Jack Parsons is the founder of Yourfeed, an online platform connecting millennials to employers. In 2016 Jack spoke to over hundreds of employers from all kinds of companies including Ronan Dunne, recent CEO at Telefónica and CEO at 21. We caught up with Jack as he reflects on 2016 and tells us about his plans for 2017.
Q:You spoke to hundreds of CEOs in 2016 from a number of organisations. Was there a common message among them about what they look for in millennials? A:
The common message from organisations was that they want to support young people and want to support young people now.However, there seems to be a lack of understanding on how to motivate and engage with the young. One rule does not fit all and they know they will need to adapt their approach towards young people but the question most people want to know from me is how do we do this.
Q:What was the best piece of advice someone gave you and who was it from? A:
I have surrounded myself with some fantastic mentors and coaches over the past year. I tell everyone that I have learnt more in the last year than I have from my formal education at school.I have around 80 external meeting per month and I learn something new in each one of those meetings. But one piece of advice that really stood out to me was “if you focus on everything you focus on nothing”…
Q:What are your plans for 2017? A:
It’s all about execution and this year I plan to execute everything I did in 2016 but at a much larger scale! I have announced a nationwide bus tour to up-skill young people to what I call GenerationNow – that tour will last for around 3 months which is exciting.
Q:What did you learn from 2016? A:
Yourfeed’s idea was like putting together a puzzle for the first time.
You find that one part of the puzzle that fits but you realise there are still thousands of pieces still left to put together. The idea adapts from research and development. It also grows and you quickly learn from the people around you. I would add, no idea is a bad idea but most success will be in the product quality and your original approach to the market.
So you could say I came across the first puzzle piece for Yourfeed when I was let down by the traditional education system. I was a young person along with millions of others with no real employment support when leaving school and no real education around what companies are looking for in the ‘real world’.
With the Yourfeed idea I knew I wanted to support young people (#GenerationNow) throughout their employment journey, from the beginning to the point where they are thriving in their career. I knew the why , I just needed to work out the ‘how’ and ‘what’ when I took the idea forward.
The puzzle will never be finished with any idea that you create, mine certainly isn’t but I’m excited for the future and I have big plans to connect two million millennials to commercial opportunities by 2020… Watch. This. Space!
Q:Are you confident you can connect two million millennials by 2020? A:
This is ambitious but I like to be challenged. I know we will connect 2 million by 2020.
Thanks Jack and we wish you all the best for 2017. You can follow Jack for more musings and his latest ventures on his Twitter @jackparsons_CEO