work, this is the podcast for you. Please subscribe my favorite podcast listening platform today. And leave us a review. Rebel on HR rebels. Hello, rebel HR listeners. Thank you for joining us this week, this is going to be a super fun show with us today, we have Mark zines, the founder and CEO of core axis consulting, an award winning talent management firm. We are here today to discuss a new book that Mark has written called the pace process for early career success. Looking forward to this conversation. Mark, thank you so much for joining us. Thanks, Kyle, appreciate you having me. Absolutely. And if our conversation before I hit record is an indication for this discussion, this is going to be a ton of fun, I was just talking about some of the the conversations that we're having at my organization about, you know, career development, and and making sure that we're, you know, building systems and processes for, you know, the up and coming future leaders. And the I would just say the general nature of those conversations that I've been having has been, how do we do this. And so I want to thank you for, for putting this down into in on paper to kind of help us think about this framework. I want to start the conversation by asking what inspired you to write a book about early career success?

Mark Zides:

Yeah, there were a couple of aspects car that drove me to write the book, you know, one first thing was that it was a passion project of mine. And it was kind of a bucket list thing that I thought I'd like to do at some point in my career, and through the pandemic, it accelerated that because when I had some free time, I, you know, wrote the book, and, and then I was going to Self Publish, and then a couple colleagues and people by network read and this and while this is pretty good, I mean, this, this can impact the Gen Z's and the genoise, the millennials that are looking to get jobs, but also the people that are hiring these, these folks, you know, in these organizations, and so went to a publisher got published, and it came out last week, and we've had a great early feedback, but really, what what it came down to is I wanted to give back, it sounds cliche, but you know, I have three Gen Z years of my son myself, I got a senior college sophomore in college and a junior in high school looking to go to college, and a lot of the companies we work with in the marketplace are hiring, you know, this generation, right, the this genre of up and coming folks into the workforce. And, you know, there's a lot of this stuff out there that, you know, great resignation, the great, you know, reshuffle all these, you know, the future work, and it's all true, I mean, you know, these people coming into the workforce are going to make a huge impact. And I thought that writing a guide, or, you know, sort of a tough love book that will give them some advice, some guidance, some inspiration as they go into the workforce would be a pretty cool hit for them. And, and we'll see how it goes.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. And I think, you know, first of all, hats off having three Gen Z years. And I'm a father of three, they're not in the college age yet, but I can only imagine the, the the challenge of helping them adapt to this kind of new world of work. What I like about the book is you've kind of you've really started to put this into an easy to understand framework. So can you maybe walk us through the pace process a little bit? And why did you why did you organize it that way?

Mark Zides:

Sure. I mean, the, the book was written in a way where it was actionable and as pragmatic, so what we wanted to do is build it in a, in a structure where, you know, just like many other HR processes, right, you know, a lot of talented experts and luminaries over the years have written some pretty strong business books, but this one was really meant for this organization, or I'm sorry, this, this generation to kind of think about what it takes to build your brand, what it takes to, you know, be successful in the early part of your in your career. So, not quite sure if this book would apply Kyle to guys like you or me or people that are, you know, a little bit older or further on in their career, but certainly, you know, the approach was to build a easy step process for them to think about and P stands for, you know, Prepare, A stands for apply C stands for commit, and E stands for evaluate. And, you know, throughout your career, you know, you're again not to get really deep into it, I don't wanna give out all the secrets. So maybe people will go by the book, but you want to prepare for the job, prepare for the interview, prepare your resume, prepare your social brand, all those things that, you know, people like you and I might take for granted, you know, make sure that your LinkedIn profile matches your social media profile, right? I mean, you know, what's the first thing that recruiters look at, when when they look for a job applicant, they're going to look, they're going to troll the internet and look for, you know, hey, what someone's Instagram looks like what someone's Facebook look like, and you have questionable party photos on there, you know, you're probably not going to make it to the next round, right? So then, you know, you apply for the job, or you, you're trying to get your foot in the door. And that's tough, but it's a lot more challenging now than it was you know, even 510 years ago, and some of the tactics are, you're you're not applying necessarily in person anymore, meaning you're not interviewing in person, right, you're doing a zoom, you're doing a virtual interview. And that's different, it's a different approach, it's a different style. You know, you got to do some mock interviews, you got to kind of check yourself out on screen, things like that. Commit is an interesting part of the chapter and part of the book, which is, you know, you once you're committed, what are you going to do to be successful? You know, what do you have to do to build your brand, to network to kind of help your boss or your team look good. And, you know, some of this generation doesn't really think that way. So it's just some advice there to kind of let them think about what do they need to do to, you know, push the envelope internally, you know, not just make themselves look good as an individual but, but elevate the entire team Elevate the entire company, and then evaluate, and we talked about this little before we came on Kyle was, you know, how do we retain these people? Right? How do we motivate them? How do we develop them? And a lot of times, you know, you see a lot of HR, metrics, and some and some studies that come back that say, the average Gen Z, or the average new hire, you know, stays in a job less than a year. And why is that, you know, what could we be doing organizationally, to kind of motivate them to, you know, help them feel that they're part of the organization from a cultural perspective, from an impact standpoint. And sometimes, it may make sense for these young folks to evaluate the company, the role, the industry, and then pivot, right, but you don't have to pivot out of the company, maybe there's another role, if you're in a big company that, hey, if you're in finance, maybe there's an opportunity in supply chain, maybe there's an opportunity in marketing, so you can have little mini careers within a company. And you don't have to always just jump to the next, you know, resume or offer that comes, you know, your way. So that's, you know, there's some tactical things that some strategic thinking in there to kind of help them evaluate where they are in their career.

