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5 Questions: Lauren Tanney, Laconia native, tells 20-somethings how to go ‘From Ramen to Richese_SSRq

Lauren Tanney, who lives in San Diego but grew up in Laconia, has chosen to switch careers six times, so when she puts her name on a book about finding a job, she’s got experience to back up her advice. Her current career is corporate consultant and coach for CEOs, and author. “From Ramen to Riches: Finding a Job in Your 20s” is the follow-up to Tanney’s husband’s book of advice about how to build wealth while you’re young.

What’s the first thing a person in their 20s should do in a job search?

“They should do a really rigorous self-assessment: What am I really good at, what do I enjoy doing? Often, people start applying to any job they can, doing themselves and their potential employers a disservice. You really want to be happy in the job, and even though you might have to take an entry-level job, or do some grunt work, you have to be heading on a path you want to get further on.”

How do people in their 20s and younger approach work differently than previous generations?

“This generation is much more driven by values and companies being good corporate citizens and contributing to the world. . . . On occasion, there are some who get so picky they give other people a bad rap. On the other hand, I have a 20-something niece who thinks nothing of answering work emails at 10 o’clock at night. It’s on employers to realize that people have changed, and to take advantage of the fact that these are more flexible workers. If they have measurable goals, 20-somethings will still rise to the challenge.”

I’ve heard tales of parents submitting resumes and following up after their child has a job interview. Good idea? Bad idea?

“Horrible idea. I don’t think it does the parent or the child any good. We talk about in the book that finding a job is often all about networking. Using your parents’ friends to network is great, and that’s a way that your parents can be extremely helpful. But you gotta do it yourself.”

What are some common mistakes young people make in their job searches?

“This generation grew up with the internet. They just assume the internet is going to be the way to get a job. That is patently untrue, because when you submit your resume to an online job ad, thousands of people are doing the same thing.

What was the best advice you received when you were just starting out?

“It is really important to look for mentors. It’s hard to navigate any job and any company. The world of work is all about learning. The people who succeed the best are continuous learners.”

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or spalermo@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)

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