The recent dust-up over working from home or working at work has brought a few issues to the forefront. Primarily, that dealing with a young, mobile and educated workforce is hard. When millennials work for you, life is going to be very different: they are not their father's workforce.
Think about the workforce today. We are no longer teams working toward a goal, but rather pods of people working in isolation to get through the day, be it at home or at work. It seems we are depressed workers who toil in isolation, or work with friends that are equally as miserable. This sad state of affairs is particularly true for millennials, and this is reducing their contentment factor and will lower your company's productivity. The contentment factor is a measurement that reviews trust, value and engagement in the workplace for millennials.
Recently, I had lunch with a talented millennial who worked for me a few years ago. Let's call him John. As soon as you met John, you knew he could write, speak, and think; key ingredients in my line of work. Shortly after I hired him, I made sure he had a raise in salary and increased responsibility, but, unfortunately, I became ill and had to leave the business to my partners. Others, of course, have seen John's promise and he has moved to a much larger global firm, he can now sell million-dollar clients, and is a respected blogger, and yet he is unhappy.
He has found his success has doomed him. His current boss needs his skills and is, therefore, not promoting him. Because of that, he will be leaving that firm soon, and it will cost the company about $140,000 to replace him.
After his experience with his boss, nothing will keep him at the firm. This is the crux of the situation: millennials don't judge a workplace on the value of the brand: they judge it on the boss of the time. This is what makes dealing with millennials so difficult, Gen X and Boomers judge their work on their ability to get a corner window or to reach partnership level, they know they will have bad bosses and they know it will be difficult.
Millennials have never been challenged. These are kids whose parents disagreed with competitive sports -- everyone wins, remember? Frankly, the workplace is no longer a training ground: it's a war zone. Think of the cartoon "Dilbert" everyone likes it so much because it reminds them of their workplace.
Gone is the middle manager who used to train new hires, teach them the culture and help them understand how to get promoted. In are emails from the CEO and Chief People Officer that dictate or strongly suggest how to behave. And then there are the hated forced corporate functions.
To increase the content factor for millennials, think like they do, in terms of family and friends.
Whether your millennials work from home, in a store or at an office, we have found that following these rules decreases millennials' churn by 50 per cent. These rules may not cause your employees to yell "YAHOO" every time they have to come to the workplace, but they will create a more productive workforce.
Now that your adult life seems to have officially arrived, you may be feeling the need to get it together,<em> fast</em>. Suddenly, it might seem that if you want marriage and children -- things that your mother may have had at 30 -- you'd better start finding them now. In your late 20s, you may start to feel like you have to have it "all figured out" by the time you reach your 30s -- and put enormous pressure on yourself to be exactly who you want to be, causing anxiety over all the ways your life may be seem to be falling short. "When I was a kid, I thought ‘Oh my god, 30, that’s so old! I’ll totally be married and have kids and have this amazing career and all these things,'" Cornia Marie Howell, founder of the 30 Project, <a href="http://www.blisstree.com/2012/10/04/sex-relationships/corina-marie-howell-30-project-portraits-and-interview-187/2/">tells BlissTree</a>. "And I mean… I’m okay with where my life is, but it’s not where I thought it would be when I was 18." Try not to stress about getting all your ducks in a row by the time you hit 30 -- the most important thing at this point in your life is to figure out what you want and be working towards it, not to already "have it all."
Although you may have been worried about aging since you graduated from college, most of us don't start to really dread our birthdays until the mid to late-20s. If you just found yourself lying about your age for the first time, pre-30 angst may be kicking in.
For some women, the insecurity of a pre-30 crisis inolves doubting their past accomplishments -- the wins at work and personal victories that you were once proud of might not seem to amount of much when you're focusing on the ways that your life has fallen short of your own definition of success. For writer <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/experts/jen-kim">Jen Kim</a>, turning 30 involved redefining success. "I used to think I was successful because I had a six-figure job that my friends and family could be proud of," <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/valley-girl-brain/201208/if-youre-turning-30-and-freaking-out-0">Kim wrote in a Psychology Today blog</a>. "But I got all of that and I sure as hell didn’t feel successful."
According to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christine-hassler/are-you-having-a-quarterl_b_326612.html">life coach and Gen Y expert Christine Hassler,</a> sadness and stress over a breakup, romantic relationship or lack of relationship is a common symptom of a late 20-something crisis. It doesn't matter whether you're single, married, dating around, or coupled in any form -- your relationship status becomes a daily source of stress and anxiety during the pre-30 crisis. You may find yourself suddenly unsatisfied with a long-term relationship or anxious about not having gained enough dating experiences in your 20s.
Dwelling on all the things that you could have done differently in your life is a hallmark of the pre-30 crisis. Everything you might be unsatisfied with at work or in your personal life feels like a product of poor choices or missed opportunities. Frisky Editor Susannah Breslin dealt with her post-30 regrets by purging them in a light-hearted list, <a href="http://www.thefrisky.com/2010-11-16/30-things-i-wish-id-done-before-i-turned-30/">"30 Things I Wish I'd Done Before I Turned 30," </a>which includes getting more tattoos and competing in the Olympics.