Kyle Roed:

I love that approach. And I think, you know, a couple of things. As I was reading through the book and preparation for this discussion, you know, you had a couple of statistics early on that I thought were really, really powerful and kind of scary for myself, as I'm trying to figure out the, you know, the this puzzle of of retention. And it's you shared in there that a study in 2017 revealed that 54% of recent graduates self reported, as under employed and the first thing that I thought when I read that is, well, the first question was, oh, shoot are those mine in my organization? And then the next question is what so if somebody feels that way, if over half of those early career professionals feel that way, is that is that actually hrs issue, where they, where we are not doing a good enough job with our our development programs, or even painting that picture for folks that hey, yeah, I get it. This is an entry level job, like, but you're not going to do this for the rest of your days with this organization. Here's the path for you. Here's, you know, here's what this looks like, here's the opportunities in front of you. So that it shifts from a context of being underemployed to being earlier in your career and getting you know, gaining the skills to ascend it any insight there is you wrote this book and kind of thought about that kind of that puzzle of what an early career professionals looking for. And what the companies that they work for actually offer them.

Mark Zides:

Yeah, that's a that's a really important part of the book. And I'm glad you picked that out. You know, what, what we find and what we hear again, we work with all all types of companies, startups, mid sized companies like Amazon Bank of America on the on the large global side, and what we hear from HR leaders and and CHR OHS is that, you know, a lot of times the onboarding programs aren't sticky enough. They don't really have include enough of a mentor, mentor reprogram there's not enough. There's a lot of that informational stuff right at the beginning getting onboard into a company. But what can companies do to drive engagement, you know, drive activity with this cohort, or with this group of new hires, or with this young generation, but I argue that it's a two way street, right. So the company can set up a platform for you to be successful, they can set up all these communication channels, ongoing training, things like that. But these, you know, individuals that are coming into the workforce need to advocate for themselves, they need to push the envelope up the food chain, to kind of demonstrate their leadership skills in what was what they feel is going to make them successful and fulfilled. Now, we don't want to create a bunch of, you know, one, one off situations where people are saying, hey, I want I want unlimited vacation time, I want to get, you know, promoted after six months, but you know, there are some of those outliers out there. But in general, you know, what can these organizations do to kind of connect those two, you know, challenges with what these individuals are looking for. And then what the company wants to do from a developmental perspective. And we can talk about all day long about 360s. And in reviews, and, and, you know, rater reviews, things like that. But there's a lot of technology out there that is, you know, in HR that automates that. But truly, what are these individuals passionate about? Can the company map their passions and their skill building to important projects, that makes it a win win? It's hard to do. But, you know, if you kind of put it in a little box, like, that's, that's what's going to kind of solve that 54% and move that number down.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, absolutely. I think, as I reflect on the feedback that I hear from my peers, and from, you know, some of my managers within and outside of my organization, you know, it's, a lot of times the conversation is around, well, why don't why don't these people own their own career? Or why don't they understand, you know, the opportunities in front of them? And I think that's, that's such a, that's such a challenge, especially, especially when it might be unclear, right? I mean, I don't know about you, but like, my career path was like, it was not a straight line. It was like a, like a jagged rock climb. And, you know, I fell a couple of times and climb up a different, you know, I mean, you know, but that's how careers are right? Like, there's really not a, there's not a clear path for any one person. So, so as you as you think about this, from the standpoint of, of an early career professional, what is your advice for, for those that are maybe kind of figuring that out as they go? And, but but are looking for a straight line? Right, like, like, how do you work through that kind of natural conflict of career growth?

