Lucky Attitude was born out of dissatisfaction with status quo – the world doesn’t seem to be ready yet for the expectations we, Millennials, have of the 21st century. We are the only Millennial marketing and workplace blog-consultancy in the UK aiming to help millennials via content, consultancy and speaking.
Millennials, also known as Generation Y, is a generational cohort born between the years of 1980 to 2000.
Being the first true digital generation, whose unique life experiences have changed the way we live, work and consume, it is believed that the lifestyles and attitudes of this generation are one of the fundamental causes of the rapidly changing world.
Since early 2016, Millennials have come to the centre of the UK media attention.
The growing interest in the topic shows in my monthly visits, too. I now get 50,000-70,000 unique visitors a month.
The Google Trends map below shows the spike in a search term “millennials” in the UK since Jan-April 2016, the time my blog started rapidly growing.
Being the most talked about generation in history, there is myriad of research conducted on Millennials in the US and in the UK.
Mainstream media accuses Millennials of being lazy, entitled narcissists, who aren’t able to function without a smartphone. For more holistic view, read about Millennial characteristics and Millennial facts – the two pages, that I constantly update with objective research.
The start of a new year gets us thinking about improving our lives: the resolutions, the goals …
When it comes to creating a better, more fulfilling work life, everyone’s ambitions are different.
My plan for the year is …
Lowering my stress levels and developing better work-life balance
Not commuting to an office every day
Working in an environment that focuses on results and not presenteeism
Having more time to spend with my loved ones
Devoting more time to hobbies, travel, and volunteering
Making the money I have go further: investing
Whether we’re motivated by work-life balance, better health or relationships, remote jobs are at our rescue.
Although, other generations have had an influence on the evolution of work, Millennials are the first generation, who, at large, have fully embraced the technology boom of the early 2000s and, therefore, helped to integrate its benefits into our everyday lives.
When I was a kid, my mom strongly advised me to never depend solely on anyone financially, be it an employer or a partner.
That became my definition of financial freedom.
With all the societal advancements and progress, are women feeling more financially independent?
According to a recent Bustle survey of more than 1000 Millennial women, over 50% said they never discuss personal finances with friends, even though 28% reported feeling insecure and worried about money every single day.
Money is still a taboo: we don’t want to talk about it, we have never learned about it, so we
prefer not to think about it too much.
Lack of education in money management makes women feel poorly prepared to make sensible financial decisions, and they find it hard to take the first steps.
Compared to men, women are more risk-averse with their financial planning.
According to Freedom Debt Relief, a company that helps women to achieve their financial goals, managing your money should feel empowering, not intimidating.
What is financial freedom?
Financial freedom is a state of mind and means different things to different people. It also changes in time.
For some, financial independence means having enough money to pay all the monthly bills, for others – it’s owning multiple properties.
Just few years ago, financial freedom for me meant having enough money saved up in case I suddenly lost my job. I wanted to have enough money to be financially okay for at least 6 months, and not have to desperately rush into any available job just to pay my bills.
Today, financial freedom means not having to depend on a single source of income (i. e employer). My goal is to diversify my income streams through different endeavours, like freelance, part time employment, passive blogging income and investment shares.
Ultimately, I want to have freedom and flexibility to work for pleasure, not money.
When it comes to financial planning, women are more vulnerable than men.
Below are just few of the unique challenges we face:
With the rise of the Internet, between 2005 and 2014 the number of depressed teens jumped by more than half a million, according to a recent study in the journal Pediatrics.
What is making Millennials so anxious?
Anxiety is an indicator that your reality is out of sync from your expectations.
Anxiety is a symptom, not a problem and it’s letting you know that something is not right, so that you can do something about it.
Even though anxiety is individual for everyone, there is generation-wide epidemic that is causing us all stress – it’s uncertainty – that constant out-of-control worry that something bad might happen.
Career, relationships, housing, marriage, family – these are all milestones that Millennials are pressured to meet at certain times in their life.
All those delayed or unmet milestones make us feel highly insecure about ourselves, worrying that we are ‘less than’ what we are supposed to be, resulting in the loss of self-confidence.
