There has been a lot of discussion about engaging millennials in the workplace, and CEOs and managers are often challenged with how they should best lead or retain them. Millennials spend, on average, two years with a company before bouncing to a new job.
Humans feel a need in their lives to make a unique and significant contribution to the world, and in order to live a “meaningful” life, millennials feel the need to accomplish something “significant.”
In our ultra-connected world driven by smartphones, where food, dates and transport can be arranged from the comfort of our couches, millennials have been led to believe that they can have everything that they want, now.
But achieving something significant requires the three things millennials have been programmed to avoid: dedication, patience and effort.
Millennials expect to be able have everything and anything they want, easily and without any resistance. The same is true for their jobs. They have been led to believe that they can achieve significance easily. They have not been taught the dedication, patience and effort that is required.
Here are 3 ways tips for millennials to achieve the significance they desire.
Choose fewer things
If you choose fewer things, then the things that you choose will become more important. Instead of making the number of “likes” you receive on your Instagram picture a goal, make it a goal to get “likes” from people whose birthdays you know. Instead of counting every country in the world that you’ve visited, try counting the number of countries where you have worked. Don’t count the number of books you’ve read, count the number that you’ve read more than once.
Make a commitment
When you choose something, somewhere or a career, make a commitment to pour your curiosity into it for up to ten years. Ask the deepest questions about it and research it. Pursue it until you’re tired of it, and then go back and do it again. Only then will you discover the depth of your relationship with a person, a role, a place, or even an idea, that deserves to be called significant.
Get your hands dirty
Play sport until your muscles hurt and learn until your brain becomes sore. Become passionate about crediting yourself for your effort level. Make each day’s maximum effort the next day’s minimum expectation. Imagine what you could do if you truly gave all of your energy to a few things but for a long time. You could be the best, the fastest, the Alpha.
Millennials, you will cure your schizophrenia of significance by doing something deep and meaningful with your life, but you need to give it time. Give it time, education, patience and effort.
Dr Corrie Block is a business strategist, Director of Xische & Co, Professor of Strategic Management at Monarch Business School, and certified NLP Executive Coach.