Mark Zides:

Yeah, great question. You know, so I'm a visual guy, right? So I'm all about career ladders and career trajectory. I like a roadmap, right. So I like a roadmap. But I also will argue that the road is not straight, like you said, right. And it's a journey. These are all cliches, it's a marathon, not a sprint, it's a journey, right. And it's not, it's not a clear path. But if you have if you have a road, or roadmap that at least they can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But but but the road can go five different ways where they're gonna have to figure it out, they're going to fall down, they're going to figure stuff out. That's helpful. So what we what we see being successful, what I see as being successful, is are there some success stories in your company or other companies that, you know, I'm, I'm Jane Doe, or John Smith, and I've been here for five years, right? Because the time horizon beyond five years is, you know, it doesn't make sense. You can even wind it down to three years. And say, I came on board here, I love the company, because of the culture, the people the mission, whatever that might be. And you know what, in the five years or three years I was here, I held six jobs. So I started out just like you, miss, or mister new hire. And then after nine months, I ended up doing something else, then I did this, then I went into sales. And if you had a couple of testimonials or videos that tell that story, and whether that's part of new hire, whether that's part of a Slack channel, I think that's kind of cool, because then they can start to, you know, visualize a crystallized Hey, wow, that's a success story, right? I liked those. We've had, we've had some clients that that build those into their new hire or build those into sort of their communication plan. On the flip side, you know, these individuals need to know that, you know, they're fit and they need to learn every day. And again, cliche, but if you fail, learn from it. If you fall down and get up all that stuff, right? You're not going to be perfect. And it's you have to give them a little perspective because they don't have perspective because They've grown up in this bubble for the most part coming out of college. And you can say, Look, you just came out of a four year college university assuming that, you know, that's that was their path to get to a role or to accompany How much did you change from freshman year to senior? Right, you can draw that analogy and say freshman year you came on on the campus, you had no idea what's going on. Senior year, you were your big man or girl on campus, right? So and then everything in between, think about everything you learned, the professors that the classes you took, you know, the social activities, whatever that might be, and translate that into the workforce, not because it's going to be the same, right? It's going to be, it's not going to be a linear path. And I think that if you can draw some analogies and some experiences like that, with some true stories, I think that actually helps.

Kyle Roed:

I love that I do love a good cliche, I'm guilty. But, you know, hopefully, this doesn't feel like a marathon. And it maybe feels like a, like an easy sprint. How's that? No, I think it's, you know, I think that's, that's a great analogy. I know, you know, some of like, the employee testimonial stuff can be really powerful. I think, you know, painting that story. And then helping somebody paint themselves into that story, in their own context, right.

Mark Zides:

The other thing, just real quick, you know, the other thing that we've seen work really well, at many of our clients are leader talks, right? So have a leader, once a month, once a quarter talk about, you know, what they see in future leaders, I think that's really an effective way to kind of communicate to the organization as well. And that's inspiring, you know, on many occasions also.

Kyle Roed:

So expand upon that, because this is this is a new concept to me. So they're they're, are they explaining their career path? Are they explaining what they're looking for in future leaders? What does that look like?

Mark Zides:

Both? Yeah, great question both. So so let's say you're the finance, or you work for you says manufacturing, let's say it's head of r&d, or head of supply chain, say supply chain, you know, that person comes say, Look, I'm the VP of supply chain. You know, here's what it took for me to get here. Here's what my team does to help the organization move forward every day. Here's what I look for, in these individuals, you know, here and maybe, and maybe there's a case study, or maybe there's an example of someone on their team that they call out and say, hey, you know, Kyle has been a great manager of supply chain, because he's done these five things in the last 12 months. Right? So again, give him some context, given some examples. And then you know, at the same time you allotting that person, and then maybe they can visualize a little bit, okay, if I go into supply chain, I might have a shot, because now they can sort of triangulate, hey, well, that guy, Kyle's only been there for a year, and he's already a manager. And so I like those leader talks. And then again, if the leader is a really good communicator, a really strong leader, they'll empower these people to really want to take take charge themselves.