Young people feeling uncertain is nothing new, but my generation is staring down a peculiar set of unknowns.
Capitalism is making Millennials so anxious
Millennials had high expectations of themselves for what we should have achieved.
Our parents raised us to think that hard work can get us anywhere.
So we spend longer in education.
But when we entered the workforce, we found ourselves over-qualified for the junior roles available to us.
We were also full of ideas of how to serve the society through the work we do, urging businesses to focus on people and purpose.
We soon realised, that as cogs (i.e employees) working for a company, we are just bystanders on the self-sustained wheel called capitalism and that business leaders, no matter what they claim to stand for, would never put people before profit.
Work expectations vs work reality was a head on defeat.
For us, who grew up imaging work to be the single most satisfying source of self-realisation and fulfilment, the reality of adult-life has left us feel anxious and unhappy in our work.
There should be more to life than a big pay-check !?
Can we ever pursue “meaningful work” in a society that is run by the rich?
In capitalist system, where a human being’s worth is measured by their wealth (rather than their compassion and service to their fellows), the vast majority of young people are going to grow to think of themselves worthless.
To blame businesses for not being able to meet Millennial workplace expectations, is short-sighted.
In order to solve the “Millennial workplace” problem once and for all, we need to build an economy, in which the question is no longer “how much money can I acquire?” but instead “how much can I help those less fortunate than me?”
Political uncertainty is making Millennials so anxious
As a result of dissatisfying “working for the rich” employment, many Millennials choose to ignore traditional 9-5 paths and pick more meaningful opportunities for work.
If you are like me, you have been working at a job you hate.
There’s nothing worse than being stuck somewhere you don’t want to be. You have no motivation to get out of bed in the morning, you feel frustrated about your situation, you start calling in sick more often and you don’t function at full capacity and get into a conflict with coworkers.
Anxiety can show in difficulty concentrating, tiredness, memory and concentration problems, muscular aches, poor sleep to full-blown panic attacks.
Individuality is making Millennials so anxious
Urbanisation, means that people are leading more independent, less family-oriented lives, leading to increased isolation and loneliness.
In this world where family values are on the decrease and life is just to think of oneself, youth remains obsessed with possessions and accumulation of wealth.
No wonder, we lose connection and compassion to fellow humans, when we treat everyone like potential competitors.
According to a social wellbeing researcher Richard Eckersley, communal structures and strong social bonds are important for our mental wellbeing. People, who have close family or friends to turn to in times of crises, experienced less stress.
Whether it is the commercialisation of public space or increasing working hours that reduce time for social activity, we live in a society in which we are all increasingly socially isolated and lonely, destroying one of the key mechanisms available to protect against mental anguish.
Social media is making Millennials so anxious
Our obsession with social media is just an extension of our individuality, image and fame obsessed society.
The problem with social media is that it paints the fictional picture of everyone having perfect lives, but us.
We forget that everyone else (just like us) are only broadcasting carefully edited image and not the mundane everyday.
We feel a strong desire to impress others online, because it makes us feel good.
With a constant barrage of dopamine, the brain becomes dependent on this acknowledgment, which, if not released in regular intervals, can amplify anxiety, low moods and depression.
So if you’re looking to increase your mental wellbeing, consider spending less time on social media, impressing people you don’t even like. Switch off every once in a while to take in all the good stuff that’s happening around you in real time, surrounded by friends, who like you for who you are.
This has provided a lot of hope for would-be entrepreneurs, along with the rise of the internet making it a lot easier to source everything you need to set-up a new company.
But with so many online businesses popping up online, it is difficult to stand out.
A new online company has a lot to prove, as it always going to be against more established competition.
Customers are wary about scams and fraudulent websites and dubious shopping with new companies. Because of that, many will just stick to what they know and trust.
Your trustworthy and legitimate startup image is critical in persuading your potential customers to part with cash.
Here’s how to give customers peace of mind, and make your business look bigger than it actually is …
A professional website
Your website is the face of your business, even if doesn’t drive direct sales.
You can be sure, that Millennials will look up your company online before deciding to buy from you.
