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Millennials: The Burnout generation

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

According to a Neilson report, Millennials are the “social generation.” They’ve founded the social media movement, prefer to live in dense, urban areas, buy local goods, and value purpose over a paycheck.

In my opinion, they are some of the most effective sales people due to their entrepreneurial spirit. Think about it. Most people entered into the workforce shortly after the recession with high unemployment, low income, and sizable student loans. Millennials prove that necessity is the daughter of invention, as they drastically disrupt business models through the gig-economy and circular movement.

Though they are the social generation, many argue are also too connected and, they are the “burnout generation.” Burnout syndrome was first recognized by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in 1974 as a psychological diagnosis. This illness applied to cases of “physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.”

Constant, 24/7 access to email, chat, Slack and other forms of digital communication distort the employment boundaries of traditional 9-to-5 paid labor. This “always on” mentality enabled by millennials’ inclination to be connected results in addiction to distraction, multitasking, and eventual burnout.

I always thought burnout was reserved for CEOs or celebrities. I thought it could be treated with a week-long retreat or massage. Ultimately, we are discovering that burnout can affect anyone, even someone in the prime of their life.

As Anne Helen Peterson says, “it’s not limited to workers in acutely high-stress environments. And it’s not a temporary affliction: It’s the millennial condition. It’s our base temperature. It’s our background music. It’s the way things are. It’s our lives.”

The best way to support your millennial employees is to value mindfulness over multitasking.

We know that humans actually don’t multitask. And this distracted state leads to errors, low performance, and increased stress.

This seems obvious. However, this generation needs support as they grow into next-gen leaders. They will be the largest population of the workforce. They might need support in acknowledging that doing a few things really well is valued over doing many things with a sub-par outcome.

Need examples on how to do this? My Daily Deltas methodology works for everyone.

Need to support your multigenerational workforce? Reach out to learn about my Performance-Based Mindfulness Programs.


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