Millennials on the Move: Ryan King
30, Commercial Sales and Leasing at Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate
How do you see your generation (millennials)? How do you think older generations define millennials?
I see my generation as incredibly diverse, innovative and incredibly fortunate. Prior generations paved the way for us, overcoming immense obstacles that opened all the doors millennials have access to now.
I think older generations see millennials as entitled and sometimes misguided, but at the same time, credit is frequently given to our generation for being creative and progressive.
In what ways does having younger employees add to a company’s success?
Younger employees can provide an energy and fresh perspective that can be a major asset to any company, no matter what stage of the business cycle they are in. The experience that so often accompanies older employees is crucial, but as the business world changes with each day, new ideas ensure a company’s longevity.
What have been a few keys to your success so far?
I owe a lot of my success to a close group of mentors and also good family role models. I learned early on that focusing on cultivating a strong work ethic and respectable, admirable behaviors will lead to the results you are striving for.
Is there anything that you would change about your generation as a whole? If so, what?
I’d change my generation’s obsessions with our smartphones. It’s important to put the phone down from time to time and enjoy your surroundings and actually interact with people face to face.
What do you look for in a job/company?
I look for a job that allows for growth opportunities within that company and within the industry. Strong leadership is also paramount.
What do you feel are some of the biggest perks of living in Coastal Virginia? What changes do you think the region should implement to continue to be a draw for millennials?
Tidewater has so much to offer. It is really a unique place that combines a depth of history, beautiful surroundings with easy access to rivers and beaches and at the same time provides a relatively affordable cost of living.
To continue to draw millennials to Hampton Roads, local and state leadership will have to focus on developing and bringing in businesses that are able to thrive without the dependence on government and military spending. Creating channels to support and foster young and growing companies needs to continue and be increased as well.
Tell us about some of your favorite ways to do worthwhile networking.
I enjoy networking through professional and trade associations, but I also rely upon referrals from existing clients. Those warm introductions are still a great way to grow your network; becoming involved in different trade associations helps you build perspective and educate yourself on different industries.
How are you contributing to life/community outside of the workplace?
I take a lot of pride in Norfolk as it is my hometown, and since I moved back after college, I’ve dedicated time and effort to become involved in organizations that positively impact Norfolk and other surrounding cities. I have been actively involved with The Maury Foundation as its president for the last four years and have enjoyed my time as part of the CHKD Future Generations Board. I am also a member of Norfolk Sertoma Club.
What advice would you offer to other millennials or recent graduates about getting their careers to take off?
Don’t be afraid to take on a new challenge or responsibility that you may assume you are not ready for. Pursuing things outside of your comfort zone will help you and your career grow.