Seven Success Tips for Millennials to Find the Right Job

I have been speaking with many Millennials (those aged 18-35) and they often ask me what are the best success tips I can coach them on to help them succeed in today’s world of work. My simple yet time-tested responses are below, and I hope they offer ample guidance and support.

  1. Look Within Yourself.

Know your core values. Connect with the deeper essence of your passion. Assess your unique blend of innate gifts and strengths. Determine what your sense of life purpose or mission may be. Let yourself dream about the kind of life you envision for yourself, your career, your contribution. Also inventory your belief systems and worldviews, see where any pose roadblocks to your progress, and find avenues to process them out of your thinking. Self-awareness is the prime key to ultimate success in life/work.

  1. Learn the Power of Mindfulness.

Learn basic mindfulness techniques that help you stay in the present moment and help you from getting hijacked by emotions, fears, or beliefs that pull you off track. Use visual, audio or tactile cues to help you ‘remember-to-remember’ what new or positive mindsets / habits you choose to instill. Meditation is proven to help relieve stress, improve health and boost creativity, so find a way that best suits you and develop a daily practice. Take “Presence” breaks many times a day, and check in on your mood.

  1. Master the Skills of Effective Communication.

We are all in relationship with others, and being masterful at communication is the key to success. Learn to build rapport quickly and authentically. Listen, listen, listen then ask more questions. Seek first to understand. When you show others you hear them, they will be more open to hear you. Figure out the best way others like to be communicated with – text, email, messaging, phone, in-person – then feed that. Remember, you will only be as effective as how you communicate!

  1. Become a World-Expert in Something.

There are lots of people out there, so you must become unique. Blend your passions, interests, skills and find out what makes you come alive. Look for areas that can benefit from such a powerhouse as you and make yourself known. Become a voracious learner in your chosen area, and share your insights with as many who will listen. Seek out others who share your zeal and become part of a bigger community. The best jobs come from referrals, and the best referrals come from those who know and value you!

  1. Connect with Others Respectfully and Compassionately.

Become familiar with Emotional Intelligence (EQ), and assess your strengths and areas needing improvement. Increase your competencies in your interpersonal skills (empathy, social responsibility, compassion), adaptability (problem-solving, flexibility, cooperation), stress management (impulse control, tolerance, emotional management), and intrapersonal skills (self-regard, optimism, self-expression, assertiveness, independence). As you better know what makes you tick, you can see that others need the same, and the most effective people have developed a maturity that expands others. Create safe, trusting, caring environments around you that allow people to thrive and communicate. Empathy
Social Responsibility
Interpersonal Relationship

  1. Look for Organizations, Cultures and Leaders Who You Align with You.

To maximize your levels of engagement, you need to research which organizations share some of the key things you personally hold true. What are their values, their purpose for existence beyond making money? What can research reveal about the feel of their culture and the way the management / leadership treats their employees, customers, the community and environment? When you can align who YOU are with who THEY are, you have a much higher chance of finding a place you’ll come alive working in, that also has interesting work, like-minded people and offers you meaningful experiences.

  1. Find a Mentor/Coach

The most successful people are so because they were open to being coached. Find someone who can: offer insights and guidance, challenge your status-quo, deliver honest feedback, cracks open your blind-spots, and who can help you along your life and work paths.

These are life-long skills that you can constantly work to improve and master. As you grow as an adult you can become your own highest and best leader of your life and career, and take full responsibility and accountability on your terms. There will be others who will offer input, advice or demands on you, and we can always listen and receive or reject as we see fit. Those who are grounded in their own authenticity more successfully navigate through life and not only achieve financial rewards and security, they are more fulfilled and happy.

A side note: I hope those who are hiring and leading the Millennials read this and realize that these seven tips also apply to people of all ages who are more self-aware and ready to be truly aligned and engaged with their organization – it’s purpose, it’s stakeholders, and it’s success. The Millennials are pulling us into a bigger, brighter future, and many of the management theories and practices of old are giving way to more meaningful forms of connection, communication, cooperation, collaboration and well-being in our workplaces. Evidence proves that those firms and leaders who “get” this experience all of the positives stated above, as well as obtain substantially higher profit levels and ROI over others in their space. It’s all about choice – evolve, or become extinct.

