What you can learn from a millennial

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Never did I ever think I’d be a full time working mother by my early 20s….well I’m not but I briefly lived that reality last week.

Fortunate enough to get a full time temp job for a week I was swept up in the working world and all it has to offer having to battle peak hour traffic, manage the coffee consumption of my co-workers and negotiate with a wildly stubborn printer. I was thoroughly enjoying the experience and found balancing it with my hobby of playing hockey achievable, until my flow was disrupted one very early morning.

Having had a hockey session late at night my hours of counting sheep were already limited so when my baby, my furry baby, started barking as he decided that he needed to go to the toilet and get a drink at 4am I knew I was doomed and woke up exhausted the next day for work.

It occurred to me that if this was only just a taste tester of what it is like to be someone working full time with a family who plays sport (or invested in any other hobby) then I am definitely not prepared for the main meal.

Admittedly perhaps a little exaggerated, but my one sleepless night made me question my working future as I’m sure are many other young Millennials entering the workforce.

Having been raised in such technology rich world and economy is quite the privilege and has had a considerable influence on how Millennials view the different possibilities of the concept of work. Being apart of ‘Generation Me’ however comes with a reputation of being plugged-in tech heads with a lazy attitude and are narcissistically driven….but before we wave a white flag up at the world, I believe it is our unique skills of being technologically savvy, connected and pursing interests outside of a job is what will help reshape and redefine the workforce incorporating a work life balance.

I recently read an article in The West Australian which quoted psychologist Averil Leimon from the White Water Group about how Millennials “have often seen one or both parents working flat out and not coming home till late, knackered after the commute. They want to find ways to incorporate real relationships, be hands-on in bringing up their kids, keep up external interests and be fit and healthy. They were born and grew up with technology so they know how to work remotely and cannot see why sitting in a building is required. They don’t ‘go to work’, they just work. Technology is integral to their lives so they do not split home and work as rigorously as previous generations.”

Not only did this strongly resonate with me but I found it inspiring as there is now a unique opportunity to challenge and change aspects of the traditional concepts of what work is. Statistics show that by 2025 Millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce. So in a labour market we’re soon going to dominate, why not start creating a more flexible employment environment that promotes a healthy work life balance whilst still enforcing a strong work ethic.

I’ve learnt a lot in the past week, besides the fact that a doggy door would be helpful…

I’ve learnt the importance of having a flexible job structure that incorporates your home and your work to be able to live a fulfilling life.

Flexibility is the key to breaking the constricting buckles of the rigid and structured workforce, so let’s make it happen.

I’ve actually learnt a thing or two from Natasha Del Borrello. She has shown me what flexibility can really look like. As an elite athlete, university student, working full time when I spoke to Natasha about working as an Accelus Intern, she said she would find a way and make it work. True to her word she did and I’m blown away with her dedication and commitment. Natasha is student at The University of Western Australia studying Human Resources Management and Neuroscience.