A recent Forbes.com article not only suggested that Millennial women were burning out at a faster rate than their male counterparts but, get this, female PR millennials were topping the ‘fried at 25’ list.
In an attempt to get to the heart (if not soul) of this frightening trend, I recently invited six Peppercom interns to air their views (note: we had an even balance of men and women in the discussion).
So, kick back (if your schedule permits you to do so), turn up the volume and listen to hear if Peppercom’s millennial women agree with the basic Forbes.com premise (note: all three were multi-tasking as they answered my questions, so some answers may be garbled. The guys, on the other hand, were yawning, stretching and fighting hard to keep their eyes open).
Julie, I absolutely agree with your point. Burnout definitely isn’t unique to millenials, but that being said, I think that a few factors to predispose them to burnout more quickly and consistently.
The “no child left behind” culture is certainly one of them. Coming from a childhood where the losing soccer team gets the same trophy means that we’re constantly expecting each minor success to be rewarded and each failure to be overlooked. In the real world successes are expected and failures are, well, failures. It makes for a much tougher employee to keep motivated and working.
Of course the 24/7 availability is also a factor, and to that I say that the more engrained you are in media such as social networks, the more they’ll have an effect on your life. A 25 year old takes different things out of Facebook than a 40 year old. Millenials are arguably more connected than any group before them, and this takes its toll.
Fortunately, while there are more ways to bog yourself down, there are also new ways to escape. Maybe once a week instead of checking emails on the train, you stream a movie through Netflix. Find something that helps you relax and enjoy life, and no matter what age you are, you can make it through.
Spot on, as always, Julie. As we know from the Scorsese documentary about George Harrison, even Ringo Starr burned out at one point and left the Beatles entirely (only to return months later to a welcome back party at Apple Studio adorned with flowers by the Dark Horse himself).
Managing stress is a daily challenge for all of us. Understanding when and how to disengage and re-charge is what separates those who last a lifetime and the unfortunate ones who simply drop out.
I don’t think burnout is unique to millenials.
Unfortunately, technology has made it possible to blur the lines of work/life balance. We are made to feel on call 24/7, even if we’re not required to answer any emails/texts after the workday has officially “ended.”
The uncertain economy makes everyone anxious, so some people feel compelled to work after hours, even if it isn’t demanded.