Lukas Kury and Grace Doran | A New Generation of Engineers
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A New Generation of Engineers

Millennial Engineers Looking for Purpose

Though our love for brunch runs deep, the millennial and younger generation stereotypes are far from the whole truth if you are looking to connect to your coworker.

If you take anything from the next few paragraphs, we hope it is this: the younger generation has a deep drive to succeed and achieve purpose in life and in the workplace. 

Reading self-improvement books, hiring life coaches, eating vegan for the environment and volunteering in our community are at all-time record-breaking heights. 

For engineers in their twenties, we want to make an impact where we spend most of our time (e.g., work). We are looking for a purpose, one which allows us to grow, sustains the environment and helps our community.

The culture that the younger generation craves revolves heavily around this purpose. Millennials want to work in environments that support their ambition and the necessary goals to achieve their purpose. This requires creating an environment where connection happens. We’ve found this connection in summer barbeques, sports leagues, young professionals groups and work volunteer days. 

We’re just starting to lean into our careers and often work with the nitty-gritty details on projects. For us, it’s important to pull back, be given opportunities where we can refocus on the bigger picture and see how our contribution is making a positive impact.  

This new purpose feeds an appetite for different experiences. We look for experiences that focus on self-improvement and demonstrate how we are protecting the environment or benefiting people’s lives. 

10 WAYS TO CONNECT WITH YOUR MILLENNIAL COWORKER

  1. Engage them in purpose-driven projects.
  2. Share how their work is contributing to  a greater goal and making a positive impact.
  3. Find a community event to participate in together.
  4. Create a collaborative working environment.
  5. Facilitate a young professionals forum.
  6. Introduce them to different experiences that focus on self-improvement.
  7. Hold meetings in unique environments (outside courtyards, coffee shops, etc.).
  8. Take them on a site visit.
  9. Encourage them to raise a hand for career growth opportunities.
  10. Ask, listen and understand what their purpose is in life and at work.

We live in social media, where everyone is showing off their latest adventures in both their personal and professional lives. It is hard to not get caught up in the competition of who has the better salary. 

Work perks, like walking outside in the summer along a stream or attending conferences on improving leadership skills for young professionals, can go a long way. 

Not only do site visits and conferences advance our professional growth, they also provide a unique opportunity to get out of the office and learn how our work is making a positive impact to the world around us. As an added benefit, we get to show off our corporate adventures through social media and what #lifeathdr is like. 

The younger generation thrives in careers that offer a life-fulfilling purpose and are supplemented by a quality work culture that provides opportunities and different experiences. 

If you’re looking to better relate to your millennial coworker or create ideal career conditions for your younger staff, it is important to ask, listen and understand what their purpose is in life and at work. 

The successful employer will encourage and invest in the younger generation to build careers that contribute to internal growth, help others and positively impact the world. 

Serve a greater purpose by helping a millennial find theirs. Now that you know what the younger generation is all about, go ahead and schedule a brunch date with a young engineer. We’re sure you’ll have plenty to talk about.

TIPS TO ENCOURAGE YOUNG PROFESSIONALS

  • Ask what makes a great day at work, listen and try to understand what your young coworker wants out of his/her career.
  • Take interest in your younger staff to understand how they are feeling, how life and work is and applaud them when they do a job well-done.
  • Provide guidance and expertise, while allowing younger staff to try things on their own.
  • Provide career expanding opportunities, like site visits to a construction project or client meetings.

Pass It On | A New Generation of Engineers