How do you use social media in your job?
Christopher M. Paradiso: Social media is woven into every aspect of how we do our job. It’s part of how we attract new clients, communicate with current clients and brand our agency in our community. With regard to creating social media networks, the best way to understand that is to emphasize that you should always be expanding your network. Ask your clients to "Like" you on Facebook. Connect with your peers and business contacts through LinkedIn. Make sure that you’re backlinking on the websites of your business partners. Social media is not an "event," but rather a day-to-day way of doing business.
What advice do you have for young agents struggling in this industry?
Rizzi: The great thing about young people is that they typically have high ideals and a ton of passion. When they enter the workforce, they are ready to conquer the world. This can be a downfall because they don’t yet have the training or experience to bridle those ideals and passion in a productive and profitable way.
What qualities does your mentor need?
Rizzi: The No. 1 quality of a mentor is a willingness to learn. A lot of people view a mentorship as a one-way street where the educated imparts wisdom on the ignorant. However, the mentor-mentee relationship is a two-way street in which each party learns from the other. Don’t misunderstand; the lessons each retains are different, but equally as important. Where a mentor provides guidance on proficiencies and skills, a mentee provides feedback as to a mentor’s leadership style as well as challenges to old ways of thinking. I have, in every instance, learned far more from those I have mentored than I taught them.
Have you experienced any age-related workplace conflicts? How were they resolved?
Kelly: I haven’t experience any serious conflicts, but I have certainly seen differing opinions among different generations.