Become and Be The Person YOU Would Most Want To Hire and Work With!

Time For A Paradigm Shift?

We often wonder why things are the way they are, and why change is so difficult – even when we see that the way things are need to improve. If you look at human history, change may take a few moments, or it may happen in days, years, decades or centuries. We can shift our realizations and perspectives in an instant, or choose to hold on to old beliefs and behavior patterns for generations. A paradigm is a framework of a person, group or society that contains the basic assumptions, beliefs, ways of thinking and living, and the methodologies for decision-making that are commonplace and acceptable by the members of that community or culture. Throughout history, we have had major evolutionary shifts, from the hunter-gatherer paradigm, to the agrarian, empire-building, Renaissance, Industrial and Scientific Revolutions that have brought us to current time. Within those macro paradigms we also have had many other paradigms that are woven into our societies and ways-of-thinking. Consider for a moment the impact, benefits, liabilities and challenges-to-change the following four paradigms present:

Patriarchy. This is defined as attaching to the ideals, perspectives and beliefs that men hold a superior place to women.

Elitism. We see this in many areas, from those who were born into privilege, to those where race and family heritage set the hierarchy for a society. In recent times we see it in how we are judged and valued based on our economic capacity to make money, and to what rank and role in organizations we hold.

We live in a mechanical Universe where material/stuff is considered as prime to all life and things. Where it appears as if all of life, including humans, work like machines do – in being separate and composed as dispensable parts of bigger mechanisms.

We are our DNA, the “I am as I was born” mindset. From this perspective we just accept our own lives, things and systems as a consequence of birth, almost with a ‘fait accompli’ attitude. Life just is what it is, I am who I am, and nothing can change that.

While we can discuss, even argue about the affects these and other paradigms have had on the human condition, on our systems of economics and politics, and to our planet, I just want us to see that these were all based on patterns of human thinking. At some point we came to these conclusions, and just like all beliefs, a group of people in the past got accustomed to these ways of looking at the world and of making sense in their lives. Decisions were made, successful outcomes (win vs. losing, being right vs. wrong) were realized, and over time they just became people’s ‘truth’ and ways of living. Whether we agree with them or not, they are an integral aspect of our existence.

Take some time and reflect on these few paradigms of thought, beliefs and cultural patterns and how they play out within you and your life. Gain a bigger perspective on how those patterns of thinking may have come about, and how life conditions way back called them into existence. See where there are ways to agree and affirm the benefits of such thinking, as well as see the dark-side and the detriments. Allow yourself to get real with your own patterns, and habits of thinking-believing-behaving, and see how they have played out in your life, and in the defining who you think you are. Observe how these paradigms play in the way you interact with others, both in relationships and as a member of various communities. See where your thinking has served you, as well as prevented you from living life from more of your own authentic choosing.

Truth often gets mixed with beliefs, preferences or opinions. A truth to me means it is true in all situations, so as I have looked at these paradigms and have been brutally honest with myself, I saw how they have played parts in my own development. This ‘getting real’ with myself has helped me to open up my mind, let in contrarian-to-current-paradigm thinking that has allowed me to see how the opposite of each can be positively experienced and lived. Being able to appreciate the power and energy of the feminine; the letting go of biases and prejudices; observing the pain from fear of limitations and lack; in seeing how everything in life has an effect on everything else; and in experiencing how my own desires and intentions for personal growth have led to positive changes that made me more open, more accepting, more effective, and more fulfilled. Once I let go of my own attachments to past paradigms and old truths, I was able to see what is true, right, beautiful and meaningful to me, and that has made all the difference in my life.

