Human Resources

Millennials talk careers: Melissa Mehmet

Name: Melissa Mehmet

Age: 30

Education: BA Hons Digital Advertising & Communications

Current role: Head of Account Management

Ideal role: Strategy & Business Development


Are the stereotypes about millennials true?

Stereotypes are a poor excuse for peoples’ need to categorize things in this world. Are there millennials with a behavioural trait that fits a stereotype? Of course, but there will also be many who don’t. 

The media industry is growing year on year and the masses of jobs being advertised in this industry appeal to a younger audience, so there are quite rightly, lots of millennials in the media industry right now. As a 21-year-old straight out of University, a company where you can have a much better work life balance is very appealing in comparison to some other industries, which is why a lot of graduates are making the move into the media and advertising industry. This might fit the stereotype that millennials are lazy, due to choosing work/life balance but I think this is just a sign of the change in priorities.

Millennials may have different expectations in life and their career and that’s a good thing, we should be progressive and constantly push companies to deal with those social changes - not the other way around.


What benefits most attract you to a new position?

The range of the role and responsibilities. I like to avoid repetitiveness as much as possible and I have been lucky that many of my roles have been flexible, allowing me to mould and change the role as suited. I have found this to be the best way to broaden and expand my skills set. It’s good to feel out of your comfort zone, as much as it doesn’t feel like it at the time. The sense of achievement after is very satisfying.

More recently, I have become a bit of a desk person hidden behind excel sheets and skype calls but I most enjoy being out and about meeting people… relationships always change when you meet face to face, it makes such a big difference.


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

  • Career development
  • Work/ life balance
  • Salary

100% Work/Life balance. London can be incredibly expensive so, you could be earning a decent salary and still feel like you are struggling financially. A lot of my family are in Eastern Europe where the British pressures of owning your own home to feel like you have accomplished something in life don’t really exist. I’m happy renting my small one bed in Peckham. I’m a woman of simple pleasures, I like the pub, Nando’s and holidaying in Spain, so whilst I need money to survive, I value my work/life balance so much more. I don’t want to live for the weekend and exhaust myself during the week. I work extremely hard during my working hours, but you need that time to switch off and unwind outside of the office. Out of working hours I’ll either be in the gym, at the cinema, down the pub or at home relaxing.


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

I don’t think you can pin-point just one thing. I think generations are changing and the work mentality of older generations is no longer applicable to the younger generation. Society can have this perception that the workforce should always be go getters, working all hours under the sun and sometimes for free to prove themselves. I don’t think that’s necessarily the case anymore. That’s not to say that the younger generation aren’t ambitious and ‘go-getting’ but I think it’s unfair that we are often expected to be that way in order to be considered a ‘good employee’ and our work-life balance can be compromised as a result.

One way companies can better hire and retain millennials is through training. There is a lack of knowledge that exists in the industry and that’s mostly due to the fact things move so quickly in the media sector, there is always something new to get on board with. Companies need to invest in enough training of their staff to really arm them with the knowledge and confidence to be successful. There are new agencies, suppliers, brands launching daily, so there will always be a company who is willing to give you more, or seems more exciting but if a company really invests in its staff and in developing them in a way that gets the most value then I think millennials wouldn’t jump around from job to job as much.


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

Not at all. I started off in a niche area of digital advertising and once I knew I was interested, I broadened out to learn and develop in a more diverse digital role. It’s been great so far and things change so often I have loved the fast-paced environment I’ve been in.


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