I am a Gen X with a mind of a millennial. I just came a little early to this world and it felt lonely for a long time. What I lacked was the courage of a millennial though. I thought 5 years before I acted on my decision to quit my corporate job. I knew deep down I needed purpose in my life “now”; I knew I can never buy into the concept of living for the weekends and retirement; I knew I can never have “just a job to pay the bills”; I knew I needed to be aligned with the company culture and values to feel good about my job; I knew I wanted to use my strengths and could not just obey the rules of someone higher in the rank when it made no sense to me. I knew all this deep inside but it still took me a long time to believe in myself and leave. I felt alone even when I finally made that decision. I could not explain why I would leave a “perfect job” on paper. Now I know although what I did what was right for me, I lacked the faith in speaking my real truth thinking nobody will understand. There were not any examples of people leaving their jobs like me.
5 years ago or so when I decided to become part of the transformation I want to see in the workplace instead of staying as a big whiner, I found out there are many young ones who have the same values like me. They want to have meaning in their lives; they care about the purpose of the company they work for; they notice how employers treat their people even if they don’t work there; they buy products from companies who do the right thing; they consciously choose where to spend their money; and they question things that have not been questioned for a very long time. They believe in fairness, they don’t understand discrimination; they want to be useful and care about their health and our precious planet.
I am so hopeful of this generation not because they look like me but because they are after the right things and they are brave. They feel like they are labeled and they see many people judge them thinking they are just lazy for not putting up with stuff at work or leaving their jobs so fast. Yes, there is an extreme example to everything but for the most part they leave because they ask the right questions to themselves early on. They are OK to look for the right job and company for a long time or starting a business of their own that aligns with them. They don’t want to be put in a box. I feel the same way, I don’t want anybody to label me either. I admire them so much for standing up for what they believe in and not waiting for 5 years to quit a job that does not work for them. I needed my people, my tribe and now I have them. It is no longer only their generation either I have many conscious and purposeful people around me at every age. I think millennials are having an impact on many things. Thanks for being my people and making this world a better place to live and work.