Kyle Roed:

That's very cool. Yeah. I just took a bunch of notes. But that, you know, that's one of the other things that I know, I'm sure, myself and many other listeners, to this, this programmers are feeling the same thing, especially now it's kind of the new nature of work is, you know, how do we foster connection? When we're all on screens? Talking to a doc into a talking box on a computer screen? You know, how do you personalize that? How do you you know, how do you build, you know, some some trust within an organization? How do you communicate to folks? Now, that could be a really powerful tactic, thanks for sharing that. One of the things I wanted to talk about, and it actually, I don't know, if you did this on purpose, but but when I read the title of your book, My immediate thought process was, oh, this is going to be about how quickly people want to move within their careers. You know, and, and, you know, going back to the cliche of a sprint, not a marathon, a lot of times what I feel like, with with new career entrance is, like everybody wants to sprint, like they want to get to the finish line in like, two years. And it's like, you know, no, that takes you 22 years to get there. So, so, yeah, and you know, and I'm sure everybody's seeing that, you know, the the retention rates are reducing and especially, you know, kind of the speed of, of people leaving an organization and maybe you know, the the term job hopping at this point, it's not even a typical it's, it's it's actually a typical to see somebody who sticks around for more than five years at any employer so, so, what is your take on kind of that, you know, that career pun intended pace of an early career professional, and then how do we, how do we think about that? In the realm of HR,

Mark Zides:

yeah, so I love the word pace, right. And that's part of the reason why I wrote this book, you know, hashtag pace and pace means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Right? So, you know, what I've, what I say to people, when they asked that question, well, why'd you use that word? It's like, you know, it in its own right, it can mean, you know, keep the pace, right, well, what does that mean to you, you know, keeping the pace, you know, for for Kyle means a lot more than keeping the pace for Mark sides, right, you know, we might have a different personality, you know, different behaviors, whatever. But in the context of an organization, you know, sometimes you have to maintain the pace, sometimes you got to keep the pace, sometimes you got to pick up the pace, sometimes you got to slow down the pace, right. And I think that that word, will hopefully help make people think about and reflect on where they are in their career. Right? So does this individual need to pick up the pace to advocate themselves or, you know, do a better job on a day to day basis? Are they going 100 miles an hour, where maybe they're perceived of, you know, they're a bull in a china shop and accompany and they need to kind of slow down and, and, you know, just not be so sloppy, or do things a lot more efficiently. So it can mean, again, like I said, a lot of different things, within the early part of someone's career, and to your point around job hopping, or, you know, I would really love these people to reflect and just before they hop, you know, to a new company for $5,000 increase, or whatever, you know, the average is? No, look, it's industry specific to right, I mean, not to kind of digress and go into that. But, you know, if you're working for a digital media, digital marketing company, or a blockchain company, or a tech company, you know, and that talent is highly regarded and highly, you know, needed, right. So, you know, these folks can jump around, but if you're working for a, quote, unquote, you know, regular sized company that has the same growth every year, and they bring in the same amount of new hires, I think that you gotta be patient. I think that, you know, these people have to kind of, you know, I'll call maintain the pace, but keep the pace, right. And always, you know, look for career opportunities, whether it's within your own company, or outside of the company. But but that word, the word, the purpose, it was really just to make people think it may pull reflect.

Kyle Roed:

I love it. Well, certainly it did. Its trick for me as I was, I was thinking about it. You know, it's funny, because, gosh, I couldn't use this book about 17 years ago. And, you know, maybe that's just that's just the nature of how it's supposed to be, you know, when you're early in your career, and you don't know what you want to do when you when you grow up, which I'm still kind of searching for, for that answer. Right. But we all are, yeah. Yeah. If somebody's got it figured out, I want you to email me, I want to, I want to know, I want to know, how'd you How'd you figure that out, but it's so critical, you know, that patience is so critical. And I look back. And it's funny now, it's like, as I look at the people, who were really impatient, and we're like shooting for the stars. And, you know, you can see them on LinkedIn, it's like, it's like, they did this for a year or two, they did this for a year or two, they did this for a year or two. And then I look at the people who were patient in their career and like, in some cases, are still with the same employer that they were with when they when they left college, and have kind of ascended, it's like, wow, you know, yeah, that patients paid off for many of them. Right. And yeah, it's I think it's, it's, it's very well said, it's hard. It's hard when you're having a conversation with a mentee. And they don't, they don't see that. Right. So as you work with companies, because obviously you've you've seen, you've seen it off as it relates to developmental programs. And and, you know, you know, you've worked with a lot of different companies, as you look at those programs that have figured out how to how to maintain that level of engagement, how to how to really drive that stickiness, as it relates to these early career professionals, not looking at greener pastures. What are some of the common themes that you've seen that work as we think about these types of structures and systems?

