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Life-Work Balance (Fighting Burnout)

Sascha Butler recently joined the WEBB Advisory Group and brings a millennial perspective to the work the WEBB Advisory Group does in leadership, workforce culture, diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. With a lens towards transparency and authenticity we are pleased to introduce this voice of the future of work in America.

 

Preventing Job Burnout

One thing that has been learned since the pandemic started, is that the millennial age group realized their worth. Millennials were previously working jobs or careers that they were unhappy with because they didn’t want to complain and wanted to feed their families. However, as the United States got deeper into the pandemic and the younger generation (under 30) started leaving their jobs at rapid paces, leaving multiple vacancies, employers started taking advantage of millennials (30-45). Many people will agree to disagree on this blog, but that’s why I am writing it.

So, we can talk about it.


Scores of people get millennials confused with the Tik Tok generation that Is known as Gen Z.


Millennials are in their late 30s and early 40s with children that are about to graduate high school. We love our wine and our 9pm bedtime. We are not the generation that films all the fights and posts them on snapchat. We are the generation that is living paycheck to paycheck, trying to maintain our mortgage while still paying off our student loans, even though we graduated 15-20 years ago.


Now that we have established that millennials are not the Gen Zer's, let me get back to how this generation defined job burnout and how employers can work to prevent this as we get older. The pandemic taught many people, not just those with this generational title, that there is no workforce without workers. The Gen Z population wasn’t ready to risk their life with an unknown illness, so many quit. The great resignation. And the “boomer generation” which was seen as the most at risk generation during the pandemic, are slowly aging out of the workforce.


That left us, the 30–45-year-old millennials to fill in those missing gaps. And our generation has always been worried that if we miss one check that we would end up on the streets.


For many that’s not just a worry, but a reality. So, we had the millennial population, still going to work and balancing home life in one the darkest periods in US history.


Employers followed CDC guidelines and allowed remote work for those that were able to be remote. And the government provided stimulus checks, which helped a lot of families stay afloat. During this time period, many Americans were also getting better unemployment, which was often better than the pay at their jobs. Employers shifted and began to have their remaining employees do jobs that they weren’t qualified for and were not adequately paid for.


Enter Burnout.


If employees feel underpaid and underappreciated and blatantly taken advantage of in a time where the world Is changing, and the government Is helping us temporarily stay afloat, why shouldn’t we take advantage of finally standing up for ourselves?


Instead of overworking us, we negotiated staying in remote work longer, prioritizing family dinners and homework time. The things that we missed out on for most of our children's lives. We started to realize that the previous incentives that employers gave (pizza parties, etc.) were not even close anymore.


We began having the courage to stand up in our professional jobs and negotiate, because there were a lot of vacancies, and we could get better jobs. We wanted to start working for things that meant balancing home and work. We started looking for jobs that had sign on bonuses, automatic weeks of PTO available without having to earn it per pay period.


Instead of pizza parties, we just wanted an extra PTO day added that we could use whenever we wanted. If our jobs were able to be remote during the pandemic, upon return to work after the pandemic, allow hybrid work, with some days in the office, and some days remote, allow us to keep some of the benefits that we had during the pandemic.


If employers would do this, we would not have walked away.


Trust this generation of your employees, we are grownups, and are not tik toking instead of working. We, the millennials, actually want to do well for this older generation, but also be allowed to have what they had, and to end our workday at 5pm. And we want life-work balance and not be contacted via email, or text about something that can wait until the next day.


The older generation didn’t have the technology that we have now, so giving their children baths and tucking them in was done without the ringing of text or chat alerts.


I know a lot of people are saying why not just silence your phone or turn the alerts off…. the answer to that is FEAR.


Like I said at the beginning, we are living paycheck to paycheck, and we are scared that if we don’t answer that text or chat, the next one will say “you are fired.”


So, in order for employers to limit job burnout, allow adequate bonuses for us when we’ve met a goal you have set for us. Allow us to have family time like our parents and the boomer generations had without the fear that we will be fired. Allow us to take mental health days every once in a while, without actually being sick, and forcing us to bring a doctor's note.


We know our worth now. We proved It when the world around us started crashing down. We know there are still loads of vacancies and other employers that are willing to work with us.


Sascha- 38-year-old Millennial


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