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Today, 25% of the US workforce is made up of millennials, and thus has become the largest generation in the workforce as a whole. So if you're a typical company, you most likely have several, or many, millennials working for you- or with you, rather. 

It's pretty common for young people to hop around jobs for a while in their 20's, eager to find something they really love. Find out 5 common thoughts your own millennial employees are probably thinking each day at work. 

1. Is this really my passion?

This is a biggie. Most millennials are in that weird, limbo stage of life, not sure if they're really doing what they want to be doing, or if they just took the first good offer to come their way. Many of us still aren't even sure what our passion is, so we are constantly feeling the pressure to discover it...and QUICK! We don't want to fall too far behind on that dream-passion-career path, while some of our peers are already on it.

2. I feel like I could be doing this at home right now. 

As so many millennials are now being given the chance to work from home and work more flexibly, the notion that we can do our work from anywhere tends to rule at the office. Especially if we are at our desks on our computers all day....we're probably thinking that this job could totally be done from the comfort of our PJ's, on our couch, with the fridge nearby, on our personal laptops (or company-provided laptops, even better). 

3. Am I doing a good job?

Feedback is huge for millennials. And it's because of our constant access to social media and the immediate gratification it provides. We want to know if we are doing a good job, and often. We'd also love constructive feedback, but be sure to accompany it with some positive vibes, or we might write you off. In fact, 72% of millennials who receive consistent accurate feedback from managers at work find satisfaction in the workplace. Something to keep in mind.

4. What are my friends doing right now?

Social media does this to us. We're constantly checking to find out what we're missing out on, or what our friends are doing with their lives to maybe inspire us to do something different with ours. Regardless, our minds will occasionally drift, and be quickly satisfied with a mini-Instagram sesh, then back to work we go! So don't get too mad if you happen to catch your millennial on his/her phone for a few mins...it's all to satisfy our social media fix, and we may even be more focused than before once we're done.

5. Can I make a bigger impact here?

Millennials want to feel important and recognized for doing something amazing, and this includes at work. Most millennials want to find a way to do something great to make an impact within their company or in the bigger world, and if that opportunity isn't there, or we can't think of one, we most likely will look for new job options. 

Now that you know the inner workings of a millennial mind, you should have a clear idea of how to work with our generation a little differently, and the things that might be consuming our minds throughout the day. Each of these thoughts is tied to a unique way that millennials are different than other generations at work, and why we all need to work together to constantly adjust to new generations coming in. It is more important than ever to be flexible and open to change, as the world is moving quicker than most of us can keep up with---so we might as well try!

For more about millennials and generations in the workforce, visit my website at www.CaitlinCrommett.com! Thanks for reading!

What a weekend in.png

This weekend I jetted off to San Francisco to visit some friends over Easter. Little did I know, I'd be doing some Millennial research while at it. No this does not mean I was going around asking people their thoughts on Millennial stereotypes or thoughts I have about this generation of mine (and if I did it was truly accidental :) ). But there were a few times I wanted to exclaim "YES! This is why I do what I do!" .... ok and some of those times I actually did exclaim this out loud. Sorrynotsorry.

Anyway, I wanted to share a few points that arose during my weekend, and some thoughts that were simply verified even further by people I met or spoke to these past few days. It's really interesting how work and life seem to blend so much these days, isn't it?? Here's a few things I took away from my 'getaway':

1. Despite it being the #1 most expensive place to live in the country, Millennials really do want to live in San Francisco.

But not for a long time. Rent is out of this world, and actually owning something seems totally out of the question. While walking along the streets, we would look up the average prices of homes in the neighborhood. Let's just say, you'd need to be Mark Zuckerburg or Bill Gates to own most of the homes in the city. 

This isn't stopping young people from flocking to the bay area though. It's still the number 1 city for Millennials, and going strong. Plenty of tech-y companies grabbing Millennials right out of college and keeping them because of their long list of employee perks and retention strategies.

2. Stifling a Millennial's creativity, ideas, and drive to work harder will definitely not keep them around.

I heard a very scary story of a manager who did not want their employee to try new things, build on new ideas, or even speak with people who might benefit them. They didn't want them 'growing up too fast' in the company. Needless to say, this is driving their employee away faster than they can say "come back!". 

