• Kara Maddox

What Defines A Millennial?


Sure Millennials might like strange things like avocado toast and quinoa, but are they really killers?

A quick Google search reveals the Internet gods – those conniving spirits comprised of billions of keyword searches and cheeky, little algorithms — all seem to think so. And not just that – Millennials are ‘killing’ everything from reddit to mayonnaise to paper napkins. Annnd we’re all ‘screwed’!? Seems to me we have a grim future in front of us, and to be honest, the research says so too:

According to a recent survey by Ernst & Young’s Global Generation Research, nearly one-third of Millennials say managing their work, family, and personal responsibilities has become harder in the past five years. Nearly half—47%—are working more hours, compared to 38% of Generation Xers and 28% of Baby Boomers. We will pass up on promotions – even take pay cuts – to manage work-life demands better.

Simply put, we know life’s too short – and this week on KJMdigital we’re featuring the one and only Briezy Sandridge – because like the rest of us, she’s trying to find that balance between her dream job and following her heart.

Briezy is everything just. She’s straight out of Kansas City, Missouri and currently lives in Chicago. She’s our diamond in the rough, our elixir – she’s the reason Millennials aren’t actually doomed. Briezy, along with thousands of others, have figured it out - she's created that work/life balance by using our digital landscape to both bolster her career - and pursue her passion as an aspiring comedy writer.

Brie attended the University of Dayton and is now a lead recruiter for Integrity Power Search, a start-up recruiting agency out of Cleveland that helps other start-ups find great people. They hire executive, product, sales and technical teams for companies all over the Midwest – and Brie helps lead their Chicago team.

CEO and founder, Kaleb Dumot, started IPS on his own six years ago and in the past two years, he's been lucky to hire nine great people. They plan to hire two more very soon to keep up with their expanding business. All business, so far, has been referral based which makes for a strong start for this start-up.

That’s Brie’s day job, and at night and during her free time Brie has started studying improvisation and script writing. In fact, she’s just signed up for writing courses through Second City Chicago to help hone her skills. So far, she’s taken one class for writing and one for level B improv – and she loved both!

Brie is the modern-day Millennial – she understands the opportunities in front of her, but also keeps her dreams in the forefront. Attending Improv classes has helped her find balance – and make life worth living.

Ever since her early teens, Brie knew she wanted to go into comedy. In fact, she was voted Most Likely To Be On SNL by her high school. She remembers hanging out with some older classmates when she was a freshman. The seniors would write skits for Student Productions, and they wanted Brie to jump in and try out. It was love at first sight. Now, with this new position, she has time to study comedy a few times a week!

“When I got this job, I knew I could spend the two hours I was commuting every day to focus more on my career as well as my love for comedy,” she says.

To be honest, Millennials want more flexibility because we know life is short. In short, we know if we don’t know why, we don’t know much. Simon Sinek – the Millennial guru – explains this concept well. If you don’t know why you do what you do, how will you get to where you want to go?

In his Golden Circle Diagram, Sinek talks about The Why, The How, and The What – if you want to earn a college degree (what) to make more money – that’s great! How will you get this degree? Why do you want more money? Why does it all matter in the grand scheme of things?

Thinking about the big picture isn’t foreign to Brie. She’s doing great things in her role at Integrity Power Search that embodies this mentality. Yes, she loves working remotely, but she also loves forming new, meaningful relationships by talking with new recruits. She’s building those much-needed people skills and learning to do it online. That’s the kicker – knowing how to communicate face-to-face is one skill, translating compassion, empathy and friendliness to the online world is another.

And while she builds her skillsets at home, she’s also working to help women in tech through lunch meet-ups. Having been hired as the only female, she knows what it’s like working in such a male-dominated industry. As a Millennial, she sees this as an opportunity and is working hard to organize Women in Tech get-togethers where women can go and grab lunch, make new friends, and talk about the struggles of being the only.

In essence – Millennials have one foot in the digital space and one foot on ground. They’re a bridge between what was and what could be, and they’re the very generation that could have a huge impact on where life will be in the next 10, 20, 30 years – simply due to numbers alone. Some even call this group the Go Generation - they can make those tough decisions because they have to, and it's our job to keep up!

As the biggest generation, we know Millennials can and will make a difference. At KJMdigital, we want to help by connecting artists to businesses through our online landscape. And the KJM Team works because our mission and values align with what we value - radical transparency, autonomy and flexibility.

At KJMdigital, we put people first because we know real relationships are what matter most.

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