What Millennials Want

Boy Under a Bench

Gave a talk yesterday to a group of mostly millennials. One thing was clear in our interactive experience, what millennials want is:

  • Clarity
  • Balance
  • Epic

I’m sure there’s more to add to my list, but those 3 leaped out to me. I’ve read the data around what millennials want, versus what their parents wanted. It’s rare to see it upfront and close.

On the clarity front, it looks like many are overwhelmed by the pace and choices that make up existence. With so much screaming for attention, it’s not surprising. Keeping in mind that much of what screams is a complete waste of time. We know this in our gut, all the while the tracer bullets continue to fly.

You have to learn the art of saying no.

Balance goes hand in hand with clarity. With many employers demanding more and more, millennials (all of us) are fighting to not lose their lives, as they build a career. There’s a question mark hanging out there. Many are wondering can a career, as defined by the employer, live at peace with a great life.

Choosing a great life is the only way to find balance.

My talk yesterday was about leading an epic life. Some are disturbed by this because they want it and they know in their core it is the way we were meant to be, yet they find mediocrity all around. America has descended into a swamp filled with it. Others want it and are willing to do the work of finding an epic life. I know you see the difference. The choice between the two has always been in hand.

Your epic life was deposited into you in the beginning.


The Career Divorce

Scales of Justice 
First, this is not a post on marriage.  But it might help your marriage/relationship.

Have you ever considered filing for divorce, from your career in this context?  I don't mean resigning or changing employers.  Though that could be a good thing.  But I'm speaking of putting your career back to its rightful place.  The ending of allowing this segment to dominate the others.

What if your career can only be great when it stays its proper size/dimension?

What I'm advocating is counter-culture and is very difficult to pull off-especially in places where work is an altar to be worshiped at.  The secret is to get the "divorce thing" early or get hurt.  I didn't get it early and I got hurt.  My hope is I'm catching you at that early stage or in the midst of your hurting.

Here are some things to consider regarding your career's place in your wheel of life:

  1. Very rarely will you find an employer that REALLY wants you to have life-balance.  Though it flies in the face of proven research, employers are still drunk on profit-first.  Nothing wrong with profit, but getting drunk can and does kill.  Given this, why not stop being in awe and work on becoming irreplaceable.  That way, you won't fall into the trap of being in a slave/slave-master relationship with your employer.  You really are helping the organization when you have this mind-set.
  2. Start practicing total life management.  We can help here.  I have found that way too many people feel they can leave parts of their lives on auto pilot.  It's not a case that people want to do this, they're either afraid or unsure of where to turn.  I wrote this piece last week about our issues around trust.  Think of it like your car; all cylinders need to be working properly and together to get you to where you want to go.
  3. Small is a very big word.  Start small and end great.  Set small goals, conduct small expeiments, find celebration and victory in the small things.  What you're actually doing is moving yourself toward your "big" thing.  Most confuse thinking big with the process of getting there.
  4. It's not too late for a turn-around.  Unless, you don't think you're worth it.  Which would be crazy to think considering your DNA.  This is very important if you're further along in the race.  See #3 for further encouragement.
  5. At some point, sooner or later, your life will have the final say.  Listen to your life.

Defining A Blue Sky Experience

 March 28 2011 002

How do you define a blue sky experience? Is it some place over yonder? Is it a person? I see it as a moment. Just one moment.

Even in a business like mine where you work hard to get people engaged, I always take a step back and consider those who claim they have no time, shrink back in fear or laugh off the thought of what a blue sky experience might mean.  I guess you can't escape all of the things that get in the way of blue skies.

Since we began our partnership with Take Time for Your Life, it has become very clear about what's at stake.  Think of the premise of the words "take time for your life."  The urgency is great here, we actually are in the business of helping people put their life first.  Not their career, not a degree, but their life.  A life that includes career, education and more.

So the blue sky experience requires you to put your life first.  It requires you to understand that you only have so many times to see it feel it, embrace it.  It requires you to understand that the blue sky experience was given to you as a gift of sorts.  A wonderful gift.

I am an experiential writer and guide, so you need to know that I'm not just poking around here.  The picture in this post was taken in a moment today.  A moment I almost passed up because I thought I had so much work to finish, and I did.  But I turned around.  About an hour after I took the shot, I had to remind my mom that theattorney needed my dad's death certificate to finish her estate plans.  Admittedly, my blues increased substantially.

Enjoy your blue skies when you see them.