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A Letter from Your Millennial Employee

Dear Boss, 

It’s your Millennial employee here – you know the one you yell at only talk to when you catch me checking Facebook during work hours. I’ve noticed we’ve been having some communication issues lately, and I wanted a chance to be heard. After all, in a few years my generation will make up over half of your workforce, and if they all feel like I do, you won’t be able to keep them for long.

So, just a few facts about me…

I communicate differently. If I had a choice, I would text you. Every time. It’s instantaneous, and I know you’ll see it immediately and not in three hours when you check your email, which would be my next choice of communication if you’re wondering. But, please – for the love of all that is good – please don’t make me call someone. It’s awkward, void of nonverbal cues and impossible to cut short. It’s just not what I’m used to, even though…

I’m constantly connected. I got my first cell phone (for texting, not calling) when I was 13, and since then, I’ve always been a few taps away from friends, family and copious amounts of information. When your harsh policies take away my cell phone and firewall my internet access, I get antsy… distracted… grumpy… and even a little less valuable. Because you see…

I’m resourceful. Give me any challenge, hand me any problem, and I’ll use my creativity and know-how to form a better solution. Just don’t cut off my resources. Google’s my best friend, and if you take her away or significantly limit her, you also limit my creativity and ability to help you and the company. But at the same time…

I want flexibility. The quick scroll through my Twitter feed is the equivalent of your smoke break, so don’t freak out. I’ll still get that report in to you by deadline – I always do. And, while we’re talking about flexibility, I could use some more time off. In fact, I’d trade a pay raise for an extra week or two in a heartbeat. Because when it comes down to it…

I value experiences. I don’t have a nice car. And, I’m not wasting my money on a fancy business wardrobe – the flip flops are here to stay. But, I’ll dine at the finest Memphis restaurants each night and spend my money on traveling and hobbies and activities I can do with friends. You only live once, and I won’t be taking those Louboutin stilettos with me when I go. Because in the end…

I want to do something meaningful. Pushing paper, checking emails, attending meetings – those are all fine and dandy, but show me why they matter. You want me to stay around for the long haul? Show me what difference this daily grind is making. How am I helping people? How am I making this world a better place? How am I creating a greater future for my children and my children’s children?

Gen-Y Fish

If you’re reading this with a puzzled look on your face, wondering how anyone could possibly feel this way – it’s probably a sign you need some training on how to handle Generation Y. Lucky for you, the Workforce Leadership Series kicks off tomorrow with “Generational Crossroads: These Are My Work Flip Flops” – where you will come away with strategies to facilitate a healthy working relationship with your Millennial employees and colleagues. Register now.

If you’re reading this and yelling “Yes!” after every sentence – it’s probably a sign your boss needs some training on how to handle Generation Y. Print this off, scribble down the RSVP information from here, and slyly leave it on your boss’s desk. Or if you’re really bold, hand it right to him or her. We could all benefit from more training on workforce relations.

- Jenny Fish

Author’s Note: This letter is only half true. My boss doesn’t yell at me for being on Facebook, I’ve never worn flip flops to work in my life, and I love working at the Greater Memphis Chamber because I know I’m doing something meaningful and my work is valued. However, it IS an accurate description of how my Millennial brain works and what is a priority for Generation Y, basing all my points off of complaints and opinions I’ve heard directly from my peers. The struggle is real, and we’re here to help – register now for Generational Crossroads: These Are My Work Flip Flops.
Posted: 3/17/2014 11:14:18 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: event, generation, jobs, memphis, millennial, workforce, workshop, y

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