Finding the Right Path and Knowing What you Want

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These past couple of months have been extremely busy and hectic. Several things took place at once; I produced/directed a web series, had a change in leadership in both church ministry and work, and went on a road trip to Winnipeg, Canada, on top of working on a big industry feature film. All while still working my regular job.

Even now I still have a lot more work to do on the web series with still taking on even more hours at work due to “Organizational Changes” *sigh*. And the next months is going to be even busier (film fests, show premieres, another vaca, and retail holiday season).

Through all these shifts moving around me, I feel a shift of my own coming. To what, I’m not sure. It’s funny, whenever you feel that something big is coming all the things around you start to move and shift and suddenly there are all these opportunities that present themselves to you. But if you aren’t careful, you won’t know if they are actual opportunities or just traps.

I read this article today and there was a part in there that perfectly summed up what I was thinking:

More than 60 percent of millennials say they’d rather earn $40,000 per year at a job they love than $100,000 at one they hate. And what they crave most is the flexibility to work when, where and how they want in order to balance work-life demands. Many are even willing to take a pay cut or skip a promotion to get it. Parade

Of course this can pertain to others outside of Millennials but this gets my next point.

There is this position that opened up at my job. One that is in an area that I know, with people who I like, more hours, and potential higher pay. Sounds good right? Except that I don’t want it. Would I like a better paycheck? Sure. The problem? I don’t really like that job, in fact that is why I changed positions in the first place.

That only thing that job opening is doing and serving as a distraction from what I really want to do. It is the easy logical route but it’s not one that I’m feelin’ right now. I’ve taken the easy route too many times now and it’s made me nothing but more aggravated in the end.

If you feel a shift coming for something bigger and better, don’t get distracted by the readily available safe options that will suddenly present themselves. They may look good but taking it may mean you miss out on the truly great one. Be honest and know what you really want, and be willing to wait for it or push for it if need be. You will find the right path and it will be worth it in the end.

Currently Reading: The M-Factor, How the Millennial Generation is Rocking the Workplace

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I am always interested in generational differences between my own generation, millennials, and others and how we can collaborate with each other. I am especially interested in how millennials are viewed in general. So when this book came across my radar I had to read it.

The M-factor shows how each generation, Traditionalist, Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials, function in the workplace and how each generation changed the workplace scene. The book explains this by putting it in correlation to the millennial generation and how we function. The breakdown of chapters are: Parenting, Entitlement, Meaning, Great Expectations, The Need for Speed, Social Networking, and Collaboration.

I won’t necessarily cover every section of the book but here are the main points I took away from it:

  • Parenting: the first thing that hit me about this was that I was surprised by my own generation. For millennials parenting is no longer finished when college is done, now it is continuing on into the workplace. They have more of an engrossed and buddy relationship view of their parents which we then take into the workplace, no longer see higher-ups as on pedestals but instead side by side. That I agreed with but then I saw this:

In our M-Factor survey, over 10 percent of Millennials said they would “feel comfortable having my parent(s) call the boss if there is a problem,”

Uh, what?! I didn’t even know that was a thing! I would never have my mom call my boss because I had a problem at work or, like in the book example, have my parent go over my work stuff like it was school work. That is so foreign to me.

The other part of this that was interesting was that Boomer and Xers are confused as to how Millennials got they way they are but don’t realize that they are the ones who raised them that way.

  • Entitlement: Now this is a big push button for me because I constantly see articles about how Millennials think they are so entitled and want the world handed to them on the silver spoon. Often I think we are misunderstood on this and what people view as entitlement is actually something else: no-nonsense.

We’ve grown up seeing our grandparents and parents struggling day-to-day in job they hate, working because they had to, and not being able to do things they’ve wanted to do until later in life. The general notion is to save up now and you can have your reward later. Well we, Millennials, saw what it means to do that and decided, that sucks. So we adjusted accordingly.

This book does a really good job of breaking down the way Millennials think and why that is misconstrued as entitlement to other generations. I could do a whole article on just that one word and I might later but I highly suggest this chapter above all the rest.

  • Meaning:

Sometimes it can feel like providing meaning for Millennials is an insurmountable task…But the costs of not paying attention to meaning are also considerable. Millennials are more than willing to leave a job if they don’t feel fulfilled. 

This is so true. Any time I start to feel bored in a job or no longer feel like my contribution even matters I start to look elsewhere. As Millennials we want to know that what we do has a purpose and meaning behind it, we want to know how our cog fits in the wheel. In that same instance we also want constant feedback. Not because we are insecure or don’t know what we are doing but because we want to be on the same page and know we aren’t wasting time with useless efforts.

