I quit the job that I gave everything to get.
It was the classic movie break up ("It’s not you, it’s me"); they had offered everything I had asked for: personal development, fantastic mentoring, and the best coworkers anywhere. But deep in my gut, I knew something was wrong.
It was that empty, hollow feeling of disappointment that comes with doing valuable work that you just don’t care about. Someone loved my work, but it sure as hell wasn’t me.
Typically when people talk about a good job, they’re talking about the money, prestige, power, or growth potential. Yet we never seem to include an evaluation of whether the job is fulfilling when we deem a job “good”.
My generation is the Millennial. We grew up with the Internet boom. We watched as folks built billion dollar companies in their garages. We knew kids who started their own non-profits before they were old enough to drive. We are steeped in possibility and optimism.
We live to make a difference - to find purpose.
The 1950’s model of a career, where progress is gaining power and money, doesn’t work when purpose takes front stage. Millennials respond to a different incentive structure.
When Mark Zuckerberg wanted to win over an engineer, he didn’t sell them on a million dollar compensation package or a $70 billion IPO - he sold them on purpose. On their part in building a better, more connected world. On their role in a culture which would ensure that their work is valued, not just by a nameless stakeholder who pays the bills, but by themselves.
Good Millennials leave good jobs when they lose purpose.