The Millennial vs. The “Real World” Job

I took my sweet time finding my first “real world” job after college. I was comfortable waitressing in the summers in my tourist-driven hometown, making enough money to go out with friends, buy cute clothes, and basically live the life while still sleeping in my childhood bedroom. I had done the same routine every summer since I was 18. Eager, smiling customers loved seeing me walk over with their fruity cocktails and steamed lobsters — I made them happy and I was great at what I did, so why would I want that to change?

I also didn’t want to give up my love for traveling. After studying abroad in college, I was bit hard by the travel bug. I felt that working the 9 to 5 grind would chain me to a desk, giving me my 2 weeks plus holidays each year to travel — and that was it. I have a wanderlust soul with an insatiable thirst for adventure, and I knew that I wanted to escape — even if just for a little while — when summer came to an end and the tourists had all crawled back to Florida and beyond to avoid the coming fall and winter chill. So, against my parent’s wishes, I found myself — not a paying job — but an internship writing for a travel guide that I had to pay for. But, it was in beautiful Scotland.

I feel like many recent grads face the same dilemma I did: so, what happens now? We know what the course “should” be according to history: graduate college, find a job, stay there for 30+ years, find a spouse, move to the ‘burbs, have kids, pay for their college, retire with a great 401k (because you were with that same company for 30 years) and move to a sunny town down south to live out retirement. But, millennials aren’t on the same page. We don’t want to feel trapped into navigating down one course for our entire lives, and we fear that taking that first step into the “real world” triggers the trap.

So, I did my stint in Edinburgh (which turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life) and then found myself a short-term contract role in Boston when I returned, not willing to commit to anything permanent so I wouldn’t fall prey to the “real world” trap. After just 2 months into the role, I decided I’d been right — I hated being chained to a desk all day long. Summer was coming once again, and I dreamed of having the flexibility of my restaurant job once more, of having those human interactions with customers and feeling like I was making a difference in the role I was working.

It took me 3 more months to find my new job at HubSpot. I had heard about this innovative company which was revolutionizing the business world to make it more human, bringing flexibility and compassion back into the workplace. I had taken the Inbound certification online and attended the amazing Inbound conference upon my return from Scotland the previous fall, where I had talked to the remarkable, intelligent HubSpotters who worked here — and actually loved their jobs.

This was a company that was catering to the way people wanted to work, allowing flexibility when it came to working from home, and unlimited vacation days for every employee. But, the best part of all was that HubSpot had a team solely dedicated to the culture of the company — of making sure that the people who worked so hard for them were happy. And that is the team I joined at HubSpot this month.

I am now the Culture Content Creator at one of the best companies to work for in Boston(#4 in 2016!). I have had the pleasure of watching the efforts of my team as they strive to make sure our employees not only love where they work, but love coming into work every day. And I’m the one who gets to write about how amazing this company is to work for and encourage others to want to work for this innovative company, too. (PS: HubSpot is hiring!)

In our Cambridge office, you can bring your dog to work with you — we have two in our little area that come in almost every day, acting as the office therapists for those days when things are a little tougher. We have waffles on Wednesday, a coffee and a beer garden, and our motto in everything that we do is to Use Good Judgement. And everyone does. Because HubSpot hires remarkable people, people who dare to be different and are changing the way of marketing, business, and the working world. They are people who Get S#$% Done (another motto) and kick butt at their unique and individual roles within the company.

If you couldn’t tell, I love where I work. I found a company that is redefining the “9 to 5 grind” giving its employees the freedom to be creative, different, and daring us to live and breathe a new kind of business culture. HubSpot is making business and marketing more human, and in turn, my team is making the workplace more human. HubSpot knows that the way people work is changing, and rather than ignore or fight these changes, we strive to create a culture which changes with how we work, therefore making the culture that we work so hard to nurture and create for our employees one which has in turn become a competitive advantage for the remarkable, daring, and creative talent we continue to hire.

So, in the battle of the millennial vs, the “real world” job, there was no champion; instead there came a company that the millennial found her place in. I urge all you recent grads to do your research when finding your first role in the “real world” because companies are starting to catch on to the change in the way we work, in our need to feel unconstrained and let our creativity flow. You’ll find your place; you just have to know what kind of environment you want to work in. And wherever you interview, make sure you do the smile test. Smile at ten people, if all ten smile back, that just might be a sign.