Mark Zides:

Yeah, it's not a one size fit. All right. I think that every culture, every company is every size is different. Every industry is different. But in general, if I can answer the question, I think it's, you know, you mentioned earlier Kyle, Ron conductivity, right. So how do you stay connected with these individuals coming into the workforce? You know, do you have you know, I think it's really important for anyone coming into the workforce, especially early in career to find a mentor, and just sort of know in multiple mentors, right, whether In the company that we're looking at, maybe it's a professor, maybe it's somebody who's a friend of a friend, to get advice, right. But within the accompany structure, I feel that the longer that an individual's is engaged in a program, the more they'll stay, it'll be sticky. And what I mean by that is, if there was an onboarding program that just went beyond the typical average, you know, six to eight weeks, right, if you can, if you can extend it to six months, and I know it's an investment in the company, but it doesn't have to be, you know, ongoing training all the time, right, it could be a training program, it could be a mentor mentee program, it could be, you know, some informal meetings, it could mean, it could be a work group or community that's built, you know, around, you know, this new hire class, right. And it could be an informal monthly meeting where everyone gets together and talks about, you know, some of the things they're facing talks about, and then a speaker comes in again, and says, Hey, here's how you might solve some of these problems, it can be very informal, I think training is important. I'm biased, because, you know, we run a very successful training company, but to build training programs, and even if there are short little video vignettes, that, you know, sort of talk about new products, talk about the companies, where the company is going, continue education and knowledge around what the company is doing, what they're doing, keep people engaged. So, again, not to get super tactical, but, you know, are you doing engagement surveys, are you, you know, you kind of making sure that these people are, you know, invested in the company, right? There's a big cultural piece here that, unfortunately, based last couple of years get a little disconnected, because there's no more lunch room talks, or lunch and learns, and things like that, that used to happen in a lot of these companies. So how do you do that? How do we recreate that and make it much more engaging? You know, for these people coming into the workforce, we could probably talk hours and hours about ideas, but, you know, those are just a couple of initial thoughts. But at the end of the day, it comes down to engagement, activity, communication, you know, make them feel like they're making an impact. You know, it doesn't have to be every day, but every every month, you know, whether it's from their their manager or their boss, giving them feedback, feedbacks important, whether it's positive feedback or constructive feedback.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, it just, it makes so much sense. And, you know, none of that none of these concepts are not overly complicated, right. You know, I mean, a lot of this stuff is pretty simple. That doesn't mean it's easy. Right. And that's, you know, that's one of the theories that I, that I have, you know, a lot of times we throw around, like retention and, and stickiness is terms and, and, you know, a lot of times we're kind of throwing our hands up, like, well, you know, what do we do, but I think so, more often than not, it really does come down to that connection piece. It's like, if, you know, if you have employees who feel connected to others at your workplace, and they feel like they have some friendships at work, or some loyalty to a mentor, or a boss, and they have, you know, they have that feeling of, of community. And they know that they can, you know, raise their hand and be listened to, or make an impact in the job they do. I mean, it's like, you know, I don't we all want that. I mean, that's not really that's not an early career professional thing. That's like, just a, that's just an employee experience thing, like we should, should all have workplaces like that, right?

Mark Zides:

Yeah. And the ones that are successful, and the ones that win awards are the ones that do all those things you just mentioned, right? And it's hard to do, like you said, it's not easy, it sounds easy. But to implement that, and to actually execute on it is, it takes a, it takes a village again, another cliche, but you know, everyone's gonna buy it all the way from the top, you know, all the way to kind of to, you know, the people in the field or the managers, it's got to, everyone's got to be connected. Absolutely.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, it's the, I'm laughing because it's like the, you know, we've just done some, some wonderful training, some engagement training, you know, and everybody everybody's super lined at the training. And then you go back to your desk, you're like, Oh, crap, I got all this crud, and, you know, and then you just go right back into your old mold, right? It's like, you actually have to kind of, you actually kind of have to intentionally shake the mold a little bit and apply the learnings and, and, and continue to stay focused, which I think to, to second your point on, like, that's why you've got to be consistent and thoughtful about right. You can't just do a training one, one time, five years ago, and say, you remember that training we did five years ago? Right, right. It's got to be consistent. So

Mark Zides:

training has to be experiential, right? It has to be fun. And there's so many ways now versus you know, 510 years ago, you know, I mean, these quote, unquote, kids grew up with games, you know, game gamification, right, that they're playing, you know, video games, and a lot of times, we don't realize this, but I listened to a great podcast the other day. You know how he built this with Guy Raz. And you know, the last podcast or a couple of was with the founder of discord, Jason Cintron, and you should listen to it, or your listeners should listen to it because it opened my eyes of why these quote unquote, young people play games, like, you know, Xbox, or some of these other things is because it's a social platform. So they may be playing, you know, Madden football, but they're getting together with its friends, and they're talking about whatever, even though they're kind of playing this, you know, competing this game, whether it's, and it's a social network, that so you and I, you know, I used to talk on the phone, right, with my friends, these these guys all get together in a place, and they just kind of kibbutz for, you know, for an hour or two hours. And, and that's what they did when they're when they're getting together. So you hear about that you're like, wow, that's that's what this generation does to communicate and solve problems may be and you look at discord, it's got 150 million users, and it's a bunch of gamers are game developers, and, and, and people that build, you know, product, great products all can get together in these communities, and talk about experiences and stay connected, and they can invite friends. And so it's really interesting to kind of think about how this generation communicates and learns and becomes engaged. And it's much different than a traditional workforce, right. I mean, the workforce has, you know, Slack and Skype, and, you know, jammer and think tools like that, that are good, but fundamentally, an organization structured a lot differently, not do to not enable that type of communication protocol. So I thought it was really, really interesting to kind of get into the shoes of okay, well, you know, when my kid used to play video games, and he's a very social kid, he's played sports. Like, why are you playing? Um, um, we might from hanging on my friends, you know? So it's kind of interesting, you know, to kind of get that perspective. But anyway, not to digress.

