Millennials talk careers: Eleanor Cook

Do the stereotypes about Millennials stack up?

[image_library_tag 32dd4612-18b1-4bf6-84f6-f238995f3c92 178x206 alt="22-07-2017-eleanor-cook" title="22-07-2017-eleanor-cook - " width="178" height="206"class="left "]Name: Eleanor Cook

Age: 26

Education: 1st class BA Hons in Marketing Management & IDM Diploma in Digital Marketing

Current role: Marketing Executive for Oak Intranet

Ideal role: Marketing Director



Are the stereotypes about millennials true?

No, unfortunately the extreme cases of stereotyped millennials tend to be profiled on places such as social media. These examples create the general perception that millennials are lazy, have a higher sense of entitlement and only really worry about issues such as their number of social media followers.

Actually, the opposite is true for the majority of millennials. Most have been subjected to some form of part-time job, such as waitressing or working in retail, from as young as the legal age of 16. From my own experience, fitting this around studies is no easy task, but rent bills don’t pay themselves and many millennials don’t have the funds of Mum and Dad to fall back on. 


What benefits most attract you to a new position?

For me, the most important thing is having an open workplace culture. By that, I mean an environment where employees are able to freely put forward ideas and express their opinions on something they don’t agree with. Everyone has something to bring to the table and employees should always be made to feel valued. Managers should be there to encourage and support individuals, and that is how you will get the most out of people.

In terms of more physical benefits, the company I currently work for has several perks, including an extra day off for your birthday, flexible working patterns, free breakfast and fruit provided and ‘Fish & Chip Friday’ every month. It’s the small things that can make the difference.


In the long term which of the following is most important to you? (Please explain why?)

  • Career development
  • Work/ life balance
  • Salary

When I was fresh out of university, career development was my only focus. However, over the past few years, various life events have driven ‘work/life balance’ to become my most important priority. Money and career development are all well and good but you can’t put a price on your relationships and health!


What do you think most companies are getting wrong when hiring/ retaining younger workers?

Workplace culture and the social community is highly important to millennials, and this can be often overlooked by older generation employers. Millennial employers need to introduce ‘fun’ elements at work, whether it’s a charity fundraiser or a social get-together, these are important elements for keeping millennial employees keen and motivated.

Another key factor for retaining millennials, is providing a work environment where they are trusted and have the creative freedom to innovate. Due to advances in technology, millennials have a lot of natural technical ability ahead of their previous generations and employers must make the most of this. In order to prevent job-hopping, millennials must feel they are in a supportive environment and provided with a career path to pursue.


Looking back, is there anything you’d change about the route you took to your current career?

One thing I may have changed is taking a year out after finishing A Levels to gain more work experience, aside from working in a shop. This would have helped in the decision making process for choosing a degree course/qualification to pursue, but there was a lot of pressure from school to get into university. Other than that, I feel my career route has proceeded as expected and I am very fortunate to be working in a role that reflects my qualifications.

I would advise anyone who is thinking about going to university to carefully research the course they are looking to study. The learning content from academic degree courses can quickly become out of date, and you may find that you need to pursue further qualifications to find employment, particularly in the areas of technology and business.