Zion Kim thought he had hit it big — that he was the poster child for the millennial workforce.
He was working remotely for an international marketing agency (cool), doing social media for a big-name computer company client (even cooler) and doing it while he was still in college (how cool is that?).
As it turned out, his supposed cutting-edge lifestyle was far more frustrating than fun. Working with a team in the Toronto office of Mosaic Marketing on the Dell computers account was anything but exciting.
“We weren't getting the engagement we wanted and I personally didn't think the brand position of the (Facebook) page was going in the right direction, so I was just making sure the right type of content was on there both on the national as well as the local level,” he said.
Change was tough.
“To get anything done, or if I wanted to put new ideas in the ring like, 'I don't know why we're doing social media without a content strategy' (was difficult),” he said. “That has to go through X number of departments. You'd make a flier, and you're not sure who makes it, but this person makes it and the communications team has to approve it and this person has to do this.”
Kim's story represents a growing trend among tech-savvy millennials who are entering the workforce amid the startup culture. Getting a job with a big-name company is not as important as getting a job where you can have an impact at an early age.
So when he graduated from Rutgers University earlier this year, Kim looked to join the other company he was working for in college: JuiceTank, an incubator for tech startups based in the Somerset section of Franklin.
For Kim, work culture was everything.
“The thing with most startups is that the power structure is more horizontal, less vertical,” he said. “If something new comes out, if you learn something, you can pivot a lot easier.”
This ability to pivot — to easily learn new skills and have the ability to move to new projects — means a lot to millennials.
Kim, who recently “pivoted” to an ermerging co-working space, already has his next step planned: A hardware-focused startup he intends to launch next year.
“If this takes off we'll be one of the first entities that will be an attraction point to bring people from New York to Jersey,” he said.
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