Kyle Roed:

No, but I think it's, I think it's a really important point. And I reflect I have a, I have a 10 year old son, and, you know, it's like, why don't you go, yeah, go, go run around the block. You know, go, go ride your bike, skinned your knee, kick a soccer ball, take your friends down, you know, go go down to the school playground, and he's like, I am with my friends, like I am. But I'm skating my knee. And in, you know, in Roblox right now, I've got this obstacle course game. But it is yeah, it's like, totally social. And it's. So you know, my wife and I are like, well, we don't like him on screens. But this is actually his social activity. And, you know, in the middle of a pandemic, when everybody's all locked in their house. I mean, what else do we want him to do? So, you know, it's it is just totally different than, you know, then how I was, was brought up. So do you, as you thought about this book, and you thought about kind of, you know, early career professionals, and obviously, the differences generationally, just in the, just in the environments? Which which, with in with which we were raised? You know, what are the what are the gaps that you've observed between the processes of career development and getting hired and all that. Yesterday versus today? And, you know, how do we bring those two worlds together?

Mark Zides:

Yeah, I mean, so that's, that's some of the impetus of the book as well. I mean, you know, there are workplace gaps, and I'm not, you know, telling, saying anything that that people don't already know. And I have some assumptions. And so my own beliefs, which is, you know, I'm a Gen X er, and Gen X values, grit, right, so I'm one of those old school, do whatever it takes work harder than the next person, if you gotta, you know, you got to, you know, work nights, weekends to get the job done, you got to get it done. And I feel like this generation doesn't even know what grit means. Again, I'm generalizing. But, you know, a lot of them, you know, are they have a perception or there's a, there's a stereotype. And I did a TED talk at TEDx talk a few weeks ago at Babson College, and you can look it up. But my whole talk was on, you know, this generation has the perception in the marketplace, or from these hiring managers, that they're, they're soft, it's a trophy generation, and I'm guilty as charged. I got three kids in that generation, right? But what do they need to do? And what do they need to shift their mindset on to fit into these culturals or into these organizations? Because the people that are hiring them, are Gen Xers mostly right? They're people in their 40s and 50s, that are hiring them and if they don't come to the table with the right, you know, mindset, the right attitude, the fact that they want to look they can change the world and, and solve climate change on it. That's awesome. I mean, that's an incredible, you know, they're empathetic they bring so much more to the table than than I do or my generation does. But there are workplace gaps. So what can they do? It's up to them. Right, like we've coddled them, we've, we've brought them up, you know, taking care of the kids, they've graduate college. Now, you know what, here you go, you know, it's, it's, it's time to, to make it happen on your own, and that this book has given them some tough love and some advice to do that. And they own it, they own their career, right? It's not their parents anymore. It's not, it's not their guardians, and whatever they need to do, make it happen. Right? So again, going back to the old cliche, you got to, you know, be smart, you got to outwork people, you got to advocate for yourself, you know, so I put it more on the employee or the person that's working for the company, than the company, you know, has to own their development. I mean, it's it again, they both have their own development. But, you know, that's, that's my perspective on and then the workplace gap. Question is a loaded questions. It's difficult to answer in 30 seconds, but, you know, that'll help that'll help, you know, shrink it a little bit, in my opinion.

