Suddenly the playing field has been leveled and so many heads are swirling trying to figure out what just happened. The game has completely changed and I am pumped.
Finally, I see an opportunity to breathe life back into work, something I in some ways, avoided doing for like 8 years.
Technically I am a fringe Millennial. Meaning by some standards I’m in the club and some I’m out. And that’s kind of how I feel. I TOTALLY get the “if I don’t have to then I won’t” and by that, I mean, get a job, buy a house, get married, start a family… because our previous generations have made it look MISERABLE!! Seriously. No wonder kids idolize rockstars and internet sensations. They make work look FUN!
On the flip side, I also understand manners, human decency, hard work, how to communicate and the importance of respecting those that came before you whether by 10 or 1000 years. Something is lost in our youth culture today. The new arrogance and self righteousness is something I can’t quite relate to and quite frankly, I’m glad I can’t. Maybe it’s the vast amount of information that kids can absorb these days from staring at their phone or iPad or any number of information super-channels. And I’m not totally innocent here, but come on! If you are in college, you do not know more than me or anyone else for that matter who has actually spent some time in the real world. Period.
With all that said, we have a pretty jam up deal in this place we call the US of A. We have freedom. We have opportunity. We have education. We ALL have access to the internet in one way or another. Some more than others of course, but that’s another discussion. Unfortunately, 80 percent of us do not find our job fulfilling. That’s just depressing, but I think we can learn something from our life living, adventure seeking, youth of America (and they from us “seasoned folk”). In fact, I don’t think you (the business) has a choice and here are four reasons why:
1 – Hiring is now a two way street. You are no longer in control. Candidates are no longer at your mercy, you are just as much at theirs. They have the ability to scope you out and size you up long before they ever submit their application. Obviously you have the final say of who you hire, but the pool from which you get to choose has already been predetermined by the candidates themselves. How is your talent pool looking these days? Having a tough time finding great people? It might not be them, it might be you.
2 – Freedom!! – We all want it and need it. 9 – 5 jobs with two weeks paid vacay are suffocating. I mean you have more freedom in school. No wonder kids want to stay in school post-grad and avoid the real world. Why can’t businesses realize we would work so much harder if you didn’t suck the life out of us! It wouldn’t have mattered what my first job was, knowing that my life was dictated by my job absolutely sucked. It made me resentful every day. I can only speak for myself but if I had to guess, there are quite a few folks out there that would agree with me. Jobs with freedom and flexibility are going to win talent way over those that don’t. It might be time to rethink how you dictate the time of others.
3 – The Culture – This matter A LOT. Young people want to know that their time away from the things they love matters. One way to do this is by building a strong company culture. First, you the company must know what you stand for and why you exist so you can rally everyone else behind your purpose. By doing this, you will naturally start to create a company culture. Then you must share it. Social media is a must these days no matter what business you are in. So go ahead, bite the bullet and join facebook or insta or whatever is best suited. This is where people get to know you and if you are not there, you might as well not exist, at least to Millenials.
4 – Smarter? Maybe. More experienced? Absolutely not. – Do not let their smarts fool you!! Millenials are overconfident and while they might know a lot, they do not know diddly when it comes to real life application. They have not tested all of their tricks. THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS BEST. All they know is what others have taught them. They have not learned anything for themselves yet. And when it comes to areas such as client interaction, communication, problem-solving, being pro-active, listening to others, teamwork etc… they are like tree stumps. They still have a lot of growing up to do. This is where we “seasoned” professionals really need to step up our game. In a way, the job of teaching these kids how to communicate and be responsible adults has landed in our lap. I definitely didn’t see that coming. Did you?
All in all, I think our future is very, very bright. With a little extra guidance from employers, the next wave of leaders might become the best yet. And by embracing the culture of our youth, work might just become fun.