I was speaking with a colleague the other day and he said to me, “I feel like I am made for more than this job.” Our conversation revolved around staying engaged at work, feeling like you are making a difference, and putting your all into work or a company when you feel like you were made for more. This is the cry of our generation – we were made to be more than order takers or paper pushers! We were made to change the world!
As a manager and a Millennial myself, I am conflicted when I have these conversations. There is certainly part of me that agrees – I do feel that we as individual people were made for more than “just doing a job.” But in my professional career, being responsible for a team of representatives, there is a job to be done and it is my responsibility to make sure everyone on my team is pulling their weight. During this particular conversation, I voiced some opinions that helped me clarify and solidify my stance on where I stand as a Millennial and how I want to encourage my fellow working Millennials to approach work, career, job, and life.
I have been at my current company for 6, almost 7, years. There have been days where I feel like finding more, where I want to move on to something bigger and better, but I have stayed put because its just always seemed like the right thing. In my time staying with one company I feel like I have learned a few things that have helped to fit my Millennial ideals into corporate America.
If you were “made for more,” MAKE YOUR WORK MORE.
I think that we have fallen into the trap that somewhere out there is a job that will automatically be MORE for us. A theoretical space where we can achieve our best, have an amazing career, love what we do, and make a difference in the world. I have friends who absolutely occupy this space, but I have plenty more who desperately wish they could find this mystical dream job.
My point is this – do your best to make your current circumstances BE MORE. Exact change in the space that you occupy, don’t waste away time wishing things were different. Make changes NOW to be better tomorrow.
Here is what this looks like for me: managing a team of individuals, I have the unique opportunity to speak into their lives. I can speak words of truth and encouragement; I can spur them on to achieve higher goals than they thought possible; I can work to motivate each individual and bring us together collectively as a team; I can care about my team beyond numbers and goals and show them that I value them as people and contributors to both our company and society as a whole. As someone in the customer service field I can show my customers that they are important people by listening and caring about their needs. I can be positive and do what’s right for every individual. I can help people to the best of my abilities and be honest when things go wrong. No matter what I can show people respect and that alone can change someone’s day.
See, I think that we need to stop feeling like we aren’t doing enough and start focusing on the little things that we can do to change the world around us daily. The people you have the most impact on are the people you live with and work with – what would it look like to love and encourage those people the most? What would it look like for you to be the best damn representative your company has ever seen? How would your team or office change if you started encouraging everyone around you? If you offered to help your colleagues even when they maybe don’t deserve it?
I am not saying that you can’t pursue your dream job or that you have to stay at a job you hate. But I do think that we make a mistake by thinking there is always something better when we could invest where we are.
So show up with PURPOSE. Commit to do YOUR BEST every day. Look for ways to enact change NOW. INVEST in your co workers. Make whatever you do MATTER because you make people around you matter. Most of all, don’t let an opportunity slip away because you are hoping for something better, bigger, or more – make your work MORE now.