Kyle Roed:

Sorry, that's not a fair question. But, you know, if we had the answer to that, you know, we wouldn't, you know, we wouldn't need to be talking today. We could be sipping mai Tai's on a beach somewhere, right. You know. I think that's, you know, that's, that's a great example. And it's one of the things you know, it's fascinating, so I technically, I'm what they call an existential or an elder millennial, or, like, you know, there's all these different silly terms, but I'm like, I'm, like, lumped between Gen X and Millennial and I don't really, I don't necessarily associate with either one or the other somewhere. I am like, Yeah, I'm that then there's someone I'm like, Yeah, I'm that. I think one of the really powerful things early in my career was realizing, Oh, wow, there's a stigma about me. Like, oh, people, you know, it's like, oh, people are looking at me, like, oh, it's like kids these days, you know, like, like, shaking their fist and like, get out, you know, you know, get it together. And, but, but I think it is, it's really powerful for early career professionals to have that realization, and many of them don't, to their own detriment, right. I remember distinctly, I was doing a generational differences training for my, my frontline leadership group, at a former company. And I had a young millennial employee who was, she was an HR intern. And I was just putting together this presentation for this group. And I said, Hey, we look at this, like, I'm trying to explain you to them. Like, you helped me. And she went through the, the training and, and she, she read it just with her mouth wide open for basically the entire training. And she looked at me, she goes, Is this what people think? Like, it's like, yeah, it really is like, this is the stereotype of, of you and your generation. And she's like, well, I don't feel like I'm like this. And I'm like, well, then, you know, I think we have some work to do on helping people understand, you know, your perspective, but it was that that light bulb moment, and then actually, she's gone on to much success, which has been awesome to see. She's now a senior HR manager, and she's accredited some of that success to realizing early on that there is a perception there, and then actively bucking that perception. Right, and like, like proving people wrong, and that was one of the drivers for her to like, like to find that right career success and the right organizations that enabled that success. So that's a great comment.

Mark Zides:

It's a great story. Yeah,

Kyle Roed:

I like that. Yeah, she's awesome. Briana, if you're listening, keep up the great work, so proud of you. So appreciate it. But what's also funny is like, as a, you know, as a leader, I've learned just as much from the younger generation, as they've come in, and kind of taught me things like I would actually argue, I was doing things that were inefficient. And what I would consider to be, you know, maybe somebody who didn't have to use your term, like the grid, they were actually more interested in solving a problem so that it didn't come back, or treating a problem as something that we can automate, and never have to worry about. Again, you know, it's just, and, you know, hey, if I like that,

Mark Zides:

yeah, I mean, I mean, I feel that this group that's, you know, entering the workforce have much broader communication, you know, technologically technology skills than the newer me right. So, if they can solve a problem with technology or or based on their, their skill set or their experience, then they should do it and they should bring that to the table because, you know, use that knowledge you know, use that you know, push the envelope force people force companies to hire differently. You know, think differently again, you know, I get I, I feel that they, they can bring a lot to the table, but they have to be practical about it. It just can't be ideation and ideas, they have to say, hey, here's how we can solve it. So to get to a point, Kyle, you know, be solution, folks and come together and solve these problems for this company. And they do it in a different way. Great. Right. But but they have to push the envelope. Absolutely.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, it's, it is a lot more fun to come up with cool ideas, though. And that's it is that it's turning into actions that that's, that's the trick, right? That's, that's really it. So for, for folks who are listening to this, that are maybe in that that part of their career, where they're maybe an early career professional kind of figuring it out. You know, maybe you found this podcast, because you're an HR, and you're like, hey, I thought HR was different than this. So I want to I want to find a new way to HR, you know, that you can do that. But you, you also have to deliver, right, like you have it there, that goes back to what I think we talked about earlier, which is, you know, it's patience. It's, you know, you have to have enough time to get something done. I, you know, so many times I'll talk to a candidate, and I'll and in for an interview for a job, and then I go back to the hiring manager, I said, Hey, you know, they, you know, they were in this role, you know, and they, they had some great results, but the manager will, you know, turn that back on me and say, you know, what, they were on the job for a year, you can't get anything done in a year. You know, but But you hear that, I mean, that's the perception. And so it's, you know, as you're, as you're working through, getting, going through the interview process, thinking about your career path, you know, there is going to be that stigma, if you move every year to, you know, people, that's that's the perception. And while I know, some people don't like that, job hopping is looked down upon, in many forms by many recruiters. It can, it does have a negative stigma, in many cases. And so you gotta be aware of that, right? It

