Top 3 Reasons Millennials are Protesting Nine-to-Five
One Millennial’s Perspective on the Antiquated Traditional Workday
As a millennial, I am part of a generation that has spent four plus years in furthering our educations through rigorous courses, exams, and internships, to find upon graduation that we are openly disparaged for not immediately landing that corporate job. We seemingly go from hero-to-zero before we even get a chance to hang our graduation-cap tassel on the rearview mirror.
Albeit, the critics do have a point. Millennials are making history, as just last year Pew Research Center reported the record rate of this generation moving back in with their parents. Surveys show that many of us would rather move back home to mom and dad’s rules before submitting to the 9-to-5 grind. From our perspective, however, we are rather seeking purpose by pursuing career choices that brings us happiness. We ask you to honestly consider this possibility… Could it be that our purported happy generation will one day emerge to be dubbed instead the efficient generation?
Three reasons sum up why it’s important to embrace the monumental divergence of this new work force.
1. TECHNOLOGY: Smart Phones, Tablets, Laptops, Oh My!
The primary cause in this paradigm shift is mobile technology. Our generation grew up in this era of booming technological advances. Early exposure to so many gadgets during our youth has given us a significant edge that we believe is being ignored. The acquired skill sets in operating and navigating these hand-held devices has resulted in successful online startup companies, independent business owners, and global bloggers, all operating on the go. We are empowered to work from the local coffee shop, traveling abroad, or from the comfort of our own homes. The newfound freedom of mobility and instant interconnectivity has everyone striving to network with the world, which cultivates and drives our creativity and thus our work. Millennials are inspired by the growing success possible through web-based employment opportunities, and as a result would rather seek out a more flexible job than commit to being tied down to a desk for forty-hours a week.
2. TIME: Quality over Quantity!
Time is not Money – We are beginning to value the quality of our work over quantity of time devoted to being ‘present’ in an office. With all the tools and technology now to work from anywhere, shouldn’t we also have the flexibility to build our own schedules? The risk of failure with this new and different approach is more important than staying in a cycle normalized by a society passing present judgment based on past information and technology. Consider the popularity of the comedic series The Office, originally designed for our parents, yet it became wildly viral with millennials. The show comically mocks the amount of time wasted on non-work nonsense in a traditional work environment. It is as popular as it is universally relatable to multiple generations. It so clearly and hilariously illuminates why we have difficulty embracing the 9 to 5 culture. Rather than waste measurable time day after day, as they depict season after season with no shortage of material, my generation chooses to work smarter rather than longer. Time isn’t the unit for measuring productivity; time is what you do within the period allocated by you for your productivity.
What one individual can accomplish in three hours of work will vary from the next. Hard work and dedication, no matter the time it takes to complete a task at hand, is manifested in the end result. Understanding this, and opting to break the chains of an 8-hour work day removes the clock restriction and would allow us to optimize our productivity by growing at our own pace!
3. HEALTH: Health is Wealth!
Lastly, our generation is health and wellness oriented and cannot ignore the potential negative side effects of the 40-hour+ work-week grind. The rapid increase in the ‘mindfulness’ movement is everywhere. Vegan restaurants and yoga studios are popping up on every corner. Millennials are advocating making health a priority and in doing so, we contemplate whether the all-day constraints within the confining walls of an office might really mean we are ‘working’ ourselves sick. Isn’t it worth considering the potential link between disease (anxiety, depression, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc.) and working in this fashion?
Watching the cycle of our parents being stuck in an office all day, every day, eating regularly from vending machines or a quick lunch to go, avoiding time to exercise, compromising sleep, unhappy, working like a pack mule, money-hungry/ obsessed with outward success etc.…. has lead us to seek an alternative path. At the end of the day, the risk does not seem to match the reward… personally, or financially.
Millennials are the beginning of the end of this cycle, even if it means that we are taking some ridicule from those that find our protest ludicrous and self-serving. I would rather live with that ridicule, take my time and pursue what makes me happy in a proactive and healthy way, than eventually die a slave to an antiquated system that is no longer relevant. I, like so many of my peers, realize that time is all we really have and therefore what we do with it matters! We’d rather use that time to take risks, learn, grow, and find a way to create a more fulfilling and purposeful life for ourselves and future generations!
About the Author – Madison DeCamillis
Madison DeCamillis is a 22 year old UF alumna with a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications: Media and Society, specializing in both English and Spanish. She is an advocate for creative living, which she expresses through her writing and art. Madison is inspired by her travels around the world, surfing and yoga, as well as leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle to inspire others.
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