Tips from an Expat: Adopt a Millennial Mindset

Tips from an Expat: Adopt a Millennial Mindset

In the not too distant past, a person would settle into a 30-year career with a stable blue chip company, max their 401K contributions, and comfortably set down roots in one geographic location for the long haul. Predictability was the name of the game, and many families carved out a wonderful life on these terms.

Today, thanks to new industries, business models and endless new technologies, the game has radically changed. Studies estimate that 60 percent of millennial workers leave a job within three years of being hired. So, how does one stay on the move and be successful. All it takes is the right mindset and tools to chart the course to business success. Expats, in particular, are perfect candidates for today’s flexible, modern career.

There’s one catch. If you were born before 1982, you’ll want to adopt a millennial mindset.

What’s In A Millennial Mindset?

Tech Enthusiast – Familiarity with digital technologies and communications tools is the name of the game when crafting a modern career. Study up and play around with tools like Zoom, Skype, Slack, Dropbox, GoogleDocs, Asana, Trello and more. With collaboration technologies, you might invite friends or family to jump into a group and practice with you.

Flexibility – In my mind, flexibility equals happiness. How? It’s a way to manage one’s expectations through change, in- and outside of the workplace. When work assignments and teams shift, you flow through any potential bumps with ease. Flexibility also extends to the physical work environment. Millennials are productive in a team huddle room, a public co-working space, or on a hiking trail with just a smartphone. Where are you on the flexibility meter? Evaluate how you flow easily through or get hung up by change. Also, when surveyed millennials consistently rank workplace flexibility (as in crafting when and where they work) as a top priority. Why not venture out and work from three new locations this week.

Constant Learning – Millennials are curious and with oodles of online learning vehicles (Khan Academy, Coursera, iTunesU, Duolingo) they don’t miss a beat when it comes to chasing down something that tickles their fancy. After all, this could be where the next big idea comes from. How about blocking two hours a week for learning something new. The best part is, you can learn from anywhere … perfect for the remote employee.

Work Life Alignment – There’s a lot to cover in this topic, but a couple key points include productivity, community and multi-tasking. When it comes to productivity, millennials feel they should be measured on output. For example, if it takes four days for an engineer to perfect the code designated in a month-long project, she may want recognition and the freedom to choose when and what projects to prioritize next. The old model of burning the midnight oil just to be perceived as a dedicated worker is just not that relevant. Tapping into a community of like people is also important, and creating an environment where it’s fun to connect and create is even better. Multi-tasking comes easily to the millennial who seamlessly blends, work, play, learning and contributing to something bigger than her day job. What does a week in your life look like? Do you need to tinker with your commitments to come into greater alignment with who you want to become?

Regardless of age, when we’re quick to adopt tools, prize flexibility and stay curious about things around us, we have the right ingredients for creating a magnificent life. How are you feeling about your life right now? If you need a boost or another point of view, I'm here for you. Let’s talk.


Sara Ottoboni
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