Mark Zides:

does, I mean, in the right, when it says it has a bad stigma, or you gotta debunk the stereotype of this, but what I will say is, you know, it's a gig economy out there, right? It's, it's a, and I think hiring managers need to take an open mind or have an open mind to look, you know, there are people that quote, unquote, jump jobs a lot more than, you know, people further in their career did you know, the days of I think you said, someone working in a company for 45 years, those are probably over. But that said, I would coach a hiring manager, or talent acquisition team, to hire the athlete, right? Again, another cliche, but hire that person that you believe, has the skills, the behavior, the attitude, and they're going to make a difference right? There, they're not going to fit into a perfect box, always right, you're not going to take the college experience, maybe a couple of intern experiences, and then they're going to fit right into, you know, the exact role, you want to find the person is going to fit the culture, you know, fit, you know, fit the organization, you know, and just and that a curious, you want people that are curious, you want people that are going to want to learn, you want people that are going to work hard, again, all those, you know, traits and behaviors, but that's what I would say to hiring managers not to try to just find the perfect candidate, you know, I mean, that's what I find to be most successful, and you know, what, you're going to hit, somebody's going to lose some, but with all these open jobs and open roles, these organizations, I think you gotta take some chances. I know, it's a big investment to bring people on board. But, you know, if these hiring managers will be a little bit more open minded to kind of, you know, bring in someone with maybe not the perfect experience, but but they feel that they'd be a good fit the organization, I take that chance,

Kyle Roed:

Mark, I'm gonna hire you to have that speech with my hiring managers on a monthly basis. Because I mean, I, I'm with you, I'm with you. And I think, you know, the call out on the gig economy, I think that goes right back to you know, it's a different world out there. It is just different and, and, you know, we've got to be be mindful of that and open minded. Or we are, we're going to struggle, I mean, to find people to keep people and to engage people. So with that being said, we are coming towards the end of our time together. And I'm fascinated to hear the your responses to our rebel HR flash round questions. So are you ready? Sure. All right, here we go. Question number one, where does HR need to rebel?

Mark Zides:

They need to push, push their own agenda up up to, you know, the C suite, meaning they need to force the leadership's of these organizations to think about hiring differently, think about doing work differently. And think about growing up Really, so, you know, HR again, you know, is a huge, important piece of an organization. And instead of, you know, again, back to our cliche, Kyle, you know, have a seat at the table, you know, they, they, they really need to make sure that, you know, because the people, the people in is the organization, right, an organization can't run without its people, and at the simplest form, so HR needs to, you know, go to leadership, whether it's the CEO, or the CFO or the CEO and say, Look, you know, here's what we need to do. Here's how we should do it different business differently, because you see it from a talent perspective, and a leadership perspective, and you need to bring that to the table.

Kyle Roed:

I agree 100%. You know, and coming from mice context, you know, I so I'm, I'm in the manufacturing sector right now, for years, you know, the definition of Human Resources is what we would call a non value added resource, we're not directly adding value to the product, that customer is not willing to pay for that. That's, that's how they would define it in my realm. But if we think about ourselves that way, we are completely missing the point. Like, why are we here? Why what is it business? It's a group of people, right? We are the people business, we've got to have that voice. So I agree. 100 100% Question number two, who should our listeners be listening to?

Mark Zides:

You know, there's some great podcasts out there, you know, you know, I mentioned earlier how I built this with Guy Raz. You know, it's a great podcast that kind of talks about leaders and how they made it through their, their journey. You know, I like token CEO, and or if you're a barstool person, but, you know, the CEO of of barstool, Erica Nordine has a great podcast, and she talks about, you know, what young people should be doing or thinking about when they get into the workforce and very direct, very authentic, very raw content. So I like those two podcasts, you know, and again, there's a lot of great information out out out on the internet to, to look at to, you know, around leadership and change and, you know, things like that. So those are some of the things that I mentioned.

Kyle Roed:

Awesome. All right, last question, how can our listeners connect with you?

Mark Zides:

You know, I, I'm a big LinkedIn person. So I'm a big social network person, I think LinkedIn is the best way to connect with people professionally. So feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. I also have a website, Mark sides.com. And, you know, talks a little bit about my book, you know, the audio book just came out or is coming out this week. So if people want to, you know, kind of listen to it that way, that's great. And then I'm also on Instagram, and Facebook. But that's kind of more on the personal side. But I mean, I would say, LinkedIn, or Mark sides.com, is the best way to get in touch to me. And if anyone wants to talk to me about, you know, you made kind of a semi joke, but if you want me to come in and talk to your leadership, or your leadership team, your HR team, your recruiters about how they can be more successful, you know, I'm happy to talk to you, you know, outside of the podcast.

Kyle Roed:

I love it. And we will have all that information in the show notes, open up your podcast player, click and check it out. We'll have a link to the book as well. Highly recommended, I'm definitely going to be buying some copies and giving them to some of my mentees, I think, who are who are asking these exact questions of me right now. So I appreciate you putting this down and helping out the next generation to come. So, Mark, thanks for spending some time with us today.

Mark Zides:

Yeah, Carlos. Pleasure. Thanks.

Kyle Roed:

Thank you. All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. Big thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. The views and opinions expressed by rebel HR podcast are those the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the organizations that we represent. No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast. Maybe