It’s like the saying “what got me here won’t get me there,” and I now can see that our current reality needs not just one but many paradigm shifts. See how shifts in thinking that allows new data, experiences and realities to shed light may add-to and expand current experience, or may just destroy old paradigm patterns of thinking and being that no longer serve our highest and best good. I invite you to explore how paradigms have impacted your life, and have made you who you are. Let me know how shifts in your own thinking have brought about positive changes in you! My sense is that more people are waking up and are open to looking at the world and their lives through new lenses. When enough people start seeing things anew, new things can come about. Shift can happen over a lifetime, or it can happen in a split second – you determine the speed of change!


All change begins in the hearts, minds and souls of people.

Shift the way you see the world and the world will shift!

What Worldview is Driving You?

Now that you have an idea of what authenticity is and how it leads to happiness, we need to reevaluate your worldview belief systems. The first stop along this journey is to take some time to reflect on what you know, believe, think you believe, what your truth is, how you arrived at these beliefs and truths, and whether they will continue to serve you along your journey as an authentic leader.

Others’ truths that we have come to believe, or what we think we know (assumptions) are often hidden as beliefs. Unless these beliefs are tested periodically, we can be channeled into narrow viewpoints that hinder growth. What we believe drives our thoughts, our thoughts drive our emotions, our emotions drive our behaviors, and our behaviors drive our results. When we know something, we feel it in our very being. When we know truth, we establish a new “truth belief.” Get in touch with what you know; it will lead you to your truth!

For many, this process becomes too difficult or fearful. When I felt that way, I had to recognize that my deep old patterns of thinking and living were being questioned, and that was unsettling, but I have not yet found another way to my truth. In my quest for truth, I had to challenge every belief, every perspective about the world I ever held. In the process of dissecting and feeling into truth, I also saw how it evolved over time. Time allows for some to shift their perspectives to either embrace new values or to look for ways to successfully operate in an ever-changing complex world. Some people stay in their worldview once they become adults, and find accepting others viewpoints difficult, or have a hard time adapting and changing as the world gets bigger and more interconnected.

Our feelings are guideposts to truth. They are the mechanism we use to ‘feel’ what is right and best for us. Reconnect with them, remember how reliable they can be, and use them to reaffirm what you know is true for you. As you remember your truth, use this wonderful ‘sixth sense’ you possess, and be prepared to see things with new lenses.

Many scholars have studied these questions: “What makes a mature human being?” “Why do people do what they do?” “What are the intrinsic motivators of human beings?” Many philosophers and scholars have made answering these questions their life’s work, and they have left us with the same opportunity to explore our own answers. I have studied the Spiral Dynamics model to better understand human motivation and evolutionary stages. Initially developed by Claire Graves, Don Beck has expanded on the model and his research reveals that over 90% of the world’s population falls under four main worldviews, where each society seems to gravitate to one predominant worldview, and how the others either are pulling it ahead into a new future, of keeping it safely in some imagined ideal past state.

Take a read on the following four main worldviews and see where your perspective falls. See which is one is your predominant perspective, and what other aspects you are open to that are in the others. See which views you disagree with, or reject. Get clear on your own root belief systems.

Egocentric-Power Gods
Impulsive, powerful, egocentric and heroic characterizes the mindset in this worldview. This was the first emergence of an exclusive, extraordinary egocentric trait and was generally found in powerful tribes, empires and kingdoms. Powerful beings dominate the scene and everyone is under the control of one powerful leader or group. Feudal lords rose up during this time with empires established in power and glory. In this world, the powerful orders, the underling obeys. This trait or consciousness can be seen in feudal set ups, gang leaders, rock stars, people in frontiers or rebellious youth.

Absolutistic-Mythic Order
The world is under the dominance of one Order, a religion or an all-powerful bureaucracy. Those who follow the righteous order are blessed with heavenly life, while those who object to it are subjected to cruelty and punishment. Everyone has to follow the code to live in communion with the society and reap the benefits of being faithful. There is only one right way to think and law and order is dictated by that right way/order. May often be predominantly fundamentalist, conventionalist and conformist way of life. This trait or level can be found in religious groups, puritan America, Dickensian England, totalitarian societies groups that stick to moral codes.