3. The Millennial job-hop is a very real thing (ok, I guess I knew this one already).

But it's always interesting to get even more examples of how real it really is, and from your own friends to boot. Several people I talked to on my trip were ready to move on from their jobs, even if they were making good money and fairly comfortable there. They want a new experience---we're too young to truly settle on one job, right?? 

4. Having free food at work is not enough to achieve employee retention. But, it is a nice perk, am I right?

5. Having more than 1 job is way more normal than I even thought.

And I was pretty sure this was normal, but again, it's amazing to hear from so many people (without any prodding) that they have multiple jobs and projects outside of their 'main' job. Even when we're 'off' work (whatever that means these days), we usually still have a side project or job that we're working. Every Millennial I met this weekend proved this point beyond a reasonable doubt.

6. Ageism is happening and Millennials feel it is unjustified.

Being discriminated against, or not given earned opportunities, because of your young age is going out of style. And that's because more and more Millennials are realizing the backwards logic of it all in the workplace, and that the youngest people can truly contribute just as much, if not more, to a company as the ones who have been there half their lives. Several people I spoke to and encountered this weekend had relevant, personal experiences where they were discriminated against because of their young age, and were considering leaving their jobs because of it.

7. San Francisco is as hilly as it looks- anyone else sore from walking up and down all day?

ANYWAY, these were a few takeaways from my trip this weekend. Anyone else have a revelation this Easter?

Comment below!!

 

 

So, I'm out of school and out in the real world. No, I don't have a "real job". Why, you ask? Because I'm pursuing my passions in a different way. Especially here in LA where I live, many people (Millennials seem to be the majority of said 'people') do not live the "normal" "9-5" life. We are aspiring actors, aspiring musicians, aspiring stars...and if that means we need to constantly look for our next source of income, and never get to feel "comfortable" when we get a job, so be it. This is the life we have chosen. And we love it, believe it or not. In fact, many more of us than ever seem to desire this lifestyle; one where we are reliant on ourselves for our next paycheck---we are entrepreneurial and crave that freedom that self-employment offers.

All I ask is that we don't keep getting s*&% for it. No, I don't wake up at 6am every day. Heck, I'm not usually awake at 9am, if I'm being totally honest. But that doesn't mean I'm lazy, I never get out of bed, I expect the jobs will come to me. It simply means I'm tired (cue: Corinne from The Bachelor telling us to stop giving her crap for sleeping too much- http://eonli.ne/2n3YjoO) because maybe I stayed up 'til midnight working last night. Just because I am not on your schedule, does not mean I'm not working hard to build my life. In fact, many of us often work through the weekend, so when you see us relaxing outside on a Tuesday, think about that before judging us for not working.

This is not meant to be a rant (although it may sound that way....I just wanted to make a point, I promise!), it is simply to serve as a reminder to all those 9-5ers out there, those Boomers or Gen X'ers who have had a constant source of income in the form of a job for their entire adult lives. I want to make sure Millennials, and other freelancers or dreamers or atypical workers, are given the proper treatment out there in the everyday world. We don't want to be judged for not wanting to work like you have been working throughout your life. It's a new generation, a new culture, a new world out there...one where it doesn't matter the time you put in as long as you are getting it done and making progress in your life and for the world.

A list that is becoming more and more common in today's changing world. 

A list that is becoming more and more common in today's changing world. 

So remember, we're not lazy for sleeping past 10am on a weekday...we're just different.

Stay tuned for my next blog post on our changing values AT WORK- how time in and out should not be representative of how "hard" we work. 

Co-Working Spaces: What You Need To Know

Have you noticed that more and more co-working spaces are popping up all over cities lately? If you're wondering what I'm talking about, I mean those big buildings with "WeWork" or "CrossCampus" or "BlankSpaces" plastered on the sides. You may have heard of them from your tech-y friend or your colleague who works from home. They're revolutionizing the freelance and "work-from-home" culture, because now these people have a common area to stay focused and productive, and even hold meetings of their own. And by "these people", I mean me, too. 

As a freelance speaker/actor/producer/etc, I am constantly looking to get out of the house and find a productive, quiet place to work (with good WiFi) (and free parking) (and accessible outlets for charging). Nahhhh, I'm not picky at all. But really, these are basic necessities that people in offices take for granted. Sometimes the Wifi at my apartment is terrible (most of the time), sometimes cafe's get overloaded and can't load your basic Google page (every day), sometimes your computer dies super fast and there's only one outlet in the whole room (cue Chariots of Fire theme song). These are struggles my fellow freelancers will understand all too well. Finding a solid place to get your work done every day is much harder than you may think.

