Photo: Whitney Lewis
Nate Bagley, 28, has been the director of communications at The Bold Academy for only two months, but he says this time he’s in it for the long haul.His enthusiasm for work didn’t come easily.
As living proof to anyone who thinks Gen Y workers are prone to job hopping, Bagley worked at four different companies — mainly in internet marketing — for the last two years.
To gain some perspective on why millennials tend to leave their jobs after short periods of time, we reached out to Bagley to tell us why he’s decided to stick around this time.
Here’s what he told us:
Bagley, who stayed at his first job for a little more than a year, said he filed an HR complaint after a conflict emerged between him and one of his superiors.
“After that, my manager made my life extremely uncomfortable until I decided to leave,” he said.
He stayed at his next job for another year, but quit after feeling too overwhelmed from not receiving enough guidance or training.
“I was thrown in, learned everything at once, and I was very overwhelmed. It was only my second real full-time job, and I really wanted someone to mentor me, to take me under their wings, introduce me to the complexities I’d have to deal with in the organisation, but I never got that from them.”
He also felt misled. During his interview, Bagley got the impression that he was about to join a trendy, tech environment.
It was after he started working that he realised everything was exactly the opposite.
“I was told on the first day of work that you’re not required to work 10-hour days, but that everyone stays 10 hours,” he said. “It got to the point where I was getting anxiety attacks and I’ve never had that before.”
After quitting, he took another job, where he stayed for about a month until his latest gig came along.
With himself as an example, Bagley said although millennials have commitment issues, it’s not all a bad thing.
“I think our generation does have entitlement issues, but the majority of us are looking to learn, grow and to do things quickly,” he said. “A lot of it has to do with growing up and hearing about tech companies starting out in a garage, then selling to Google…and everyone has this inner dialogue with themselves like ‘Why can’t I do that?'”
Currently, Bagley is at his fourth job The Bold Academy, a company that provides workshops to educate young people on entrepreneurial challenges in order to get them from where they currently are professionally to where they eventually want to go.
For the first time since graduating college, Bagley is satisfied with where he’s working and said he’s planning on staying with the company for a long time.
What ended his professional commitment issue? He finally found the right work environment for himself.
He said what’s really important is to align yourself to the culture of whatever company you’re working for, especially in an entry-level position — culture fitting is even more important than having the right job skills.
On the company’s end, Bagley says a lot of companies need to start practicing what they’re preaching.
“Some companies will try to put on an image of hip and trendy — they’ll give their workers Mac computers and paint their walls orange, but they’re not who they say they are.”
“They’ll write on their website how important it is to listen to customers and employees, but when you try to discuss situations with them, they get offended,” Bagley said. “If new leaders aren’t willing to change or accommodate what isn’t working, then they will lose their employees.”
Bagley added leaders shouldn’t be afraid to break away from tradition.
“If you’re having issues with your employees, ask them what they don’t like about their jobs and don’t be offended when it’s not what you want to hear.”
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