For all of the bewildered employers out there who are struggling to wrangle the vast majority of the workforce and who just can’t figure us out, read this. My little brother and I set out on a cross-country excursion from Atlanta to Portland at the beginning of this year. We made it a point to see as much as possible on our nine day rendezvous. Brandon, that’s his name and I hail from the small city of Rome, Ga where dirt track racing and college football reign supreme. Meaning that he spends every weekend participating in or watching one or the other. Unlike Brandon and most members of my family, I have had the privilege of traveling the world.  Therefore, I felt it was my duty to take this opportunity and use a big chunk of my savings to give Brandon the chance to learn that the world outside of Rome, GA is not so scary but in fact beautiful, inviting, and willing to teach those who will give it a chance.


Why, you might ask, did we decide to embark on this cross country extravaganza in the dead of winter?  Self-discovery. I was given the opportunity to start a new life on the west coast so I did what any normal, self-involved, discontent millennial would do; I took it.  

Of course I don’t actually believe all of the aforementioned adjectives ascribed to us darn millennials. I believe wholeheartedly in my generation and so does Brian Davis, the founder of the Jumpstart Experience, which is what I will be doing for the next two years. Davis, the owner/operator of Chick-fil-A Clackamas, began this two year experiential leadership development program designed to launch growth-minded millennials into a meaningful career. Through professional development retreats and coaching, Brian and his team are literally paying us pesky millennials to learn about ourselves both personally and professionally while simultaneously teaching us how to run a business. And here’s the kicker. He doesn’t even expect us to continue with Chick-fil-A once we are finished.

Brian is the reason why I quit my good paying, benefits-filled job and moved 3,000 miles away from home to work at a fast food chain. He believes in me and the other five millennials in our program. He understands that young people need guidance and mentorship because we are just that young. Most people, no matter the generation, have ever had their lives figured out by the time they are twenty-five. It is our belief that investing in young leaders is not only helpful to our individual company, but it also contributes to a better society. Who doesn’t want that? Just as I was willing to use my limited resources to invest in my little brother, Brian is willing to give up his time and resources to grow young leaders. He believes that “the more we help people get where they want to go the more they will come around and help [him] as well.”

If millennials confuse you or if you’re a confused Millennial, I encourage you to come alongside myself and the other Jumpstart participants as we shed some light on our misunderstood generation.

We would love to hear your thoughts on what it means to work with Millennials and learn of any ideas you may have to promote growth.