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From Home Furnishing Business

Forty Under 40: A Purpose Driven Mission

By Jane Chero

Having been raised in the Information Age, Millennials are the most tech-savvy generation yet. They transitioned from snail mail to e-mail to text messaging in under a decade and have an affinity for the digital world. Their inherent need for speed is in their DNA, and they expect instant gratification.

As a result, a large portion of the workforce is drawn to STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and math) and hard technical skills. And even though top employers today value technical skills, most of them say ‘soft skills’ are just as important.

Soft skills such as leadership, communication and collaboration are crucial, and the Millennials who were selected for the Home Furnishings Business Forty Under 40 list exhibit all of that, and more.

However, according to Caroline Beaton, a contributor to Forbes magazine and a workplace psychology journalist, there are four additional soft skills that are under appreciated, but essential in the modern workforce:

Attention: Attention to detail is the ability to achieve thoroughness and accuracy when accomplishing a task. But Jake Rozmaryn, CEO of Eco Branding, told Forbes that his firm sees a lot of “careless typing and formatting errors in Millennial applicant writing and work samples, cover letters, resumes, etc.” In the workforce, even the grandest project depends on the success of the smallest components. It really is “all in the details.” Time management and the ability to follow through are must-have skills as well.

More Than College: Bachelor’s degrees may now be less important than they used to be – largely because they have almost become commonplace. College education isn’t the simple recruiting filter it used to be. Most entry-level business jobs involve a customer-facing component, but few colleges offer classes preparing students for sales, customer support or client relationships. Therefore, curiosity and commitment, not college, will be among the most important skills for Millennials in 2017 and beyond.

Agility: To adapt to the rapidly changing demands of modern work, employees need agility and the ability to overcome setbacks. Agility manifests itself in individuals as resourcefulness, goals-driven behavior, a team player mentality, and relentlessness. Agility is “not getting stumped at an early stage,” said Anna Crowe, CEO of Crowe PR. Instead it’s “here’s plan B and C to get us where we need to be.”

Humility: Not taking yourself too seriously, admitting when you don’t know stuff and asking for help when you need it are some of the most advanced skills of all. In the digital age, it has never been easier to inflate your successes and white-lie your way to and through a job.

In summary, Millennials want their work to serve meaningful purpose. They’re looking for career development, more meaningful conversations, and a more connected workforce. Companies that can find ways to make their workplaces exciting enough to attract good Millennial talent can reap the rewards by harnessing their power and developing future leaders.

The Millennials on the newest Forty Under 40 list are on that track. And for those Millennials out there who may be waiting for their own nomination -- be a story worth telling.

A Story Worth Telling

Success requires passion, resilience and wisdom and the talented home furnishings professionals you will see on the following pages have had a measurable impact on their brands, their peers, their companies and the industry.

Meet the Home Furnishings Business 2017 Class of Forty Under 40, a fine selection of ambitious individuals. Some are entrepreneurs and some are leaders who have climbed the ranks of the family or corporate ladder, but all of them have what it takes to excel in their fields and are ready for any challenge that may come their way. As the new generation of home furnishings executives, their stories are worth telling.

 



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