Every generation has its own style, from the fashions they wear right down to the way that they work. The Baby Boomers (those born between 1946-1955) are often known as the no-nonsense workhorse generation. They pride themselves on a hard day’s work and decades dedicated to working at one company. Millennials, on the other hand, not only make up the largest segment in today’s workforce, but are also the most vocal about things like work flexibility, pursuing your passion, and work-life balance.
Typically, the previous generation is the one to teach the newer one, but not in the case of Baby Boomers and Millennials.
Here’s how Millennials can help Baby Boomers to rethink their approach to work and learn how to value work-life balance.
It’s a good idea to change jobs (or even careers).
Work-life balance isn’t just relegated to the hours after quitting time, but also to the flexibility in your career. That might mean not being tied down to just one job, company, or even career. Millennials are firm believers in finding your true path, both professionally and personally. So Baby Boomers may want to reconsider their current job status and decide if what they’re doing and/or who they’re working for is truly a match for them. After all, having a job that you love is a major contributing factor to finding happiness.
Asking for flexible work options won’t get you fired.
In general terms, Baby Boomers tend to be pretty hard-driving when it comes to work. They don’t really expect any allowances when it comes to taking time off for personal matters, and in turn, tend to be a bit more inflexible when seeing others (such as Millennials), looking for flexibility in their jobs. Thing is, there’s nothing wrong with wanting/needing/or even asking for a flexible schedule, especially if it means that you can catch your grandson’s tee-ball game during the late afternoon. By witnessing more and more Millennials asking for—and getting—flexible schedules, (or seeking out jobs that offer flexible work options), it can encourage Millennials to do the same.
The material things don’t really matter.
Sure, having a comfy cushion in your savings account is a great thing, but so is being able to savor your days due to having work-life balance. Instead of working towards buying bigger and better things (like homes and cars), Millennials tend to work to pay for experiences, not things. And while a two-week Europe vacation isn’t cheap, neither is having a $3500 monthly mortgage payment. For Baby Boomers who might be adopting this philosophy of valuing experiences over possessions, they may have come to realize that they don’t need to work as much (i.e. downsizing from a full-time to a part-time position), and be able to soak up some work-life balance as a result.
But finding meaning in your job does.
Millennials often seek out jobs that are meaningful to them. It might be the company’s humanitarian efforts, or a job that simply syncs with their core beliefs. And that’s where, sometimes, Baby Boomers might miss the mark, preferring a solid paycheck every week over a job that really resonates with them. Work-life balance is about finding meaning in your work life and your personal life. Millennials have made having this a priority in their lives, which is a lesson that Baby Boomers (and really, any worker) can learn from.
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