Confessions of a Millennial Jobaholic (pt1)

Hello. My name is Kendra, and I am a recovering jobaholic.

*hello Kendra*

Over the course of 15 years, since I was able to start working at age 15 up until about age 30, I have worked over 40 jobs.

Yes, you read that correctly: 40 jobs. These weren’t money under the table kind of jobs either. These were full-fledged W2 having jobs. To my credit, I was always working a few jobs at a time. I always had a job during school and after that, I would have my regular 9-5 along with at least one evening/weekend job.

I know what you might be thinking: “Man, this girl couldn’t keep a job.” But that’s not the case. I have never been fired and pretty much every company I’ve worked for wanted to keep me. So in actuality, jobs couldn’t keep me.

If you haven’t already guessed it, I’m a millennial. I am hardworking, driven, adaptable and capable but never quite satisfied.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering why myself and others in my generation just can’t seem to sit still and be happy, I’m going to give you my point of view in this two-part article. Why two parts? Because there are two major parts to this calamity I like to call my job history.

The first part revolves around my own confidence.

Our world has a way of building you up with high expectations and then swiftly knocking you down to reality. After I graduated Cum Laude with my B.A. in marketing and media management, I was ready to take on the world! I was going to manage my own event space, and plan major live events. That dream was short lived.

I ended up getting a job at a boutique grocery store until I got on with a temp agency. I floated through temp assignments until I got a job doing continuity at a radio station. Once there, although they were welcoming, it was clear that I was an entry-level drone that knew nothing and should say nothing. Needless to say, my confidence was more than just a little deflated at this point.

But I had to acknowledge that I still had a lot to learn, so I got comfortable taking a backseat and just learning. Probably a little too comfortable. I got so comfortable taking a backseat that when it came time to speak up, share my opinion, or express my needs, I didn’t know how to. So instead of expressing myself and feeling apart of the team, I felt isolated and unfulfilled.

I felt that way, in silence, until it was time to tell my boss that I had found a new job. That’s how it went for several years because I still wasn’t confident and I didn’t know how to effectively communicate in the workplace.

One day I was a young student, learning and following the directions of others. And the next I’m an adult in a corporate environment with no idea how to engage with these people like colleagues. I still felt like a student asking for permission to do everything. I didn’t feel like we were on the same level. Even when I found myself in the same positions as people much older than me, doing a better job than they were, I still didn’t feel the same authority.

I was looking for someone to lead me instead of owning my own internal leadership. I wasn’t acknowledging my skills, my results, or my amazing reviews. I knew how to use those things as a bargaining chip for the next job, but I didn’t know how to assert myself where I was.

That’s why I have such a passion for speaking to millennials.

Looking back, I had some great jobs with some amazing companies. And if I had just built up my own confidence and became my own leader, my track record would look a lot different.

When my vision of managing my own live event space fell by the wayside, I didn’t replace it with anything. So I was aimlessly navigating through the workforce with no real goals in mind. Just money. I followed the money. With every new job, I got a raise. I wasn’t any happier or more fulfilled because I didn’t have a vision of where I wanted to go so I went wherever they would hire me.

That’s why, when I talk to millennials in the workforce I use my three-step methodology: clarity, belief, and position. The clarity portion is all about their vision. What do they want for their lives? How do they define success? Where are they now in relation to where they want to be?

Then we tackle belief. That’s all about confidence. Empowering them to know that they can reach their goals and that starts with achieving maximum results in the position that they’re in. Then it’s position. That’s simply planning for success. How does the role they’re in right now fit into that vision? How does the company they’re in right now fit into that vision?

If I would have looked at my past jobs through this lens I would have stayed longer and maximized those opportunities. But because I didn’t have a clear vision, I couldn’t see how any of them fit so it was easy to leave when I became dissatisfied.

Is your company dealing with millennial turnover? There might be a confidence and clarity issue. When it comes to my generation you have to understand what drives us to peak performance and what keeps loyal to a company.

Maybe your issue isn’t the confidence level in your team. Maybe, it’s in whom they report to. Which leads me to part two…


Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *