How To Make A Millennial Happy In The Workplace

This section of my blog is all about occupational wellness, and occupational wellness is all about the ability to get personal fulfillment from our jobs or our chosen career fields while still maintaining balance in our lives. It’s about how we use our gifts, skills and talents to make a positive impact on the organizations we work in and to society as a whole.

So I thought I would kick this off with an article about the three major contributors that keep millennials happy and engaged at work.

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I now present to you… THE THREE Ps : 

The idea of the 3 P’s is inspired by Kathryn Minshew, co founder of The Muse. This woman has dedicated her career to helping people navigate their own and she believes that when it comes to millennials and what they want in the workplace it’s People, Purpose and Path. And this millennial couldn’t agree more! 

PEOPLE: 

Who we work with is very important, in fact, 69% of millennials prioritize their team and mentor/manager when choosing a place of work OVER earnings potential. We like our lines blurred, and we don’t necessarily believe that our work and personal lives should be separate. We want our work ‘family’ to resemble the types of people that we would surround ourselves with outside the office. This is not to say each person must be the same, but it’s more about the way you can act around these people. We are searching for those casual, low pressure, personal relationships with our colleagues. 

And that extends beyond our colleagues as well. We also want those same feelings with our managers, CEOs, and mentors. We are willing to work hard for leaders who are approachable, authentic, ethical and transparent. Working with and for people we like and respect lowers stress levels, motivates us to work harder, and has a positive effect on our lives in general. 

PATH: 

Many of us view our jobs as much more than a paycheck. Our careers are a part of our brand, and we’re looking to the future. We are obsessed with the potential and development. We want that promotion and we think we deserve it.

Some would say that’s entitled, but I think it’s something more like empowered. Millennials want to know how they can continue to move forward within a company or their career. We want goals, feedback, and investment. That could be as simple as weekly or monthly check ins with your manager. Or it could mean regular (even if they’re tiny) promotions. Bottom line is that we need a goal to work towards and we need to feel like we are learning and growing along the way. If we don’t have that or we feel like it’s taking too long, we feel stuck. And when we feel stuck, we leave. 

PURPOSE: 

The last (and my favorite) P. Yeah, millennials are idealistic and we question everything, but I don’t think this is a bad thing. These qualities are necessary in order to achieve progress, and I think it’s important to challenge your company to give you more.

What is this adding to the world? How am I making a difference? Is this worth the hard work? We don’t all need to be saving the world (although we wish we were), but we do need to know there’s a reason behind our work. We like to be intentional about the way we spend our time. So if we’re going to spend 40+ hours a week working for a company, we want to know why.

Purpose can mean many different things too. We can find it through helping others (outside of the company or within), by understanding how we fit into the larger mission of the company, or even by simply hearing the importance behind a tedious task. Just make us feel useful and valued.

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So there it is: the secret to happiness at work. It’s that simple. Work for the right people, towards something that matters, for a company that allows you to grow. 

If you’re in the job market, keep these P’s in mind. Look for a company that values these three elements, and ask them questions about it in your interview. Or maybe this article helped you realize what you were missing in your current position. Maybe this sparks a conversation with your manager about what you feel you need.  

Take control of your career, and find somewhere you can thrive!