We also want to know that our companies are taking a role in helping the community and the earth. Companies that are green and give back to the community are huge factors for us when choosing where to work.

  • Need for Speed: Because we are so used to a constant stream of information and new technologies, Millennials, are constantly moving at a fast speed and look for the better and faster way to do things, which causes clashes when met with the corporate world process.

Millennials… are entering a workplace where decisions work their way through a process so time-consuming it can feel like waiting for a dial-up connection on the internet.

I can’t tell you how many times I just wanted to scream at the pace in which corporations make decisions. On one hand I understand that there is a process and that change is costly but on the other hand it takes so long, for sometimes even the littlest, decisions to be made that you wonder how the company continues to function. This is a very hard thing for us to get.

  • Collaboration

We are a very collaborative generation in that we share practically everything, and in some cases too much. We feel the need to stay connected to peers and to access higher-ups for mentoring. We prefer open spaces to cubicles and corner offices. We like to be able to voice our opinion but at the same time want to hear other’s opinions. When it comes to teamwork or work in general we have no problem admitting our faults and passing the job off to someone who is more qualified because we know they are better at it.

Other generations are sometimes baffled at this as they were taught differently. But we see it as a natural thing.

 

Over all I found this book to be a good read and easy to break down as well as insightful not only as to how previous generations viewed things but also my own. I also think this is a valuable book for anyone to read. That being said I would like to make a few points about it.

  1. They talk about the interview process and how the questions that previously worked don’t really work on Millennials and now some sites are posting interview questions on websites so interviewees know what to expect.  However sometimes I think the questions are so vague and the answers so wide that nobody wins. Perhaps we should look into scenario questions, as in “this happened so you do what”. I also think if it was more staged as conversation as opposed to an interrogation that would be better.
  2. There is constant emphasis in the book about how many Millennials don’t understand dress code, work etiquette, and haven’t had a first job before when entering the workplace after college. I question these notions. I can’t think of a single Millennial I know who didn’t “work” in so some form prior to leaving college. And the whole dress code and work etiquette thing is, I think, more a product of environment/upbringing and lack of knowledge but I don’t think it is abundant in my generation. I don’t know maybe I’m just bias.
  3. There is a sentence on pg 153 that says “But they are expected to be treated like a darling, not a doofus.” I don’t know why but that sentence completely rubbed me the wrong way and almost negated what I previously read. Up until then I felt that the authors were really getting the our generation but the word “darling” gave me sudden images that made me feel like we needed to be coddled and petted. I get what was trying to be said but I would have used another word.

So that is my review on The M-Factor. Hopefully it wasn’t too long. If you read it or have any thoughts about the subject please feel free to comment below!

Currently Reading: What’s Mine is Yours

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In a day and age where everyone seems to be a mass consumer there are a few companies popping up that seem to go the other way where things are shared.

What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers

The book starts out with an illustration of our over consumerism in the form of the The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. A stretch of ocean that is twice the size of Texas and carries about 3.5 million tons of garbage most of which is plastic. This came from the rise of disposable products such as plates, cups, and bottles.

Garbage patch

From the moment you start reading you see this case building and how we came to where we are now  with excess stuff and an abundance of trash. What is so great about this book is that it doesn’t just leave it there but shows how we are creating solutions to this ever-expanding problem.

From Generation Me to Generation We

There is now a significant amount of consumers who are moving towards homemade items, recycled materials, second-hand products, and shared living spaces.

The book touches on companies like Etsy, Airbnb, Growing Chefs, and RideShare, all of which make collaboration and reuse as part of their backbone.

It also talks about crowdsourcing but not as a way to make money but at as a way to solve problems and sharing a huge task, like picking up large amounts of trash, between several people so it takes less time and money. This is also applied to open collaborative tech projects and artists initiatives.

The Millennials are not a generation of Mother Teresas. They are not all do gooders shunning well paid jobs and luxuries for a utopian dream…But they are abandoning the prevailing ethos of their parents’ generation of baby boomers  and adhering more to the values of their grandparents, the war generation.

Millennials are the backbone of this newfound driven collaboration and community of Entrepreneurs and consumers. “Generation We” has created a new value shift.

What will you get out of this book?

This book portrays how the world is ever-changing especially in the hands of Millennials. It’s not all about what “I” can get but what “we” can get and for Entrepreneurs it is important to understand your audience and how new businesses are popping up all the time to meet this need.

I like this book particularly because it helped me understand my own generation and it also gave me insight into what businesses are doing now. I definitely recommend this if not as a way to help your business but as a case study/social commentary of where we are today as consumers.