Building a website has never been cheaper and easier.
Four years ago, when I started Lucky Attitude, I paid £0.99 for a domain name, $34 for a lifetime theme and £12 for a yearly website hosting (now £34 a year).
I have never had to use web developers. All the information has freely been available online – it’s that easy to use.
To date, my website costs have been nominal compared to the returns on my investment.
A professional website will also make your email address looks the part, i.e ‘email@example.com’ or some variation, instead of ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.
Virtual office address
If you are a startup on a limited budget, would you rather spend the money on developing your product or service or renting premises, buying office furniture and hiring staff?
Agile business models, remote working arrangements and global outsourcing, have meant that there is no pressing need to hire an office space.
Technological progress means, that a bricks and mortar office is not always an essential requirement for a modern business.
As a small internet company, you can easily work from home or a local co-working space, but it doesn’t always look professional, when potential customers or clients check your location and find a residential area, indicating your home address.
This can not only be unprofessional, but also dangerous to list your home address online for everyone to see.
A virtual office enables businesses to have many of the benefits of a physical office, but without any actual space or desks, saving you tons of money along the way.
You can buy a virtual address from a site like yourvirtualofficelondon.co.uk, which gives you a legitimate office address and forwards your work mail to your home address.
Registered PO address means, that if customers check your address on a website or Google maps, it shows a centrally located office block in London, which is a good way to make your business look professional.
Apart from the office address and mail forwarding service, Your Virtual Office London also offers call-handling and reception services, that allow the business to portray a professional image without the inconvenience of you actually having to answer all the incoming calls and ad-hoc requests.
Virtual office address services are not only limited to startups and small businesses. Many corporate giants use virtual offices to establish a presence in new locations all over the world to either test new markets or enhance their corporate identity.
A business phone number
One of the things customers might look at before placing an order, is your contact number. They will want to know that if something goes wrong, they can easily get in contact with you.
A landline phone number that is either handled by a virtual assistant or directed to your mobile phone, will not just make you look like a pro, but it can also help you cut down on the time spent answering administrative phone calls.
Offering a free phone 0800 number makes it even more convinient for your customers to phone you, as they know they are not charged for the call.
People can be dubious of entering credit card information onto sites they’ve never used.
By having PayPal checkout option on your site, you’ll give your customers a safe option to buy from you.
PayPal is globally recognised name and safe for both, a buyer and seller.
People know that if something goes wrong, they can get their money back, which is enough to give your customers the peace of mind to hit ‘Buy’ button.
Majority of people would want to pay with PayPal on a site they’ve never heard of.
Incorporate your business
Being a limited company can make your business look bigger, more credible and trusted.
If you are freelancer doing business with larger companies, you may find many potential clients and agencies will only do business with individuals who operate as limited companies.
The main advantage of running your business as a limited company, is that you are likely to pay less tax than a sole trader.
Accountants usually recommend to register as limited company, when your earnings rise above £60K a year.
Best to always seek advice from a qualified accountant before making definite plans to change your business structure.
Since the dawn of the supermarket, the way we buy food has been pretty straightforward.
In small batches from the corner store or in large weekly baskets, people head out and come home a little while later with plastic bags full of tasty treats.
No matter if it was a ready meal or all the components of a Sunday roast, most foods began in an isle and ended on a plate at home.
Every so often you might order from the local Indian, go out to dinner, or fetch fish and chips from around the corner.
But not anymore.
Slowly, the way we buy and consume our food is changing, and it’s thanks in part to the Millennial generation.
The online shop
Long-gone are the days of the crowded confectionery aisle, the toddler screaming next to a display of baked beans, the long queues of frazzled shoppers crawling out from the checkout.
Now, with a little foresight and planning, that weekly basket gets delivered straight to your door.
Students and streetwise everywhere are taking advantage of this relatively new opportunity in terms of food, and it’s becoming a huge market, with every major player now having its own website and delivery functionality.
Those that were late to the game saw a significant drop in sales, and the profit-based motivation to get set-up and functional has meant that it’s no longer just Amazon and clothing retailers clogging up the roads with delivery vehicles. Online shopping is efficient, it’s quick, and it’s convenient.