But NOW. Now is a great time to be alive. Because someone genius (obviously) came up with the idea of a CO-WORKING space, filled with everything anyone would have in a typical office, but not taken over by one single company. Finally, a place that understands the freelance life, or even just the company that is too afraid of commitment to rent out an entire office for themselves. 

As I write this post, I am currently in one: Village Workspaces (www.villageworkspaces.com) on the westside of LA. It is wonderful. It gives the impression of luxury, yet is still super casual. They give you everything from espresso to coffee to snacks to beer on tap (yes you read that right) to comfy couches for sleeping. They even have cute comfy telephone booths for those of us who want to take a phone call in private. Not to mention AH-MAZING views of the city all over the place and only window-walls for more inclusivity. And no, they did not pay me to write this (but I'm not opposed...)

It's fabulous to have a nice, comfortable, friendly, well-connected, light, outlet-friendly place to work each day. And I'm not saying I work here every day because I'm not currently lucky enough to afford to be a full-time member but HEY, dreams (can) come true right??? I'll keep hoping. And it's funny, because, as I'm sure you might have guessed, I would say 90% of the clientele here are Millennials. BIG SURPRISE, I KNOW. This is the office space we like. This is something we can get behind. An open layout, flexible desks, lots of windows, snacks, beer (hehe)...who wouldn't want to come to work each day?! I can tell you, I am excited to be back here. And hey, maybe I'll even meet someone from SoundCloud (yes they are based here) or Vox Media (also have an office here) and build my network (another perk- network building every day!).

So next time you hear about co-working spaces...don't just zone out. They are amazing for freelancers and non-freelancers alike. Bring your startup company here for a less-committal, fully-furnished, fun office space, or let your employees who "work from home" use this as their productive workspace. Trust me, they'll be thankful...and I bet you they will work harder and be more efficient for you. Give it a try.

And yes, the WiFi (and cell reception) is fantastic.

AAOE: Need Better Millennials? How to attract the best and brightest millennials to your workplace

See the full article here: http://www.aaoe.net/news/322162/Need-Better-Millennials-How-to-attract-the-best-and-brightest-millennials-to-your-workplace.htm

Getting great young employees seems to be getting harder and harder. It seems like each generation gets harder to understand. They are increasingly different than you and how you are used to working.

Lately, people have a lot to say about the millennials- “selfish”, “entitled”, and “lazy” seem to be among the top words used to describe this generation. Surprisingly enough, these are very common misconceptions of the millennials. Yes, there are those that exemplify these unfavorable qualities, because there are bad eggs in every generation. It’s looking like the labeling and stereotyping that encompasses the millennials is very similar to the bad rep that the Boomers got when they were in their youth. And look how great the Boomers turned out- they are now the top executives at their companies and the generation that catalyzed so much positive change in the world.

Chances are if you’re having trouble picking out the “good eggs” when hiring young millennial employees, you might need to take a step back and look at your company as a whole. Workplaces are changing quickly for everyone, so it’s important to recognize the factors that are crucial to getting the best employees NOW:

1. Innovation is key.

This is a top buzzword for millennials. Just mentioning this word in a job description and talking about it in the interviews will surely impress them. Millennials want to work in a place where they can be free to come up with unique ideas and implement them, no matter how long they’ve been there.

2. Get social.

If you don’t have a presence on social media, you’re not going to attract many of the best millennials. This is where millennials get their information, feedback, read about news and reviews of companies and businesses. Don’t worry about getting millions of followers. Ensuring that your online presence exists and is relevant and consistently updated is essential.

3. Open up your workplace.

When millennials walk into an office that has rows and rows of cubicles, people in suits and ties, and closed doors, they will almost immediately shut down a part of themselves. Millennials want an open workplace, one where communication is easy and not hindered by doors and walls, where casual dress is not a far-fetched dream, and where employees can freely express themselves. Workplaces everywhere are moving toward a more casual workplace culture with open layouts and laid-back dress code. You might as well get a head start on this now.

