Millennials Series, Part 3 – How have the roles of SM Managers evolved? What expertise is in demand as the function matures?

Judith Cushman All Posts by Date, Millennials 0 Comments

Answer: Leading-edge agencies and companies are progressing from an initial stage of hiring SM professionals who understand the tools, to creating managerial roles and promoting from within. As the tools become fully integrated in the organization and are accepted as part of how an organization conducts business, it will be time for the innovators to mature into new roles if they wish to advance their careers. Finding capable and ambitious professionals in a relatively small talent pool creates new challenges for these organizations. For now, there are on-going needs to fill the implementation jobs at more conservative (slower to adapt) companies—in addition to these more senior leading-edge roles.

For Millennials interested in becoming Managers, this is a time for a radical shift in values. It will no longer be acceptable to change jobs every time a new and interesting assignment becomes available. The focus on “me first” when applying for a managerial role is a non-starter. The shift will involve committing to stability, learning about an organization and developing solutions around content and strategy that support overall business initiatives.

From becoming sought after no matter how jumpy a track record is, to having to convince a potential employer that those days are over, will create a new series of issues. The leadership roles they feel ready to assume are highly desirable. There are many qualified professionals from a variety of disciplines applying for them. Will these SM gurus have the tools and the right attitude to compete? Will they recognize they are at a crossroads? It may take being rejected as a finalist for several managerial jobs for a normally “sought after” candidate to accept the reality that the recruiting game has changed.

The position my client has filled (since I wrote this series) is an example of the need for both tactical and strategic thinking requiring maturity and longer-term job stability to succeed. It is a hybrid role and will enable a motivated professional to gain the skills and experience to evolve into a higher-level managerial job. Will Millennials reject this direction? What could be next if Millennials don’t make this paradigm shift?

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