Just 31.5% of workers say they were engaged in their jobs in 2014, according to a Gallup poll. In other words, they were “involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.”
True, that’s up from 29.6% in 2013 and was the highest percentage since 2000, when Gallup first began tracking engagement levels of the U.S. workforce. But the poll also found that a majority of American workers-- 51%-- were still "not engaged" and an additional 17% were "actively disengaged.”
In his new book “Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck,” author Jon Acuff says work should not be the enemy. He thinks Americans need to change the way they approach work.
“Most of us spend 18 years getting ready for college and then the next thing we get ready for is death and retirement,” he says. “We have this 40 year gap where we don’t lean into our careers and so we need to invest in them,” Acuff tells Yahoo Finance in the video above.
Acuff says there is an equation for intentionally building a satisfying career: "Relationships + Skills + Character x Hustle" equals something he calls a “career savings account.”
Your career, in other words, is something you need to build over time.
But learning new skills and keeping up with a changing workplace isn’t always easy. Irrelevance can happen quickly. “It’s uncomfortable. We want growth without discomfort but that’s never how growth works,” says Acuff. “And so learning a new skill, you’ll always be awkward and not good at it at first. That’s the whole idea of learning.”
And what about those Millennials who don't necessarily need to learn new technology skills but seem to want something different from their jobs, often valuing work flexibility over salary? Companies are slow to catch on, says Acuff. “You see a lot of companies trying to fix a Millennial problem with a Boomer solution.” Companies will offer more money, he says. But kids want more flexibility.
And this push for a flexible work life could be valuable to others in a company. The bottom line is, it’s about engagement says Acuff. “[Millennials] do have a greater sense of workplace balance, but I do think there is something every generation can learn from the other one,” he says.
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