New & Noteworthy

Success in Today’s Workforce

October 9, 2014


Here’s a million dollar question.

What does today’s workforce need to survive?

Or more than just that, what do we need in order to succeed?

Ricoh, a global technology company specializing in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems, and IT services, recently sent their employees and customers a publication about today’s workforce. Featured throughout were Pat Klarecki, a Graphic Media Management professor, and two alumni, James and Amela O’Gorman. While this advice is from the GMAN program, any College of Business student can learn a great deal from what Professor Klarecki and the O’Gorman duo shared in their interviews.

The Ricoh publication frequently refers to the employees of today as the Millennial workforce. Loosely defined, this term encompasses people born between 1980 and the turn of the century who have entered into the professional world or, like many of us, are about to do so.

We are the Millennial workforce. We are smart, tech savvy, optimistic up-and-coming professionals. We plan on surviving. Here is our chance to learn a little from people who know what it takes.

After two decades as a Ferris State University faculty member, Professor Klarecki has a unique understanding of our workforce. Perhaps he could be considered an expert. He describes us as an inquisitive group motivated by “the here and the now” and seeking results immediately from our work.

There are a lot of talented young people out there waiting to turn loose their passions and build a career,” Professor Klarecki says.

And that’s exactly the kind of mindset he wants to put to good use in his industry.

Klarecki points out that often we Millennials are hesitant to commit; we’re unsure of what we want to do. He commends SkillsUSA, an organization he has passionately administrated for nearly 25 years, for showing our generation the rewards affiliated with long-term commitment and exposing us to a multitude of opportunities.

As products of SkillsUSA themselves and current business professionals at Quad/Graphics, James and Amela O’Gorman know what it’s like to turn a passion into a successful career. When asked about the critical skills needed for young people in today’s world, Amela O’Gorman emphasized the importance of being able to adapt to change.

You always have to be open to learning new things. Change is inevitable, and it is how we adapt to those changes that sets us apart and helps us succeed,” she told Ricoh.

James O’Gorman highlighted the need for communication.

Communication is one of the most important skills. Since no one person knows everything, you must seek out advice and knowledge from others. Recognizing how to go about doing this is critical.”

Other people in our workforce and the workforces before us are a wealth of knowledge. Like James O’Gorman suggested, we must continually pursue that knowledge. If you want to survive, ask your professors, your coworkers, and your family about their survival tools. Find the wisdom.

Here’s the greatest hope for us as Millennial professionals: survival and even success can be possible if we have the right information.