As a professional keynote speaker, I often grab a Lyft or Uber from the airport/hotel. My recent driver was a Millennial college graduate who worked at a medical credentialing agency as a “day job”. When I asked why he was driving his response was, “It’s something different… I enjoy it…and it’s flexible money. I can do it whenever I feel like it.” He wasn’t driving just for extra cash – the side hustle provided things his “pay the rent” job didn’t.
The side hustle is a key indicator of how the workforce is being disrupted. Intellectual stimulation or giving their life more meaning are top reasons for Millennial side hustles (ok, the extra cash doesn’t hurt either).
Driving is just one of the side hustles, but there are four core Millennial red flags that leaders must pay attention to:
Flexibility. I want to work, when I want to work. This is moving from a Millennial hope to a Millennial demand. They want the ability to control their schedule and fit their work around their life, NOT their life around their work. Flexible work schedules, working from home (or the coffee shop), and added PTO (personal time off) are becoming more common practice.
Red Flag Reflection – What flexible scheduling options do you provide?
If leaders don’t learn to leverage the Millennial side hustle, they will be left behind. Here are 3 tips on how to begin…
Millennials are looking for a roadmap to success and expect their employers to provide it. To keep your Millennial engaged at work, have frequent explicit conversations about their progress on the job plus their opportunities for advancement.
As long as the side hustle doesn’t violate a non-compete clause or involve a competitor, it can affect your bottom line in a positive way. Variety and self-fulfillment can help your Millennial be more well-rounded, energized, and even extend the time they stay with you.
Create a space where it’s safe to talk about their side hustles. Be positive and curious about WHAT they get out of their side hustle and WHY they do it.
The WHAT and the WHY they side hustle is priceless information.
Leaders that are in an open dialogue with their Millennial talent will find they stay engaged, happy and don’t leave you wondering “why did they leave”?
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.