Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

A letter to my next boss (from a Millennial)

Updated 20 Jan, 2017 12:54pm
Millennials don’t work 'for' a boss. They perform 'with' a coach.

Dear Madam,

I’m a Millennial looking to continue my career. Which is why I’m writing to your firm to evaluate whether we are suited for each other for a period of no more than the next two years. After that, I’ll be moving on.

You see, my parents (Gen X), switched jobs about four to five times in their professional lives. But my generation, already the largest and most influential in the global workforce, doesn’t really switch jobs. We just want to grow — even if that means growing out of a job, in case it fails to embrace our sense of personal growth and naturally entrepreneurial hardwiring. I guess it boils down to being digital natives. Opportunity isn’t confined for us.

Another thing I’d like to know is whether or not my next boss is an ass----? You know what I mean. Millennials don’t work for a boss. They perform with a coach. We want mentorship and real access to leadership so that the relationships we forge go beyond a quarterly review (which is a joke) and resonate with something more authentic and meaningful. In this way, we can concentrate on creating a future, instead of defending the past.

Also, given the economy we were raised in, it gets a little painful managing out-of-pocket expenses. That’s because we’re generally broke. So it would really help if your firm has an automated, cloud-based, expense-reporting app (with a mobile component, please) that can bring your outdated reimbursement processes up to speed. It’s frustrating – because by sweating the small stuff, we’re giving up on the big stuff. Always waiting to be reimbursed means that we lose out on professional development opportunities that we would gladly have paid for had finance not taken months signing-off last century’s counterfoils.

And another thing: As a member of Gen-Zen, I really believe in balance, consumer democracy, buyer’s rights and shopper equality. Our generation has spawned some of the fastest growing brands like Airbnb, Uber, Careem, GoPro (you get the picture), which goes to show how we worship at the altar of shared consciousness and consumer harmony. Honestly, I don’t see why these same principles can’t be a part of my workplace?

Speaking of workplace, I would also like to know how you define it? Does it mean commuting to work? Or commuting the work? It’s a fine line, I know. But my generation has already redefined the 40-hour-work-week, with many employers actively allowing us to work away from work. They’ve come to understand that we’re a tribe of speeding nomads who value quality (of work) over quantity (of hours at work).

So any kind of flexibility, whether that’s customising our own timesheet or shipping the work from home, would be a sign of the times. Oh yes, and if we’re done with the deadline, please don’t mind us leaving early. We’re happy to stay nights if the project demands it. But sitting around until the sun sets for no rhyme or reason is bordering on the #WTF.

I’m privileged to represent the most collaborative and inclusive generation to date. A generation that will represent 75% of the global work force by 2030. So I kind of expect my future employer to share some of the things I will look for. For instance, I’m looking to grow and be mentored in a cause-driven collective of dreams and ambitions. I’m looking for a company that won’t short-change idealism, allow for openness and flexibility, and value open-plan, non-hierarchical communication. I’m looking for a company that genuinely plays its role in the participation economy and, while it’s at it, makes room for diversity and positive insubordination.

I have a feeling that you’re really beginning to like me. That, in so many ways, I’m the shadow that’s been catching up with everything you’ve believed about what office life should be like and how relationships between employers and the employed should be conducted. If you think we’re a good fit, just text me back.

I’ll be on my mobile.

Faraz Maqsood Hamidi is CE and CD, The D’Hamidi Partnership