Takeout – and not just for dinner
Remember that occasional order from the local Indian?
The UK has always been a melting pot for takeaway restaurants both chain and independent alike, with dishes from all around the world available to please your palate.
Recently, however, we’ve been seeing services pop up for snacks and meals other than the eight o’clock dinner.
It’s not just your weekly shop that can be bought online, it’s avocado on toast through to your favourite doughnut from the bakers on the other side of town.
The Millennial surge of online availability, whether it be information, socialisation, or food delivery, has opened the door to new options in the culinary industry that take place around the clock.
The health conscious, the vegan, and the veg
And last, but certainly not least – the dietary specific requirements. And these days they’re not all medical.
Alongside gluten and dairy free food, we now have entire sections dedicated to the meatless and the anti-animal.
The demand for vegan alternatives is being met by suppliers, and with awareness around farming and animal practice rising, it’s only set to increase in the future.
This movement certainly didn’t begin with Millennials, but they’re now some of its biggest backers.
Making sure, that a new hire fits into the company, should begin at the recruitment stage, sure.
But sometimes, things don’t go as expected making us feel like we’ve made the wrong choice.
This usually happens, when you’ve had a bad start at a new company. Not being heard or appreciated, can lower your perceptions about the company and make it easy for you to leave.
This is why we have the first three month probation period, throughout which time both an employee and an employer are assessing each other.
Employee will look at how well the organization meets the expectations promised during the recruitment phase and employer will look at how well a new recruit performs and gets along with others.
Why is employee onboarding important?
Employee onboarding or employee integration, is a process of helping new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviours to become effective members of an organization.
According to the research conducted by Aberdeen Group in 2009, new employees make the decision whether to stay or leave, within the first 6 months.
First impression is important, because it sets the tone for the whole employment.
Unfortunately, in many companies, formal onboarding process either covers solely the first day induction, exist only on paper or is absent altogether.
The problem is, good employees are abundant with choice and qualified applicants are often “headhunted” by rival companies.
Highly competitive labour market is the reason a well-managed employee integration process is important.
My problem with employee onboarding
My biggest caveat with employee onboarding, is when managers default to a mechanical and routine approach, without actually trying to understand the person in front of them.
In my opinion, it is crucial to have a private discussion between the new staff and their immediate supervisor about what really needs to be done and what skills and attitudes are required to achieve the results.
Because … often, the advertised job description doesn’t give a full picture of the actual day-to-day work, so it’s important to have that transparent conversation within the first few days of joining and define clear expectations.
These should become regular two-way discussions, and not monologues from the manager.
Many new recruits tend to hover around in the background for some time, before they express their opinions or share their ideas with the group. A good manager should encourage involvement from day one, which will help to create a communicative, open and friendly atmosphere in the office.
Employee onboarding tactics
Below are some commonly used employee onboarding tactics for a successful integration.
First day: Induction
Induction is the first day at work, which aims to provide a new employee with basic information about the company.
Employee is given a tour of the office, they are introduced to colleagues, clients, operational processes and procedures, contracts and payroll.
Ideally, existing employees would know the name and the role of the new employee. The simple way to do this, is to have employees meet the new person right away. For some, meeting many people at once on already nervous first day, can be too overwhelming, so you could instead choose to wear name badges, which help with avoiding the awkwardness of office icebreakers.
Induction is the most admin-heavy part of employee integration and is primarly handled by HR manager.
First week: Understanding the company culture
Company culture is something that is hard to put into words.
It is a set of unwritten rules that all people of the company live by. Culture gives us understanding about what is normal, appropriate and expected, but also what is inappropriate and unexpected.
Understanding the culture is what sets “us” (the insiders) apart from “them” (outsiders). When others don’t meet our expectations, it is often a cue that our cultures don’t fit.
No matter how natural your culture might seem to you, you can’t assume that anybody, who walks into your company, will immediately understand it.
This is why new employees should be briefed on internal rules, organizational structure and work ethics within the first week of joining.
