Why Are Millennials & Gen-Z Looking Past The Rat-Race?
As kids, do you remember how parents or caregivers used to leave for work early in the morning and return back late at night, sometimes too tired to even hold a 5-minute conversation? This was an everyday routine, wasn’t it?
The rat race has made routine look like a necessity and we’ve donned the belief that life should move in a pattern, or else you are wasting your time. To work hard and overlook personal commitments, to put your health secondary because being a breadwinner is anyway more important, we have let these toxic clichés define us and our lifestyle for a long time.
But, not anymore.
Today’s workforce, particularly younger Millennials and Gen Zers, refuse to become a part of this drill. So, what has led this generation to question the age-old practice of ‘hustle culture?’
A CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH THE PANDEMIC
History has a habit of staying. Even though things have more or less come back to normal, the traces of what happened in 2020 still linger on. Gen Z and millennials were most affected by COVID-19 because they witnessed everything from mass layoffs to the unpredictability of life, first hand. It has drastically changed their priorities and they are aware that nothing is worth ruining your mental peace for. This generation is choosing peace over rat race.
THE PRIORITY SHUFFLE
Unlike Boomers and Gen X, new-age employees are not starting from scratch. Many of them still live with their parents and are not in a hurry to start their own families. They are taking their time and know that rushing things is not a good idea. Millennials and Gen Zers are more mindful of what they want to do. They want to manage their time in a way that leaves space to practice self-care and do things beyond work.
A term coined by Goldstein, ‘self-actualization’ means wanting to reach one’s full potential. Millennials and Gen Z are conscious of and acquainted with their actions. They want a life that functions on balance. Hustle culture doesn’t allow you to look past work. Today’s workforce is aware that only a portion of their life is spent working, and there is so much more they need to look after. Therefore, even when working hard, they know how to do it smartly, by leaving room for other things too.
A recent poll conducted by us on LinkedIn is an example of the zest of our new-age employees to find meaning beyond work and their well-being around it. 56% of the people agree that they want flexible work hours from their employers. The second most chosen answer was a 4-day work week, with 23% votes. Clearly, they are trying to convey something.
Corporate Millennials and Gen Z have different opinions on gratification. We all were raised with the mindset - “if you work hard today, you can enjoy tomorrow.” They do not want to let go of short-term gratification for the assurance of future success. They believe in the little things and they want to experience all of them. This means not skipping an outing with their colleagues because they are too busy competing for a promotion!
THE ART OF NON-DOING
Often referred to as the Wu-Wei, this Taoism concept revolves around the following philosophy-
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
New-gen employees have an idea of work similar to the above philosophy. They believe that hurrying is not going to solve the problem. Smart working, finding their rhythm, taking a little more time, and doing work to their full potential, is what guides them. Many people tend to confuse this mindset of Millennials and Gen Z as being “choosy” or “lazy.” In reality, they are just more mindful about how they want to go about their work and life.
Remember the opening of the world-famous poem- The Road Not Taken- by Robert Frost?
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both…”
The new generation is trying to travel both the roads by balancing their life and work. We think it’s a win-win! What do you say?