My father, a 55-year-old airplane technician, has worked the same job since the age of 16. I on the other hand, a 23-year-old working in PR, have already interned and worked in at least ten different places. We keep hearing that Millennials are the screwed generation: we will probably never own a house, we'll most likely be re-paying our student loans until retirement, we're everything but settled. Yet, there is one thing we have that previous generations didn't get: the chance to shape and enjoy our own working life.
We've all heard about the Google model: work hard and your company will reward you. During my brief Couchsurfing stay in Silicon Valley I had the chance to visit Google's iconic Mountain View campus. My hosts in there were picked up by the company from their San Francisco home to then be driven back every night. They had incredible dinners and huge sporting facilities. They were encouraged to take up side projects, travel and better themselves through work.
Now, the Google model is no longer news. Sure, not every company can build beach volley courts as part of their offices, but more and more firms now have their employees' happiness at heart.
The start-up culture has had a massive influence on this. Simone Cimminelli, Managing Director of the London-based start-up accelerator iStarter that helped companies such as Italian Kingdom, BidToTrip and Readbug to launch, says:
"The working world is evolving so quickly that MDs need to keep their companies ahead of the curve. Allowing your employees to better themselves however they please and have enough free time to get involved in side projects drives happiness and willingness to work hard."
Like many start-ups, iStarter has a four-day, Monday to Thursday working week. Fridays are for the team to follow their own projects, whether they're work-related or not.
Companies producing innovative products or content are leading the charge for a better working life. You just don't accept your job as it is anymore: you shape it until you make it.
During our 2015 Manifestival innovation summit in Lisbon, Manifest London's managing director Alex Myers unveiled our plans for 2016. This year we will all have input into what our job title will be based on our area of interest and expertise.
This will ensure that clients value us for our expertise and consultancy rather than our seniority - a development that shows how little hierarchies matter when creativity is involved. More importantly, this decision will empower all employees to tailor their day-to-day tasks to what they want to become in the future, with a focus on employee happiness and fulfillment, often only found in some of the largest, most forward-thinking global companies like Google.
This new development came with unlimited paid time off as well as maternity and paternity leave policies that have been deemed among the best in the UK PR industry.
Sure, Millennials have it a lot harder when it comes to making their job count. We will probably have worked 100 jobs by the age of 60, all while still renting a house in the middle of nowhere and commuting to work for hours. But we will also be able to change our job titles to something outlandish and, most importantly, shape our company and its products rather than letting them shape us.