Hello SOTGC community,
I stumbled upon an article that described what Millennials value the most when looking for a job, and an overwhelming majority prefers a job that allows them to have flexible hours and remote work locations for a healthier life/work balance. You ask why do we pursue that? – simply because we strive for self-contentment.
For a long time, established magazines referred to us as the “Me, me, me” generation, which created this perception of us as being selfish, lazy, and lacking the seriousness in life. What if we turn these words around and use adjectives such as confident, ambitious, and easily adaptable to different situations? We are the generation that pursues the healthier work/life balance today and not by the time we retire. How often do we hear people say: “I will be happy once ….” (You fill in the blank.) What our generation allows us to do is to live out our passions and desires today. Most of us grew up with parents that had to work long hours that may have defined what a “hard working” person looks like, but productivity does not exude itself in quantity but in quality. Today, we challenge that because we seek a blend of a fulfilling work environment and life.
We tend to be a tech-savvy, family-oriented, and collaborative generation, and companies may even view us as a mobile workforce that is to their competitive advantage. Digital devices, cameras, and mobile technologies are bringing together countries that once where separated by oceans. Our communication is almost instantaneous because we enjoy the instant gratification of getting something crossed off the list. Instead of writing an email, we send an instant messenger or pick up the phone. Collaboration for us is also not the enemy or the fear of “what if somebody steals my idea.” Instead, we embrace the fact that we can partner with each other and continue to learn from each other.
So I not only encourage Generation Y but all generations to redefine what the nine-to-five job looks like. Speak up and give management a chance to understand your desires. The odds are they may not even know what you want but they at least have a chance to retain you.
One of my favorite quotes is by Therese Anne Fowler: “Some rules are nothing but old habits that people are afraid to change.” We all fear the bit of the unknown because it causes us to get out of our comfort zone, but the good news is we tend to grow the most when we move out of them.