Workplace Adulting: 3 Good Reasons Millennials Leave You

Anna Liotta Generational Speaker Graphic-Anna-and-Jordan

Anna Liotta Generational Expert and Jordan Lim

Lead and retain top talent Millennials by helping them navigate “workplace adulting” – discovering what they want to be “when they grow up.”


Millennials in the workplace are the reality, not the future. Attracting and retaining Millennial talent is a top priority for every organization that plans to thrive in 2018. Understanding the Millennials’ Generational CODES™ in career planning is the key.

The Talent Reality:

Leaders are confronting the reality that for Millennials loyalty in the workplace is no longer a two-way street. Partners and shareholders who expect the Generational CODES that surround employment loyalty to be the same for the next generation and match their CODES will be severely disappointed. This big mistake sets up many organizations’ succession plans for serious breakdowns.

Why Millennials Leave You:

Millennials frequently find themselves unchallenged and bored at work; they begin to fill in their creative needs by creating options through parallel career-pathing. They may be working for your organization, but on the side, many of them have a side hustle. Many are doing small start-up projects. Maybe it’s driving for Uber or Lyft as ad hoc temporary work, maybe it’s pro bono volunteering or even a class in a new field, but they are making space.

Millennials aren’t just living one dimension—they’re living two or three—and always keeping their options open.

This open-option lifestyle does not seem to Millennials like a breach of contract with their current employers. They understand that if their employers decide they are not needed, the Millennials will be cut from the workforce. Millennials Generational CODE™ DNA says to keep your options open and a backup plan in play.

Generationally Savvy ™ Solution:

Start the career path conversation “Where can you go from here…” on DAY ONE.

Day one is not the day they start getting paid for their time. The true DAY ONE is the first interview. Many Millennials are leaving interviewers flabbergasted by their expectations that employers will have a clear career path lined out for them in the interview process. (Bonus points if you have potential career paths mapped out on your website.)

Top Millennial talent wants to know how they can quickly move up the leadership success ladder at your organization. They are not willing to wait for someday—maybe if the stars align—to be engaged in a conversation about their career plan.

Millennials are used to having options laid out before them by their helicopter parents and college counselors. They are demanding that employers have a plan similar to how they selected and completed their major course of studies as undergraduates. Resisting this reality is not a long-term solution.

One of the best ways to lead and retain top talent Millennials is to help them navigate the “workplace adulting” reality by discovering what they want to be “when they grow up.”

Millennials are looking for a roadmap to success, and they expect their companies to provide career GPS.

Action Steps:

  1. Prepare to address the “workplace adulting” question “Where can I go from here?” in the interview.
  2. Early in the Millennials’ first thirty days, schedule a formal dialogue of their future steps inside the organization.
  3. Structure regular career path check-in’s at 90 days, 6 months and 9 months.

Through open dialogue, managers can discover and address how to engage and channel the amazing creativity and passion Millennials bring, but if you wait till 6 months on the job to check in, it’s probably too late. Remember, if you’re not talking to them about it, your competition will be.

About Anna Liotta
Founder of The Generational Institute and author of the best-selling book Unlocking Generational Codes, Anna Liotta began studying generations first as the youngest of 19 children and later as a college faculty member, keynote speaker and generational consultant. Based in Seattle, Anna is an expert in helping organizations create a generational savvy culture. Contact us to book Anna to speak at your event.


One response to “Workplace Adulting: 3 Good Reasons Millennials Leave You”

  1. Patricia Shadden says:

    We were in Monroe this past week doing exactly what this speaks to for Millennials. Keeping our options for future employment deployments open. We will be in Yakima this week doing the same things Anna. So happy we share common trails with Millennials. Patty Ann – sister

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