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A Summary: Millennials and the Future of Work

We were thrilled to be part of Techweek ’18 with the Millennials and the Future of Work panel discussion. The event attracted a huge response and quickly sold out with 60 people in attendance from a range of industries and age brackets, which was great to see and we’ve already been thinking about how we can make events like this available to an even wider community.

Throughout the night we talked about a range of topics - from our emerging gig economy to generational inequality to the the very real value of a nicely ripened avo. An overwhelming theme of the night was the power of both the individual and the collective to make great change in our country, regardless of age, experience or gender.

Jen shared how IAG’s new MyFlex initiative  was launched in November last year following widespread support from senior leaders. IAG has seen a massive uptake, with just over half of their 3,500 employees now engaged in either formal or informal agreements regarding when, where, and how they do their work.

Greer extolled the virtues of being your own boss, but also reminded us to be practical about money and meaningful work (oh, and she wants to scrap our political system).

Hannah encouraged us to develop a broad skillset base and be conscious of the ups and downs of a gig economy, whilst also mentioning a few great resources - the book Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dan Evans and The New Work Order by the Foundation for Young Australians.

And Andrea (when she wasn’t doing an excellent job of hosting the panel), reminded us to think about transferability and utilising the power of corporations to make a difference.

With that in mind, here’s a few takeaways from our awesome speakers:

  1. The future of work should be an area of critical interest to everyone and in forming new avenues of economy, our focus should be on not just supporting knowledge workers, but also skilled workers.

  2. Be practical about pursuing your passions and remember that not everything has to change the world - you can add value in so many different ways.

  3. Keep in mind that working flexibly has its pros and cons, and be intentional about connecting with likeminded people!

  4. Learn to articulate your own skills and assets - in the future critical thinking, digital literacy, problem solving and presentation skills will be the key to success.

  5. The world is changing quickly, often faster than we can keep up with, and it’s important to be empathetic toward those who have worked in traditional ways and mindsets for their whole lives, but also help usher them forward into this new economy. Always engage with people positively and respectfully.

  6. New Zealand is uniquely agile because of our small but mighty size and we should use this to our advantage in engaging with new technology, new cultures and new connections.

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What you said

We loved getting your feedback on the event and we’re chuffed that you thought it was interesting, relevant and valuable. A few of our favourite comments;

"The panel had great diverse perspectives that balanced each other nicely"

"It was a bloody brilliant event, I loved it and want more events like this!"

"Heaps of learning!"

"It was great listening to each panellists perspective on our work and working environments, challenging the norms, working in ways that suit us as humans and wanting to contribute to society in a positive way. Taking action, working together/collaborating, networking - all the good stuff that us millennials and socialists like to do."

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What next?

Firstly, we’d love to know whether you have done anything different in your workplace since the event and how you’re integrating any of the key takeouts. Have you thought about workforce planning differently, or had an interesting conversation with your boss?

We’re thinking about hosting another event sometime soon, so watch this space for your invite. We’re also looking at how we can take this learning direct to companies and employers through workshops and seminars. If you’re interested in being involved or you think your workplace would benefit from this, let us know by getting in touch with Andrea at andrea@brewsterassociates.co.nz

Thanks again to our superstar sponsors, HSB Government Relations and Staples Rodway Christchurch, for supporting our event. It’s so important to have forward-thinking companies involved in this conversation, so please get in touch if you’re in need of accounting, business advisory or government relations services.