This is the terrain of the over-achieving, scientific and strategic society. Dominated by self-will, it marks the growth of the society through scientific and industrial revolution. Instead of succumbing to the herd mentality, people are individualistic, rational and achievement-oriented. Materialism dominates here and the world is a place where science rules over everything. This trait can be seen in the Wall Street, in the upwardly-mobile middle classes of the world, in modern capitalist industry, and in emerging Asian cultures.

Predominant traits are communication, networking, human bonding and ecological sensitivity. Set against hierarchy and social institutions, this level achieves lateral bonding and linking and egalitarianism among groups. There is belief in and acceptance of pluralism, diversity, multicultural society, relativistic value systems etc. Value communities or groups are formed based on shared sentiments carry this trait. This can also be found in movements like Greenpeace, animal rights, eco-feminism, human rights movements, and diversity movements.

There is also an emerging fifth worldview, that approximately 3-5% of the population are either comfortably in or evolving in to. See what your sense is about this new worldview.

According to the Spiral theorists, this wave started around the 1950s. It accepts all kinds of belief systems and forms, bases itself in pluralities and integration of pluralities. Everything is considered to be complementing its opposite trait, not an either/or, but a both/and mentality. Knowledge and competency should supersede power, status, or group sensitivity. Where the earlier levels were centered on survival mechanisms, the Integrative system focuses on the quality and well-being of the stakeholders within the system. Improving congruence of core values between all groups, aligning various worldviews around a common vision, and creating cultures consciously by pursuing personal and professional development and mastery is the challenge that fuels the leaders within this worldview.

Being comfortable in your truth is a key element of authenticity, even if it means that you are different from others or you have evolved past prior levels of thinking. Being open to change if/when your current worldview no longer offers the best solutions to new problems is one of the most difficult things we humans undergo. Yet if the world changes and we cannot, then discovering the next best solutions to ever-complex issues will be painful and expensive. As Gandhi said, “It’s up to us to be the change we wish to see in the world.” All change begins with opening up one’s mind to new possibilities.

Look at where you are more set in your view, which other worldviews you lean into, or are interested in expanding more in to. Either way, being authentic is much easier than trying to please others and go with the flow of everyone else.

“If you are not a questioner of your own reality,
if you are not thinking for yourself,
then who really are you?”

Stop Being a Prisoner of Your Past

In prior blogs I addressed the power of being more “self-aware” and of living more “mindfully” in the “present moment” if you want to be a more effective and authentic person and leader. Both of these are reliant, however, on one’s abilities to raise the level of conscious attention beyond the heavy layers of mental and emotional pre-conditioning we all suffer from as we age from birth to present time.

We humans are like sponges. As we develop, we pick up all types of input from multiple sources and people. Some are intentional and positive in our learning processes from parents, teachers and others. However, much of what gets deposited into our streams of thinking are other people’s values, opinions, beliefs, prejudices and fears. By the time we come of age we are the amalgamation of our families and societies ways, and much of who we are gets wrapped up in who we should be, what we are supposed to do, and how we should perform if we want to be accepted. It takes tremendous focus to be able to think, feel, intuit and decide for oneself, and to get beyond all the internal chatter that we all take in over our lifetime.

The conditioned part of ourselves is what we can refer to as the ego, particularly the unhealthy aspects of ego that keep us stuck in negative patterns that were derived by any limiting beliefs and fears that somehow became our own. Our beliefs drive our behaviors, and limiting beliefs are the biggest barriers to success. We form beliefs to make sense of our world. Early beliefs were formed around our parents, family, and the immature decision-making skills of our youth. We often interpreted things happening around us and began to think the following:

I’m not good enough

I’m not needed

I don’t matter

What I say doesn’t matter

I’m not important

I’m not smart enough

I’m bad

I’m wrong

I’m a loser.

