Q&A with Lindsey Pollak: Gen-Y Career Expert

As a young professional, I’m always eager to learn more about secrets in the workplace- you know, the type of material that isn’t taught in college. I recently attended a networking event in Dallas sponsored by The Hartford in partnership with u30pro. Their campaign, My Tomorrow, serves to educate yo-pros on career tips and how to plan for their futures.

Lindsey Pollak, author of Getting from College to Career and Gen-Y career expert, was the keynote speaker at this event. Lindsey is a great speaker who connected well with the audience, and presented fantastic career tips for young professionals. When Lindsey graduated from college, she was not given a “secret playbook” to help her land a job. Lindsey set herself on a mission to find the truths behind various career topics- mainly, how to get a job!


Nelli Tokleh, assistant editor of GenPink, meets Lindsey Pollak, Gen-Y career expert

In conjunction with The Hartford, she created the Real World Roadmap. This map guides college graduates and new professionals to make smart moves in the “real world”. Here’s a summary of her career tips, below.

1. Figure out what you want

Regarding your career, what do you want to do? Once this end goal is picked out, everything will flow easier from there.

2. Build a strong personal brand

Be able to work toward a reputation. Always stay authentic and true- even your social media presence.

3. Network!

Networking comes in many forms. For example, joining a Twitter chat is a fun way to meet new people in your industry. #u30pro hosts Twitter chats about each month. It’s a fast way to connect with others in the marketing, advertising, PR and other related fields. Be comfortable to talk about your career because these chats serve as a learning opportunity for everyone. Also, reach out to your alumni and undergraduate career offices for job leads and guidance. Lastly, make an effort to attend industry conferences or luncheons. You’ll never know who you might meet!

4. Protect yourself financially

Plan out your monthly budget. Set aside money for your expenses, such as rent, insurance, bills and “fun money”. The Hartford offers open enrollment which protects you financially if you need to take time off work. This offer is just $250/year. It can go a long way if you don’t have health insurance and you get really sick or injured. Lindsey says, “Your ability to work is your biggest asset.”  Second, learn negotiating skills- especially women! Educate yourself before making an offer with a potential employer.

5. Commit to being the CEO of your career

Have a personal board of advisors to assist you on jumping into your career. This board can include mentors from your industry, trustful friends, family, teachers and alumni. Next, set career goals. Ask yourself questions about the future and where you want to be. Does it include graduate school or moving to another city? Don’t forget to read industry news regularly to keep up with changes and additions to the practices you’ll need for a job. Lastly, be proactive. Take control of your career, and don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way.

Join the conversations on Twitter using #MyTomorrow and #u30pro. While you’re at it, connect with Lindsey on Twitter.

What do Millennials think about benefits? Check out The Hartford’s infographic, “Yolo…Protect Tomorrow?”