4. The interview.

This final stage is not just for you to interview the candidate, but also for them to decide if you are someone they want to work for in the foreseeable future. Remember this as you bring them in for the last interview. Know that millennials are not too fond of hierarchical structures, and would rather work with you rather than for you. Of course, you will still be “in charge”, but make it clear in the interview that you want to work with them as a colleague, so they feel like they can bring creative ideas to you at any given time. Try to minimize physical barriers during this process as well, and sit on the same side of the desk as your candidate as you chat about the job they might have soon- this will increase comfort and actually make them respect you more.

5. Use the network.

Usually millennials hang around others that share their values, determination, work ethic, and interests. Chances are, if you found a great, hardworking millennial to work for you, they have friends similar to them who would be a great employee for you as well. Everyone loves to have a friend at work, right? Encourage them to bring a friend into the office for a work hangout or tell their friends about a new job opening. They’ll feel like you want them to be happy, too, which is crucial for retaining your best employees in the long run.

Notre Dame Club of Phoenix...I'm coming for ya!

Anyone in the Phoenix area in mid-February ... this post is for you. I'll be speaking to the Notre Dame Club of Phoenix (http://phoenix.undclub.org/s/1210/clubs-classes/2col-grid4-split.aspx?gid=475&pgid=61) on FEBRUARY 10TH at NOON. Don't miss it!! Plus you don't even have to be a club member to attend, so this is your chance!

I'll speak a bit about my work with millennials and generational connections while touching on DreamCatchers Foundation a bit as well. For those of you who don't know, I recently published a book on millennials in the workplace (http://amzn.to/2k6qAZF) and have been speaking/consulting/training on the topic of generational connectedness as well. My foundation, DreamCatchers, is about to undergo a massive transformation and upgrade near the end of February with a new Executive Director, so I'll be talking about that as well (www.dreamcatchers1.org).

Or, just come to say hi!! I'd love it!

See you soon, Phoenix!

Got Millennials?

Check out the article here: http://workdevgroup.com/guest-post-got-millennials/

You’ve just hired a bunch of new employees and you’re ready for them to jump in and get to work. You realize quickly that these new employees seem to work a bit differently than you’re used to, and you don’t quite understand why. Chances are, your new employees are mostly of the millennial generation, meaning they grew up in the new millennium and are typically between the ages of 18 and 32.

There’s a lot of talk about millennials today. This is probably because millennials just became the largest generation in the workforce, surpassing even the massive Boomer generation. As you hire them, it’s important to understand this generation and what they look for in a workplace so that you can be sure to hold on to the best ones for years to come. Read on for five quick tips you can implement right now:

1. Millennials want to learn and grow, constantly. Chances are your company is a stepping-stone in a millennial’s career path, unless you understand this mindset. Encourage them to learn each day – recommend online courses, send them to conventions, give them new responsibilities – and you might be able to keep them in the long(er) run.

2. Work-life balance is more important than ever. Yes, everyone would love to spend more time with their families. But research is showing lack of flexibility was cited among the top reasons millennials quit jobs. If possible, implement occasional mobile workdays, allow working from home, or even just recognize the need for some schedule freedom every now and then.

3. Give feedback in person. 51% of millennials prefer to communicate with colleagues in person rather than over email. Think twice next time you want to shoot them an email while you’re a few desks or offices away. This applies to regular feedback on working habits and progress – doing it in person makes us respect you even more. It helps us to feel like partners in the workplace.

4. Work with them. Millennials tend to be fundamentally against hierarchical structures. Make it clear that you want to work with them (as a colleague would), rather than a boss who tells them what to do. You’ll get better results and more innovative solutions this way, and communication will improve.

5. Get social. If your company isn’t on social media, get there. It’s easy, free, and absolutely crucial if you want millennials to stay engaged with you. Your millennial employees will notice – this will also allow them to post about how great your company is and how much they like working there … it’s a win-win!

There are many more ways you can attract the best millennials to your company, and actually keep them there. For more tips and advice, check out my book “How to Attract Millennials to Your Company…And Actually Keep Us!” on Amazon

Hey, world! Thanks for visiting my website and my blog, now. You're in for a treat. 

I'm going to start posting articles that I write here, as well as general checkins and stories about millennials in the workplace, generational working habits, and other fun things. I'll also keep you posted here about how the speaking career is going, to get it all out in the open.

As always, reach out anytime! I'd love to chat with anyone who is remotely interested in this topic, or in anything that we connect on, really.

Thanks again and stay tuned for updates!