What Do Millennials Want in Life and Work? – with Lee Caraher

There’s so much noise these days about the Millennial generation: they’re lazy, they’re entitled, they’re bad employees. But my guest today, Lee Caraher doesn’t buy it. In fact, she’s discovered that if you take the time to understand Millennials as a generation, you discover some qualities that are extremely valuable to companies. In our conversation, we talk about the key elements of creating high-performing, multi-generational teams that enjoy working together, what companies can do to help Millennials and the rest of their team thrive, and how to balance loyalty to yourself with loyalty to your company.

Millennials use jobs like bumper stickers on their resume

One of the insights Lee had to share on this episode was that the Millennial generation thinks differently about employment and career than previous generations did. An example is that they expect to have up to 7 different careers in their lifetime – not jobs – careers. Lee says that Millennials understand that where they work through the course of their career, the brands they are associated with, is important. It’s like bumper stickers on their car or stamps in their passport that demonstrate the experiences they’ve had. If you’ll take the time to listen to our conversation you’ll gain a new appreciation for the Millennial workforce and get a peek into the important things Millennials want in life and work.

Workplaces, where teams feel appreciated, outperform those that don’t by up to 3 times

What do Millennials want in life and work? What all of us want – to be valued, appreciated, recognized for the contributions they are making to the teams they are part of. Leaders, founders, and managers need to take note – the way to integrate Millennials more fully and powerfully into team culture is not to chide them for their perceived failings, it’s to appreciate them for the unique things they bring to the team. Lee has insight into Millennials like few people I’ve met, so be sure you listen so that you can equip yourself to make the most out of the extraordinary talents Millennials can bring to your company or organization.

How to balance loyalty to yourself with loyalty to the company

One of the common complaints in our day is that companies and employees are no longer loyal. Given that many corporations have become more concerned about keeping their shareholders happy than the people who made them successful (the workforce), it’s no wonder. Nevertheless, Lee says there’s still a place for employee loyalty, but it doesn’t always mean that you’ll stay in your current position or even your current company long term. Find out how she defines the concept of loyalty and how she recommends employees make the most of every employment opportunity, on this episode.

The most loyal act is to leave your company when you are not inspired by your work

It’s not disloyal to leave your current company. In fact, Lee says sometimes leaving your company is the most loyal thing you can do. When you are no longer inspired by the work you do, when you are unable to give 100% every day, that’s when loyalty to the company says that it’s best for you to leave. But you don’t leave in a way that burns bridges or closes doors. You leave with integrity by preparing the team you’re leaving behind with the tools and information they need to properly handle your absence. Lee describes how that kind of departure looks and how you can pull it off, on this episode.

Episode Highlights

  • 1:51- What are the best practices for creating a Millennial and Gen-Z workplace, and why is it important?
  • 8:13 – The biggest myths about the Millennial workforce?
  • 15:50 – Why context is King and how appreciation energizes a team
  • 23:11- When is loyalty to your company a good thing and when is it a liability?
  • 34:20- True culture in business and why it’s so powerful
  • 38:05 – What is the boomerang principle and how can employees be boomerang ready?
  • 45:03 – The primary “new rules” for etiquette these days

Resources Mentioned

1. Favorite book for women?

2. Favorite self-care hack?

3. Best piece of advice and who gave it to you?

  • “Don’t take yourself so seriously and chill the F*$% out!” – given to her by her mother

4. Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now?

5. One piece of advice you’d give your 5 years younger self?

  • “If it’s hard, do it now.”


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