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Interview An Interview With Paul Redmond

An Interview With Paul Redmond

Dr. Paul Redmond, author, keynote speaker and employment guru, is a leading expert on generations and the graduate labour market.

Paul Redmond

How can current employees learn from todays graduates in order to get ahead in their own careers?

Today's students and graduates are far more naturally entrepreneurial than previous generations. Perhaps it's because of the culture in which they're growing up. Previous generations used to celebrate rock stars. Their generation celebrates entrepreneurs - be they leaders of IT firms, owners of airlines, or celebrity chefs. As a result, even if they go to work in a traditional jobs, they automatically see themselves as working 'with' that organisation rather than 'for' it. This new mind-set gives them a unique way of looking at career development. Perhaps because they grew up 'AD' (after the downturn) rather than 'BC' (before the Crunch) they've grasped that in today's world of work, you need to keep learning, keep experimenting and keep networking - not just while you're at university, but throughout your career. It's that which makes people genuinely 'employable', rather than simply 'employed'. This is a great message that we can all take on board. As the saying goes, to be employed is to be at risk. To be employable is to be secure.

Why do you enjoy being a speaker?

When you're speaking at a conference or event, there's nothing like the feeling you get when you really connect with an audience - when you know that what you're saying resonates with them at different levels. For me, it's that connection with an audience and the opportunity of being able to see the world from their perspective that makes being a speaker so enjoyable and exciting. As a speaker, I've worked with hundreds of organisations across the world - all of which have added immeasurably to my own thinking, and my own presentations. It's a dynamic process: being a speaker puts you right there with the people who are changing the world, and you're using your own skills and talents to help them see the world, their organisations, colleagues and even families, in a new light!

How do you see work patterns changing in the next 5-10 years?

During the next decade, the architects of the workplace - the Baby Boomers - will have almost completely vanished from the workplace, taking with them their phone directories, business cards, job descriptions and filing cabinets. Unfortunately they'll take with them vast amounts of knowledge about how our organisations function. Picking up the reins will be time-poor Generation X, the world's first real-life 'digital natives' Generation Y, and the 21st century cybernauts, Generation Z. Our research shows that each of these generations expects to recreate the workplace in its own image and likeness, without really understanding what makes other generations tick. So for me, the next few years will be shaped by this wide scale generational shift - a shift which will ultimately re-engineer the world of work.

What is the best piece of advice that you have been given?

"You either think you can or you think you can't. Either way, you're probably right." Henry Ford.

How do you like to spend your weekends?

Immersed in my own highly-complex, multigenerational, socially-diverse, biologically-determined social unit (also known as my family). Not only do they provide endless material for my presentations and research, they also make sure that no matter how prestigious or glamorous my next speaking engagement might be, I never forget who calls the shots.

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