Millennials - Any way out of the 9-5?


We ask ourselves if there is any way out of the 9-5 and start fantasising about quitting the day job, moving out of the “too-small” flat and leaving this all behind.

But it is impossible isn’t it, to just drop everything and start a new life somewhere new? It isn’t practical.

For Millennials, there is this constant internal struggle between trying to exercise pragmatism while, at the same time, not letting life pass you by.

One such Millennial who found her way out of the mundane is writer and self-confessed Millennial, Emily Clark who, in a moment of spontaneity, quit her job and booked a plane ticket to Italy.

I needed to find out more.

JL: Hey Emily, I’m dying to know, why did you do it?

EC: Hey James, I suppose I’d best start by outlining the situation I found myself in before I made this decision.

I was back in my hometown after leaving University three years ago, living there, working there, socialising there; I felt like my life had stalled.

I remember thinking numerous times; “please say this isn’t the rest of my life, this can’t be it!”

That all changed when I went on a solo trip to Italy last year. I fell in love with a city in the Northern part of the country called Bologna. It was as if I had suddenly found a place where I belonged, a place where there was colour and life, where I was truly happy.

A visit with my Mother in March resulted in me discovering a language school in the centre and I made up my mind there and then.

Within a week of returning to my hometown I had quit my job, told my partner the news that I was leaving and booked my flight.

For two and a half months I would be living and learning in Bologna. It was such a liberating feeling.

The older generation may class this decision as “juvenile” or just plain ridiculous, but I don’t think they realise how our generation feels.

We now have access to more media than ever before; we’ve had the opportunity to expand our minds and see the world as one of almost limitless possibility.

Then we look at our own lives and wonder where we went wrong.

JL: Yes, I know, that is a horrible feeling, but do you ever worry how prospective employers will view this “juvenile” decision ?

EC: It did cross my mind that this may not look great on my CV! But the truth is that I knew I was going with three years of good experience under my belt and that I was going to learn a new language. I wasn’t just going to drink wine in the sun and party until dawn (although that has, admittedly, happened a few times).

I believe that an additional language, however basic, will always look favorable on any CV, but it is more than that.

Here, I’ve had to manage my money, network with a variety of people from different generations, nationalities and backgrounds and quickly innovate in certain situations where I needed to make myself understood (Italian is not a quick language to learn).

During my time here I’ve met numerous people, one of whom was the Head of HR for a well-known oil giant. After a brief conversation about my experience here she was thrilled, commenting that it’s the candidates who are prepared to take calculated risks and manage themselves independently who stand out in the interview process.

In the current market, when employers are looking for new talent, they don’t just seek a good degree and work experience, something that nearly everybody in my generation has nowadays, they are looking for that spark; that special something that lights up the interview room and dazzles the directors.

I believe this ability comes from acquiring confidence and having a better understanding of yourself, something which can only be truly acquired through LIFE experience, not work experience.

I couldn’t help but agree with what Emily was saying; it’s all very well and good having the flawless CV but if you can’t back it up with personality you may find yourself constantly on the back-foot when it comes to interviews.

However, one thing I think that is clear beyond anything else is this desire of Millenials to find a job that helps them find themselves, a role that challenges them, but also gives them the freedom to find a solution.

Only then will they stop looking elsewhere.

JAMES LORD | Millennial Recruitment | Millennial Candidate Job Offers | Hire Gen Y | Flexible Recruiting

Tweet Me @Jameswlord

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