As we experienced life, many interpretations of events made lasting impressions within us that, if eventually not seen to be untrue and released, become the predominant thinking and feeling patterns that shape our daily lives. The insidious aspect of beliefs is that, once they are cemented, like grooves on an LP record, they keep us in a constant, repetitive way of thinking and feeling that shuts out new information or doesn’t allow for any positive changes to occur. These beliefs carry forward into the present, and people often go to the mat defending their beliefs, even when their beliefs do not serve them. People react according to their beliefs and often distort facts to support their beliefs. Getting to the core of negative beliefs will begin your liberation and advance you toward authenticity. Self-judgment is the core disease.

Literature is full of terms addressing negative thinking and self-judgment we human-beings suffer from: the dark side, demons and dragons, forces below the surface, fears, and the realm of the subconscious. There are things in your “basement” that are negative, and the key to unlocking their hold on you is to increase and expand your levels of self-awareness. Without the willingness to look in this area, any significant progress toward authenticity will be hampered.

The first stop on this journey toward authenticity and conscious leadership is to reflect on what you believe, what your truth is, how you arrived at these beliefs, and whether they serve you along your journey to authenticity. You have to know how the thinking machine that we call our brain or mind works and the emotional and reactive systems that are hardwired into it.

On my own pathways of personal and professional growth, I had to constantly take stock of my most revered beliefs and truths. Every time I was faced with new ideas or fresh realizations from past teachings, I had to look at what was before me, how it resonated within, and whether it felt right to either accept or reject it. Once new truths were realized, the old had to be let go so to effectively integrate them into my system of understanding. Beliefs do not seem to go quietly or without discomfort. Many times this created conflict, which required delving deeper into the strata of my mind.

Our thoughts, feelings and beliefs color our perception of the world. They determine our actions, inactions, feelings, and behaviors. It is said that whatever you believe becomes your reality. You do not believe what you see; you see what you believe. This is why people facing the same situation see things so differently. A simple formula for how beliefs become our reality is:

Experience  Thoughts  Feelings  Interpretations  Response  Result Belief

Our brain-mind ‘ego’ system is constantly making judgments about our surroundings and events. Beliefs are created and stored, and when new events come along, these beliefs are tapped to evaluate what is happening and how to keep us safe. The new experiences that trigger old reactive patterns do not always reflect current reality, and if we are not aware of this and continue reacting as we always have, we often get the same results.

Those who have been able to think beyond their egoic attachment to their belief systems, who have been able to see what is presently before them with a keen sense of objectivity, and, seeing with lenses unfiltered by old beliefs can now allow new understandings that reflect ‘what is’ in the present, can begin to shed the shackles of any limiting beliefs and fears that have been holding them back. Those who are willing to self-assess utilizing their own powers of intellect, intuition and heart – and can see what stories, roles and masks no longer serve their highest and best interests – can now change or drop those old patterns and free themselves to think and live anew.

Beliefs, opinions, speculation, and assumptions do not always equal truth. Knowing leads to truth, but one person’s truth might not be the same as another’s.

It is clear to me that belief, truth, fact, speculation, opinions, and knowing play with each other in interesting ways. Do we need facts in order to believe? Are beliefs always true? How do we “know” anything? Thinking about how we think and how we perceive facts and create beliefs and truth is a challenge. So much of what we think we know as truth is often taken for granted. By using the most powerful asset we have, the thinking process, we can break free of automatic programming and take in the truth that we each feel is right.

A key factor in living authentically is to know, speak, and live from your truth, not from truth planted by others or from some events far in the past and now are lodged unconsciously within. This process entails being free of programming, reactive thinking, and behaviors that do not serve your highest good. I hope that as you begin your journey into expanding your self-awareness you take time to think about your life, your truths, and how you have come to know what you know. Authentic thinking breeds authentic behaviors, helps us break free of the prison bars of past limiting beliefs and fears, and allows fresh, healthy, caring, and effective ways of thinking, living and leading.

When we change the way we see things, the things we see can change – Thinking for oneself in the here-and-now is the territory of authenticity and the connection to conscious leadership!