After hearing about the positive side of careers – what motivates and what inspires these Millennials – it was time to start exploring some of the trickier aspects. So, I moved the topic on to career challenges by asking two questions, which I’ll write about one at a time below. Let’s look at the challenges Millennial face in their careers…
1 Typically what challenges that crop up in your work and/or career have the most profound effect on you?
“In my 20s I experienced redundancy which has really shaped the professional I am now and how I think and talk to myself about myself and my career prospects today”
“A series of redundancies due to the sector I work in has meant I’ve been playing career jungle gym“
“Micromanagement from my leaders which I believe means that they are actively blocking my progression prospects“
“When I need to directly tackle my career progression conversation with key senior leaders but I avoid it for fear of the conversation failing and the consequences of speaking up”
“Conflict – I work really hard to avoid conflict at work“
“Negative feedback by a customer or key stakeholder leaves me feeling I’ve let someone else down. It’s then tough to manage the anxiety that comes with that“
“Peer pressure ramped up via social media: I’m looking on LinkedIn and seeing what others are doing: I think I’m happy now, but I start to question- will I look back in 5-10yrs and regret that I’ve not been more assertive and in control of decisions to do with my career?”
2 What’s the big challenge you’re grappling with in your career and/or work right now?
“I’m questioning my current trajectory – do I want this in 3-5yrs?”
“I’m absolutely not feeling like I’m valued“
“I’m totally unmotivated, especially if I think I have to keep doing this for the next year and beyond”
“I’m feeling a bit lost because I don’t have a defined career development plan with my current employer, it’s just a job”
“My energy levels are depleted – I’m feeling like I’ve nothing left in the tank, especially for this job and this career any more”
“I’m treading water, but every day the water gets darker and more dangerous
“I don’t have any answers to what I actually want to do and every day without those I feel more stuck in mud which might turn into quicksand any moment.”
“My big question right one is “Should I stay or should I go?” I’m balancing my happiness with the assumption that I’ll be taking a financial drop (salary) to move and the need to support my young family, but how long can I go on feeling like this?”
“I’ve begun to recognise that I’m battling my own negative self talk as I launch a new business : “can I do this? Is it the right thing to do?” I don’t have anybody to talk to about these thoughts“
“I’m avoiding what I know really will make me happier – which would be to address the fact I’m coasting, unhappy and unfulfilled – as I’m so fearful that I’ll fail at any change I think I want to make.”
It has really hit me writing this just how many Millennials don’t have an outlet to talk through these stark thoughts whirling around in their minds, especially when it comes to their career. There are so many fears, anxieties, stresses governing Millennial career decisions and actions (or more realistically, inaction).
We’re told that in the UK, our career will take up 3,507 days of our lives, on average. That is a HUGE amount of time. Surely it’s vital that Millennials make sure they’re in the right career and take the time to pause, reflect and really think about themselves and what career they want to do that will improve their wellbeing and mental health. Millennials are a vital next generation of senior professionals, leaders, business owners, entrepreneurs, creatives, educators, writers, thinkers and much more.
We have to get this right.
If you’re a Millennial and any of the above has resonated with you, then let’s talk. If you recognise any of the above in people you know, then please do share this article with them.