New talent – every industry needs to have a steady flow of new people and ideas joining their ranks in order to stay current with client needs, industry and cultural trends, and technology. Which are all rapidly changing business practices.

As Kevin talked about recently in his “Wander On In” post, finding that young talent is essential to the survival of the industry. And something critical that these new folks are bringing with them is their fresh perspective on business and their comfort with technology.

  • These young business professionals are not saddled with “the way we’ve always done it”.
  • They have grown up with technology and being extremely open with one another in sharing their lives online.

These two ideas combine make a very powerful new business tool from which we, as established business professionals, need to take a lesson.

Whether purposefully getting into the industry or wandering into it by accident, these young professionals are bringing their new ideas about business with them. And they are either joining our teams or the competitors’ teams. Regardless of which team they join, they are changing the rules of the game. And everyone who wants to continue playing the game has got to learn these new rules and start playing by them too.

They get it

I recently spoke with a group of university students who have formed a professional women’s organization and are actively recruiting business community members to help prepare them for their careers. One of the things that struck me as awe-inspiring about these students (besides their obvious initiative) was the understanding they had of the distinction between a personal and professional presence (both in-person & online), and how they are actively pursuing the professional because they understand the importance of it. It’s so important, in fact, that the university is offering free courses to its students to help them develop a professional online presence.

Even though these students have likely grown up having Facebook accounts for connecting with friends, these women all had very well-done LinkedIn profiles that put to shame most experienced professional profiles I see.

Granted, there is college and internship information filling in these profiles right now, but these women get it. They know how to present themselves in a professional manner and they have yet to even graduate. When they do graduate, they are going to Wow! their future employers and intimidate their competition right from the starting line.

As seasoned professionals, it’s our choice to jump in and learn these new rules – and help make some new rules of our own, or wait for the competition (internal or external) to overtake us and render us irrelevant.

We recommend that every agency owner, manager, and producer maintain a complete and up-to-date profile on LinkedIn. It’s a minimum expectation of any business professional.

Photo by A Name Like Shields Can Make You Defensive.