What Bosses Should Know About Millennial Workers

dance-Marina-Shifrin

By now, you are probably one of the millions of viewers of the video that Marina Shifrin shared with the world  almost two weeks ago. Like me, you also probably watched it at least five times, danced along, bopped your head to Kanye, shared it with all of your friends and thought to yourself—she’s so cool and brave! Or maybe you sat at your work desk wishing you had the guts to do something liberating like that too. What are the odds of someone making a resignation video that goes viral and results in hugs from Al Roker on the Today Show and a job offer from Queen Latifah?! For Marina, the odds are in her favor. Some may call Marina’s video bravery at its core while others may say it proves that millennials are rude attention-seekers and will never take their careers seriously—which by the way we do. The fact of the matter is—no matter what your opinion may be, this video says more than just “I quit”. This video commands the attention of not just Marina’s former boss but all of the bosses in the world who are managing millennials in the workplace. This video challenges supervisors to listen up and take notes—there are things twentysomethings want you to know about how we work:

We want to feel valued- We aren’t just a number. We are individuals who each have something unique to contribute to our careers. To our families and friends. To ourselves. To the world. We know what hard work is and nothing makes us feel devalued more than when our hard work goes unnoticed. Working at companies that represent collaborative and forward thinking environments is attractive—and that is exactly what we desire. We’ve spent months—and some of us have spent years desperately seeking employment after walking from the stage at graduation right into our dream jobs didn’t exactly go as planned. We have spent months at unpaid internships—dealing with the stress of trying to figure out how we will ever pay back our student loans while simultaneously trying to explain to our parents that an unpaid gig could actually turn into a real paycheck. We are ready to show the world what we are made of—but devaluing and overlooking our skill set that we’ve worked so hard to obtain is a deal breaker.

We are fearless- We aren’t scared to dive head first into the unknown. We are risk takers and trail blazers. We do not believe in staying in a place that makes us unhappy for the sake of a 401K and building tenure within an organization. Our happiness comes first and will not be negotiated. Our parents don’t quite understand us yet and that’s okay—we are still trying to help them understand that we are indeed very different from them—it’s a process though. Some of us have put our careers on hold to travel the world and some of us are using that entrepreneurial spirit that many companies encourage to start our own side hustles. We aren’t comfortable and we aren’t lazy. We know what we want and we definitely know what we don’t want and are making strides to achieve our goals—all of them.

 We value our lives outside of work-We know hard works means sometimes putting in long hours—sometimes more often than others. We understand that—and  we will do what it takes to get the job done right every single time. But our careers do not wholly define who we are. We are passionate about so many other things too and want to have time to dedicate to other important things in our lives. Our relationships. Our hobbies. Our side hustles. Our YOLO moments. We want to take time to stop and breath—to catch up with an old friend about life or spend hours talking about nothing at all. We want to have time to explore the world or just spend an afternoon enjoying a movie. We need time to recharge and we want to work at companies that will allow us to do that periodically.

It’s not you, it’s us- We are very expressive and we use digital outlets to share our deepest thoughts, fears and desires about life. It makes us feel good when we know that we are not alone and that others can sympathize with us. Some of us show that we can relate by sharing content that others have created and some of us boldly create our own. The way we express ourselves is not a personal attack on our bosses or the companies that we work for. There’s a crazy idea that maybe if we stand up for what we believe in, we could change something, ourselves, or encourage someone else to make a positive change by doing something they have been scared to do. If we’re lucky—we could change the world. Sometimes we don’t fully get ourselves or how we turned out to be so different from past generations. Maybe it was in the baby food that we were fed or the water that we drank—or maybe it was in the ice cream that we just had to eat before dinner—we will never know. But we can’t ignore who we are or that we are different. Somehow…someway we just have to figure out a way to work together.

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4 comments

  1. Great article Jai!

    1. Thanks Rhue!!!

  2. I’m forwarding this to everyone. I feel like you snatched the words out of my head that I have been too nervous to shout at everyone who doesn’t understand my “career” ideas or ambitions. Or doesn’t get how after one year I can know a job is not for me! AMAZING post Jaimee!

    1. Thanks Kia! I wholeheartedly understand you. We are just a different breed who like to challenge the status quo. :)

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