Nathan Tanner

Why I Wrote Not Your Parents’ Workplace, a Career Strategy Book

This article was originally published on LinkedIn. 

Last summer I completed an amazing internship at LinkedIn, and I’m excited to join the company after I graduate later this month.

Over the last year I’ve served as a LinkedIn Ambassador at my university. My primary goal in this position has been to help BYU students learn how to build a killer LinkedIn profile, develop networking skills, and leverage LinkedIn to find a great job. I’ve been a guest-lecturer in several courses and I’ve spent countless hours helping students on a one-on-one basis.

While working with these students, I’ve constantly thought back to when I was an undergrad. I remember trying to study hard and get good grades, but when it came time to find a career I was relatively clueless. In fact, my first internship interview was a total failure. I was asked about a time I showed initiative and responded with a story about how I “courageously” asked out a girl I thought was out of my league. When I finished the story they looked at me like I was a total weirdo. Needless to say, I didn’t get the internship.

I was unprepared for interviews and knew very little about how to build professional relationships or find a job, but thankfully I had many peers and mentors who helped guide me along the way. I eventually found a great internship which led to a full-time offer. I thought my future was set, but I was wrong.

During the first thirty years of my dad’s career, he worked at just two companies. In contrast, within a year of graduation I had already worked at three, enduring the largest bankruptcy in history at one company and getting laid off by another. Like many of you, I planned on one thing, but events and circumstances outside of my control forced me to pivot.

I knew the business world would be different from my father’s, but I didn’t realize how quickly things would change for my generation. The Millennial generation—individuals born between the early 1980s and early 2000s—are walking into a very different business environment than the one into which our parents worked. We can’t rely on the stability of a linear career path within one company.

A few months into my role as a LinkedIn Ambassador, I felt inspired to start writing down the experiences I’ve had and the lessons learned. Writing a book started as an audacious goal, but over time it turned into a reality.

My goal in writing this book is to share an intimate account of the highs and lows I’ve experienced in my young career. But more importantly, I share lessons for those trying to make the most of their career. These lessons include:

  • How to build professional relationships
  • How to develop a competitive advantage
  • How to adapt in an ever-changing workplace

To be successful in this new world, we must take a proactive approach to managing our careers. I believe that the stories and lessons shared in my book will help readers learn how to launch a meaningful career and take charge of their future.

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