Millennials in the workplace: what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you read this? That they won’t stay there for too long? It’s only natural: young people tend to be bolder, more adventurous. But young people are ambitious, too. Their focus on “going from zero to hero” and building up their careers is perhaps stronger than anyone else’s. There are many ways in which they can develop professionally, and many choose to do so by sticking to one of their first – if not actually their first – employers. At Colliers, we’ve witnessed such accomplishments over the years. Most of our seniors joined the team when the real estate market was only budding, and our professionals grew together with it. Young professionals in a young market, it seemed only fitting. Today, however, is not about them. Even after the Romanian real estate market matured, we continued to attract young talents and established a tradition of nurturing their potential and guide it on the road from good to great.
Today, we take pride in our new generation of Young People in Real Estate.
Meet Andreea, our 27-year-old Associate in the Office 360° team, former Assistant of the same team, winner of the Team Player Award two years in a row at the Colliers Christmas Party, and one of our best representatives of the Colliers Spirit.
Native from Focsani, she graduated from Bucharest University of Economic Studies in 2016 and soon after that she joined Colliers, despite not knowing who Colliers really was:
“I didn’t know about Colliers. I had just finished with my bachelor’s degree and I wanted to find a stable job, with long-term prospects, like every millennial who comes to Bucharest, the city of all possibilities. Real estate is not taught in school, unfortunately, but after a research, it seemed interesting for me. I applied for an assistant job, although I aimed higher, convinced that I know a lot of things, but I realized later that my expectations were too high for what I learned in school. The need and the aspiration to have financial stability convinced me.”
When she first walked into the Colliers office, she felt like
“This could be home. Because we spend most of the time in the office – or at least we used to, it is only fair to call it home, even though it is a second one. I felt like I would belong here.”
No matter how cool our office was – and still is and it’s about to get even cooler in just a few weeks, stay tuned! – starting new wasn’t easy. Baby steps are always shaky. You stumble a lot, but after a few rounds of practice, you find your balance and start doing your own thing and walk your own path.
“I started “at the bottom”, as people say often. I had an entry level job, as assistant in the Office Division, but it was more the job of a junior, and then I just went with the flow. It took me around one year and a half to understand very good the real estate market, to learn about all the landlords and developers, about leasing, the workplace advisory and project management process and how we can help our clients with a 360° approach. My evolution came naturally. However, I waited 6 months before taking the decision to go out in the market and be a leasing consultant, because I felt like I was not ready. After 6 months, I realized that I will never feel 100% ready, so I just jumped at the opportunity. I am very happy, and I really love what I do.”
As many misconceptions we might have about young people, perhaps they too have their own fears about the world around them. And just how young people never cease to amaze us, the world around them can also be full of pleasant surprises. Of course, it’s not a given in both cases, but look just how wonderful some stories can be:
“My greatest fear was that clients would not take me seriously, because I was too young. I thought that they will question my know-how based on my age, and I felt insecure. I was very lucky because I had my colleagues, they helped me a lot and they were very supportive, and little by little, I gained enough trust in myself to be able to conquer that fear. Also, the clients proved me wrong, because they valued my professionalism and they showed me that they trust me in doing my job for them.”
Andreea finished her master’s program in her first years at Colliers with a job-inspired thesis, Generation Y and its Impact on the International Labor Market. She’s been the promoter of countless employee programs and initiatives. She’s considered by many to be the go-to person when you’re in need. Andreea says she’s been at Colliers for almost 5 years because of
“The people. I truly believe that, besides finding the joy and fulfillment in your job, you need to work in a safe environment, to feel valued and to know that your opinion matters. I found these in Colliers, wonderful people who are there for me, who are helping me every time I need them. Also, I feel that I am part of something great, an amazing community and we can count on each other. I learned that you never stop learning, that you must do your best every day, on small and big tasks. I learned a lot about myself and how I can be better than yesterday, how to face a difficult conversation and how to listen. I often feel that I am adult now. It is scary, but it is wonderful. I grew here and I am continuing to grow, to learn, I kept my enthusiasm from the beginning, but I think that now I can see things in perspective.”
Andreea didn’t choose to keep working only in Colliers, but in the Romanian real estate market as well. As part of a new wave in an ocean where drops have poured long before her time, the effort to overcome any challenge and to succeed is great, but the achievements feel even greater:
“My favorite part is knowing that, at the end of the day, I made my clients and their employees happy in their new office, and like me, they will come in the morning to the office with a smile on their face. The office is more than a place, it is a feeling and an experience, and through my job and our job at Colliers, we can meet our clients’ expectations, and even exceed them. My greater goal is to find happiness and fulfilment in what I do. Right now, I can honestly say that I have those two at my job in the real estate industry. I do not know what will be in 10-15 years, but I know for sure that this is what I want to do.”
Tales of this kind have one possible, classic ending concept: The Advice – in this case, for those who wish to start their career in real estate. And Andreea sums it up beautifully:
“I have a lot of advice for young people: be ambitious, do not stop learning and reading, prepare to face the “no”, be creative and go the extra mile, help others, ask questions, ask for help when you are feeling insecure, listen to your clients, because communication is the key, be fair and ethical, and find a mentor to guide you.”
Andreea’s journey continues.
And so does the exploration of our professionals’ experiences as Young People in Real Estate. Gabriel promised to share his own next week, so stay tuned!