I’m A Millennial & Just Celebrated 5 Years At Vanderbloemen…Here’s Why
I’m one of those millennials. You know – one of those millennials that job hops and can’t commit to any job for more than a year.
I’m one of those, except that I just celebrated my fifith anniversary – or "Vanderversary" – here at Vanderbloemen last week.
How am I millennial yet have stayed at one organization for five years?
Here are a few thoughts:
1. Our cause can change the world.
Vanderbloemen is uniquely positioned to help pastors solve their people problems so that their church can run farther and faster for the Gospel. That gets me excited to get to work each day. To know that the work I’m blessed to be a part of has direct impact on the future of the “big-C” Church is humbling and a cause I can pour my heart and soul into for the long haul. We have a unique seat to view how God is growing His Kingdom each and every day.
Millennials are drawn to cause-driven organizations. In fact, according to this Fast Company article, "More than 50% of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values, while 90% want to use their skills for good." That's great news for the church! If your church is making an impact for the Kingdom in your community, you're primed to attract millennials to your team.
2. My position challenges me daily yet allows me to live out my strengths.
I feel very fortunate to be in a role that aligns with my strengths. I know I’m in the minority to find a job I love at a young age, and I remind myself of this as much as possible. One of the primary reasons I think millennials are known to job hop is because they’re searching for a role where they can bring their best selves to the table. I have many millennial friends who are in jobs where they are bored because they're not challenged and are underutilized.
In my role at Vanderbloemen, I oversee our marketing and business development. God made me to be a person who is constantly generating new ideas and asking, “How can we make this better?” This role was a natural fit for my “figure it out” mentality, and it’s continued to be so as I’ve helped grow our team to be able to help as many churches as we can.
However, I feel underqualified on a daily basis as I face new challenges I've never seen before, and I think that’s an important component of why I’ve stuck around for so long. There’s never been a day when I’ve thought, “I’ve got this all figured out. We can cruise from here.” Nope. I feel challenged to learn, grow, develop, and solve problems I’ve never seen before.
Are you giving your millennial team members freedom to figure out new problems and bring new solutions to the table? As a leader, are you micromanaging or delegating responsibility to your younger team members to help them grow?
3. My boss’s most frequently asked question is, “How can I help?”
I have too many friends that work for micromanaging bosses who talk more than they listen. In my weekly check-in’s with William Vanderbloemen, he asks me, “How can I help?” To have a boss who communicates his desire to see me and our team succeed through his servant leadership is astounding.
It also puts the weight of responsibility for moving the ball forward on me rather than waiting for a boss to give me tasks. As a leader, are you casting vision and then providing support to your team members to run with their ideas, or are you dictating tasks that you're micromanaging on a daily basis?
4. I was given responsibility way earlier than I deserved it.
I could make a list of countless examples of how William has given me authority way earlier than I deserved it. While some of it was overwhelming at first, his trust in me to figure things out has been a key component of my five years of development at Vanderbloemen. He allowed me to run full steam ahead with ideas and make mistakes along the way. He served as a guide rather than a dictator as I navigated big decisions I’d never encountered before.
In his Forbes column, William Vanderbloemen wrote an article called Why Every Millennial Employee Wants Their Own Yoda, and I encourage every leader leading millennials to read it.
5. The culture is healthy and fun.
Perhaps the most important reason I’ve been happy at Vanderbloemen for five years is because I love the people I work with. We’ve been intentional about building a contagious culture where the company and its people thrive. We’ve become a “framily” that loves and supports each other, both inside and outside of work.
One of the first times I realized how special Vanderbloemen is was when I got to work on my birthday and was greeted by a card, gift card, and hilarious memes all over my desk in celebration for my birthday. I thought to myself, “You know it’s an amazing place to be when you’d rather be at work on your birthday because you feel so loved than take the day off.”
If you’re a leader reading this, what principles can you apply to your own leadership principles as you lead the millennials on your staff? If you’re a millennial and finding yourself job hopping, slow down and reflect on what you’re really looking for in a career. It might be closer than you think.
What are some questions you ask yourself to reflect on your current position?