The 20-month Itch!


The Millennial Career Dilemma Series – Article – 13 by Shubika Bilkha


Addressing the millennial ‘boredom’ issue for improved retention has companies working over-time. A Deloitte 2016 study suggests that 1 in 4 millennials would leave their current role within a year, while 44% of them would leave within a 2-year period. The average time a millennial worker stays in their current role according to reports is estimated to be 20 months. This trend is visible with millennial workers across skill segments and job roles.


As millennials constitute the largest age-segment in the workforce, companies are paying particular attention to their working styles and attitudes. To retain and motivate the millennial worker has become a challenge in itself for the Indian corporate. Millennials are assessed as being more entitled, expecting faster job growth, more technologically savvy, lifestyle focused and wanting to feel like they/their work matters to the organization at large. With the advent of the gig economy and the startup eco-system, millennials now feel that they have enough work opportunity outside of the ‘traditional’ corporate sector.


In a recent conversation with one of my previous team members who now functions within the gamut of the gig economy, I gathered the following insights. Her husband and she held traditional job roles in the banking industry for 9+ years after which they both ventured into the gig workplace. Their income levels remain consistent, while their lifestyle has seen a tremendous improvement. They now take on ‘gigs’ they most enjoy and feel a dramatic improvement in the quality of their output as a result. They now have more time for each other, family and to do the things they love most, like travel. They are not constrained to a particular geography are flexible, unconstrained and lovin’ each moment of it!


In other known instances, a corporate marketing employee left to become a mind-reader, while a corporate trainer became a Vaastu consultant and in another an executive coach. There are enough examples around us all of millennials leaving traditional job roles to become entrepreneurs, freelancers and more. Heck, so did I leave the traditional domain of a long career at Deloitte to venture into entrepreneurship!


While stories of success such as the cases above seem to resonate the most with millennials, a number of people who make dramatic shifts don’t have quite the smooth ride. While it’s easy to say “I could always get a traditional job”, a negative experience can leave you disappointed, demotivated and embarrassed. If you are, however, one of those millennials itching to make the switch, with your family up in arms, as a fellow rebel here are some words of advice to make the transition more meaningful:


Develop a skill and own it

It is imperative that you are known for something. Be it in entrepreneurship or to get a gig you need to be able to speak with conviction about what you bring to table. Get accredited or experienced in a domain and own it. Don’t quit that job till you do!


Manage your expectations

There will be disappointments along the way and things will not always go according to how you envisioned it. Be prepared for this and don’t take the downs personally. Remember, there could be months where no earnings come in, so mentally gear up and manage your finances in lieu of that. Get a support network around you and power through the rough patches with your conviction!


Learn resilience

As an independent worker or ‘brand’ you will need to develop a thick coat of resilience. There will be a constant need to pivot, learn new skills or reinvent yourself. Industries and job roles are only going to continually evolve and get further disrupted in the world we live in.


Networking is king

Building meaningful relationships is going to be your lifeline to success. Be it with previous colleagues or bosses, by attending events/conferences, enrolling in a co-working space, joining key networks or reaching out to key contacts, networking needs to become a part of your daily routine. It is only through referrals or networks where you will receive interesting opportunities.


Set an annual target

Get disciplined about your independent work. Set an annual revenue/income target for yourself and actively work to accomplish or exceed it. This will keep you motivated and give you a sense of accomplishment. Remember, you are now the proud owner of your own P&L!


Keep your hand on the pulse

Staying abreast of trends or developments across sectors will be key. In larger organizations this happens automatically, but on your own you will need to be proactive about staying relevant.


Find a mentor and an Executive Coach

It is always helpful to get an independent guide or advisor who can help give you some perspective. Being independent can be a lonely place, so work to build that mentor relationship to carry you through.


Do a quarterly assessment of your life

This will allow you to take a step back to see how much you’ve accomplished, what you need to focus on and as a self-check to make sure you are on track with your personal target. It will also serve as a framework to help you appease those anxious family members and personal saboteurs!


For more information on Edpower-U’s Career Coaching and Entrepreneur support services please write in to


About the Author



Shubika Bilkhais currently the Founding Partner of Edpower-U. She is a dynamic entrepreneur, trained executive coach, media spokesperson, author and corporate advisor with experience that spansthe financial, technology, ecommerce, education and real estate sectors in India and Internationally. As the managing Director of two early stage start-ups in technology and education, Shubika has hands on experience in all aspects of these businesses. She was recently the Managing Director of a leading vocational training institute in India and has worked with a number of leaders across industry, government and the educational ecosystem in India and the UK.


She is also a published author with her first book widely distributed. Shubika is an alumna of Mount Holyoke College, USA and Columbia Business School, USA; an Associate Member of the Chartered Securities Institute (CSI) in the UK; and has completed the “Building Excellence in Higher Educational Institutions” at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad. She is a trained Executive Coach with CTI, UK in line with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) ACC guidelines.



Translate »
%d bloggers like this: