The New Workplace YP

Ever since we’ve been kids, we have been told to find a job you’re passionate about and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. While that might have been applicable 20 years ago, I don’t think that’s the case anymore. There are too many things to be passionate about, with very few actually leading to long lasting career. So how do you decipher or even pick just one?  For example I am “passionate”  about mountain biking, road biking, triathlons, hipster city bikes, camping, backpacking, international travel, water sports, learning to speak Spanish, bridging connections at networking events, gardening, sailing, event planning, cool gadgets and apps, playing with my dog… the list goes on, but none I fully want to dedicate my self, in order for it to be a career. It’s also important to not confuse a hobby with passion.

The New “Passion”

I recently asked a good friend, Kelly Byers, what factors does she look for in deciding on a place to work. Her response was “First mission, then culture.” It took a minute to process but I think she hit the nail on the head.

First,  find a job/ career that has a mission we support and believe in.

For Profit & Non Profits – Does this company fulfill a need? Does it help people? Does the position have room for growth? How active is the owner/ CEO in day to day operations?

One of the things that separates the millennial generation from the rest is our desire to make a difference. We want to be invested and involved.

Then, make sure it has a culture you feel you would fit into. 

Will you be accepted? Do you have things in common with your coworkers? Is it a warm productive environment or is a competitive “eat your young” mindset. YPs thrive in both, just make sure you know what you’re getting into. Will the company support your ideas and give you decision making power? Are coworkers friends out of work? Does the company embrace technology and innovation? What mentoring opportunities are available?

Finally, Young Professionals are looking for a good work life balance.

Can the company flex with your schedule? Are you allowed to leave in the middle of the day to let your dog out? Can you work from home or remote a few days a month?

YPs don’t mind working long hours, weekends and holidays if it’s for a mission we believe in, along side teammates we enjoy. Just don’t take advantage of the situation, or we will burn out quickly. There has to be balance. Time is valuable to everyone, especially young professionals. We need to have the flexibility of time to have monthly dinner club with friends, volunteer for a good cause, join a committee or board, or just spend quality time with a loved one Netflixing.

As the millennial generation (Born 1980-2000) advances into higher levels in the workforce, companies that can adopt and support these three criteria will thrive with a devoted, hard working, fun loving employee base. While the ones that don’t, will struggle to retain good talent, lack productive culture and slowly brew a 9-5 mindset. It’s exciting to see how the workplace will evolve over the next 5 – 10 years – per the demands of YPs.  Tech companies like Google and Facebook are leading the way in Mission, Culture and Work life balance. Others are completely restructuring their internal framework to adopt hybrid business models. Technology is bringing people and ideas together like never before and young professionals are in the driver seat.

Mike Pennington

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