Your picture of adulthood probably doesn't involve spending more than you earn and living paycheck-to-paycheck, as many debt-saddled 20-somethings do. Suddenly, your financial situation may feel forebodingly unstable and looks a whole lot more pathetic than it ever did before. By the age of 30, <a href="http://www.learnvest.com/2012/12/10-things-everyone-should-know-how-to-do-by-30/?gallery=614&pid=#pid-7168_aint-0">according to Learnvest</a>, every woman should have learned to master certain basic money skills, like looking up your credit and keep a budget. But if you haven’t yet, at least you’re aware of it, and there are plenty of tools available online and off to help you move towards financial stability going forward. Learnvest.com and Mint.com are good places to start.
As you move through your 20s, it's normal to realize that your dreams aren't quite what they had seemed to be when you were younger. And as you approach 30 and reevaluate your life path, you may be considering quitting your job and completely changing career paths. Psychotherapist Dr. Paul Cullen observed that many of his clients aged 28-32 were concerned that their lives lacked meaning, and that some were leaving high-powered corporate jobs to pursue more meaningful career paths. "The questions that people come in with might be, 'I'm in IT earning $130,000 a year but why am I doing this? I'm going to be 40 soon what's my life going to look like?'" <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/06/19/midlife-crisis-hitting-30-something-singletons-experts-say/#ixzz2LZJATPnM">Cullen told Fox News</a>. And it's an important question to ask. If you're feeling unfulfilled at work or uncertain about a career path you chose based on the salary, it may be time to look at your future in that career. Are you passionate about your work? If not, will you really be able to find fulfillment at work in the long-term? If you're considering a big change, check out <a href="http://www.theminimalists.com/quit/">theminimalists.com</a> for inspiring stories about individuals choosing to quit six-figure corporate jobs to pursue their passions.
Any major life change can trigger a shift in values and perspective that leads to an identity crisis. You may be doubting yourself and questioning who you are as your 30th birthday approaches, wondering how you got where you are in life and calling your most deeply-held values into question. "[Women] ask themselves questions about their futures, and how marriage, children, career and the future will affect their identities," <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=d6xRfuW4zywC&pg=PA234&lpg=PA234&dq=turning+30+identity+crisis&source=bl&ots=EHoBMNAB6H&sig=4nA4viMKlwGhBNqxpDZQtl4T-UQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=IYcmUZb1Kee90QHJ0IHoAg&ved=0CEgQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=turning%2030%20identity%20crisis&f=false">writes Melissa A. Klay in "Contemporary Women Turning 30." </a> And this can be a good thing. You probably do know who you are -- but you're just aware that you have a lot of options. Writer Barbara Kelley, author of "Undecided," says that modern women often experience what she refers to as choice overload, and that the remedy to keep a healthy perspective on decision-making. "We must teach a generation raised to equate B+ with failure to recognize that real life is messy," <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2008/0424/p09s02-coop.html">writes Kelley</a>. "This is a function of growing up."
The pre-30 crisis feeds on comparison to others of the same age, and it can lead to a constant nagging feeling that your life doesn't measure up. You may be going on Facebook to check up on former friends and enemies to see who has their adult like "together" -- and who doesn't. But of course, in the end, neither outcome will make you feel better about your own situation --<a href="http://www.worldcrunch.com/culture-society/social-envy-study-finds-facebook-causes-depression-and-isolation/zuckerberg-social-network-health-depression-fb/c3s10718/#.USaIYlqlAWA"> recent studies </a>have linked Facebook use with envy and social isolation. Think about all the times you’ve made you life look ever-so-slightly more excellent on social media, or told an acquaintance that you’ve been at your best when really your career and personal life seem to be in shambles. Chances are, your peers are giving you the airbrushed version of their their lives too, sometimes. Admit where you are, and refuse to be ashamed of it. You’re doing the best you can.
Turning to Netflix and a cup of tea night after night may actually be symptomatic of a pre-30 crisis. If you've been isolating yourself from friends and frequently declining invitations, your need for alone time may be a <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/Features/handlingstress/index.html">reaction to elevated stress levels</a>. While there's no point in forcing yourself to go out drinking when all you really want to do is curl up on the couch, be sure to make time for low-key activities with close friends to keep your spirits up.
So you're approaching 30 and you've actually managed to excel in a career that you love -- but you're doubting yourself more than ever, and have little confidence in your own skills and achievements. Many high-achieving women have been known to experience <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/10/04/6-strategies-to-kick-imposter-syndrome-to-the-curb">"Imposter Syndrome,"</a> a feeling that they've been "faking it" to get where they are in their lives and career. The insecurity and self-doubt of a pre-30 crisis can heighten this fear. Combat imposter syndrome by taking a step back when you start feeling like a fraud, and recognizing that making mistakes doesn't mean that you're incapable of doing your job. Take note of big and small 'wins,' and remind yourself daily that you deserve recognition and success -- soon enough, you might really start to believe it.
According to a 2001 survey, <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2004-08-04/features/0408040070_1_kerry-rubin-macko-and-rubin-lia-macko">35 percent </a>of women ages 25-35 feel that work demands interfere with their personal life. Work and relationship pressures -- combined with the insecurity and self-doubt of the pre-30 crisis -- may leave you craving balance and stability in your life. This desire (arguably the most positive symptom of a potentially unsettling life change) is worth paying attention to. Combat anxiety and emotional ups-and-downs by actively taking care of yourself. Make time for the things you enjoy. Try to recognize and cut out the things you really don't. You'll be more ready to tackle the future -- and much less stressed about it -- if you show yourself that you'll have your own back no matter what.
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