Special attention should be given to explaining basic policies on breaks, working late, working from home, timeliness, holidays etc.
These issues are likely to arise quickly and the new employee will appreciate not having to unknowingly break a rule.
Probation: Getting a mentor
Many companies have found that mentoring, i.e. pairing the new employee with a more experienced colleague, can be effective for training and transferring an understanding of the organizational culture.
Mentors can be line or department managers, but also external subject matter experts, who are able to pass on the vision of the leadership and understanding of new markets.
In addition, partnering younger workers with their more seasoned colleagues, can be a very positive for sharing specific market expertise.
Cross generational or reverse mentoring recognizes that both younger and older employees can learn from each other, older people possess a business acumen and tricks of the trade and younger people understand digital technology and new age consumers.
Finding ways to leverage uniqueness of each generation will be a 21st-century competitive advantage.
The tech is currently changing the face of business forever.
The last decade has seen an incredible strides forward in the evolution of thinking machines and AI (Artificial Intelligence) applications, which the business world has taken full advantage of.
The benefits of AI combined with IT/Cloud Computing technology, transform the way business is done.
Technology, as a result, is impacting every aspect of our daily life; from the Internet Of Things – smart multimedia devices, smart homes, smart cars and airplanes- to AI assistants and robotic waiters/receptionists, Drones, 3D Printers, bots and algorithms that can recognise and process human speech and behaviour.
We are heading towards a fully inter-connected world, where a person and a machine will combine forces and lead to the rise of many new jobs.
Natural Language Processing is just the tip of the iceberg in the quest for AI predominance. An important component of NLP, Text Mining, can be combined with Knowledge Management to analyse all the information on the world wide web, and process and filter essential data that is useful for a specific single/multiple business solution/s—while also anticipating and preventing any future crises looming on the horizon.
It can also help discover new business strategies from multiple fields of human knowledge, that were previously unknown, to help a company achieve a competitive edge.
AI can also present companies with numerous opportunities to cut costs (with the help of Cloud Computing software and apps, for example, to save all your data on a server hosted by a third party or installed directly into your IT infrastructure), reduce bureaucracy, optimise the organisational structure of the company to ensure better communication and exchange of ideas at all levels, and deliver personalised solutions to customers/clients in advance of a contracted deadline.
AI algorithms can sift through the entire search history and also social media accounts of customers to better cater to their needs and suggest new or similar products of interest through AI personal assistants—which are now using facial as well as speech recognition processes through interfaces to better understand human emotion and whatever they can gather from both Structured (data fixed in location) as well as Unstructured Data on the web.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) handles repetitive and complicated tasks, that may be hard, if not impossible, for human workers to perform, while allowing them to diversify their skills into other areas of the company.
Virtual Reality seems to be the next upcoming trend and the basis of how business will be conducted (with virtual chat rooms through which employees, managers, CEOs and business partners can all interact simultaneously in real time).
The ultimate goal, of course, is the merging of a person and a machine, which appears to be already on the horizon as AI neural networks increase their capacity to mimic the neural pathways of the human brain (through Cognitive Intelligence and Machine Learning, for example) and are already being employed to help the disabled regain possession of biological functions.
To this effect, bionics combined with nanotechnology in the health industry have already reached incredible results. The rise of AI has led to the creation of new jobs, which may not have existed five or ten years ago, and demand for jobs in the IT/Cloud/AI/Robotics industries are expected to increase progressively as new upgrades, apps and technologies enter the market at a faster rate.
Amazon, Facebook and Google, bring in over a trillion dollars in revenue and only have about 137000 workers. These three tech giants employ fewer people directly, but create ecosystems that employ more people indirectly.
Let me explain …
Facebook has more than 2 million advertisers, Google over 4 million.Amazon provides a platform for hundred of thousands of sellers. All those people are selling products and services online and use Facebook, Google and Amazon to their advantage.
These three companies have created jobs for over 6 million advertising managers and small to medium size business owners.
How awesome is that? Over 6 million new job opportunities?
I really think that technology only destroys jobs that are physical, hard and dull. Jobs, that we don’t want, anyway.