It’s a new week and we are excited to bring you a new episode of OpenFrame! This time we are speaking to the amazing Wing Yan Man. She is the founder of 3310 - the School for Millennials, because she believes we should never stop learning.
After working in the “perfect” job and fulfilling her parents' expectations for years, Wing experienced burnout. She realized she was not living in alignment with her true self. During that time she took a step back to assess the direction of her life.
That’s when Wing realized millennials grew up under unique circumstances we were not prepared for. One of the biggest challenges of being brought up in our time is the Internet and globalization. While it gave us connection and a lot of advantages, it has also given millennials the impression that we are competing with the whole world. Not just with the world on our doorstep anymore.
If you fall into the millennial bracket, we are sure you’re going to find this conversation extremely helpful.
Here are some of the key points from our conversation with Wing:
- We often hear the media make fun of millennials calling them “snowflakes”. Wing explains all the reasons why millennials are not simply entitled or sensitive - they have valid reasons for being overwhelmed. Millennials are the bridge generation between an old world and a new one, with no role models on how to navigate it. This challenge brings a lot of side effects, one of them being severe burnout.
- Millennials are the first generation to know both: pre and post internet life. We are the firsts with the option to be available 24/7 and work doesn’t have to finish the moment you switch off your laptop. It can continue on your phone, on the go, on holiday - anywhere.
- We are the firsts to compare ourselves to people on a global scale. We are the firsts to have to deal with the specific kind of overwhelm that comes with the constant, aggressive exposure to a life online.
- If you are overwhelmed, one of the most important questions to ask is: Do you really need to live up to someone else’s expectation and model for life? What would your life look like, if you didn’t bother about what others want to expect of you - society’s expectation or your family’s traditions and desires for your life?
- Millennials want to belong, but at the same time they want to be individualists. It’s a balance they need to find, so they don’t feel isolated, while also preserving their integrity, beliefs and independence. The previous generation paid little attention to the individual story, they were all about the community. Millennials on the other hand, are almost on the opposite side of the spectrum, hence it’s important to find the middle ground.
- Burnout is often misunderstood as something that happens when we work too much and don’t take enough breaks. But that’s actually just one side of the story. Being burned out is about identity: it’s about consistently and repeatedly doing something that’s not aligned with our true self and our values.
- Here are some practical things you can do if you see signs of a burnout approaching:
- Take time to think and question the system you’re in
- Take time to rest
- Talk to others about it, don’t keep it in
- Be patient with yourself
- What is it you really want outside of the expectations placed on you? Start by making small, incremental changes towards that.
We are so grateful to Wing for openly sharing about her struggles with burnout, detaching herself from other people’s expectations and her steps to a healthier work/life balance.
A lot of people listening to this episode are likely to be in the millennial age bracket, facing the same challenges. We hope that Wing’s story serves as encouragement to pause, reflect and start creating the life you really want.
Our host is Nadia Meli, you can find her work at nadiameli.com
This conversation is also available on Youtube. Don’t forget to subscribe to OpenFrame on your favorite streaming platform (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor, etc) and share this episode with a friend who you think should hear it!