5 Things Successful Millennials Do Outside of Work

Using your spare time constructively could help improve your work performance and advance your career.

By: Mitali ColabawallaMitali Cover Image

Success has always had an ambiguous definition, but most millennials associate it with happiness, health and social networking, which provide the foundation for a balanced lifestyle.

Work-life balance seems to be especially important to this particular generation, however, only five per cent of 20-somethings are thriving across all these elements based on a 2017 Gallup survey.

According to experts, how you utilize your free time plays an integral role in your ability to have a successful career. Employees who are thriving in their personal life perform better at their daily tasks, miss fewer workdays, and are able to adapt to change at a faster rate, empowering them to stay with companies longer.

In a 2017 interview with Forbes magazine, Ryan Harwood, CEO of PureWow, said, “It’s whatever allows you to sleep well at night that you’re balancing your wants and needs properly to be a happy person. There is no wrong or right. Time off is important to avoid burnout.”

So, how exactly do successful millennials spend their time away from work?

  1. Exercise.

Good health and regular fitness is a consistent part of a successful person’s lifestyle for mental and physical well-being.

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Exercising everyday forces you to create—and stick to—a routine, which is a versatile mental discipline to master.

Elyse Goetze, 24 year-old nurse at Toronto General, says, “Working out your muscles promotes blood circulation throughout your body improving the overall strength of your heart. I like to call it 30 minute of magic. It’s also a lot of fun, because you can do it with a friend and there’s so many unconventional ways to exercise like hiking, snowboarding, rock climbing…even bungee jumping for those adrenaline junkies.”

Plus, the energy boost provided by eating healthy and exercising daily acts as a stress reliever and makes you more productive throughout the day.

  1. Network.

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Networking is more important now than ever; meeting new people can open doors to exclusive contacts, opportunities, and information.

“I have met a lot of people at my job, but I have met more people outside of it. Networking events are free and a lot of them are well-organized,” 26 year-old financial advisor at TD Bank, Rahul Kanda, recommends websites such as Eventbrite and Meetup for millennials looking to expand their social spider-web.

Millennials also understand the importance of keeping up with their online community to stay connected with their peers, so feel free to Instagram, Tweet, Facebook and Snapchat in the name of success!

  1. Spend time with loved ones.

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Successful millennials take time out of their busy lives to enjoy the people who make working so hard worth it all.

Sometimes we get so consumed with making money and advancing our careers that we forget about the importance of appreciating family and friends.

“I have met people who focus only on work and although they do move up the ladder, they alienate themselves from experiencing the basic human emotion of love,” Elyse points out.

Making an effort to check in with your family and friends can go a long way in your overall happiness and well-being.

  1. Travel.

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Travel is a unique way to push yourself outside your comfort zone and hone your ability to handle change.

Yes, travel can be pricey, but utilizing your thrifty and creative side can help you figure out ways to explore the world on a budget.

Not only that, but travel, especially backpacking, exposes you to a world of problem-solving, team-building, culturally-rich experiences.

“Learning is essential to our success, but learning through travel is just plain fun. Even if you’ve somehow become a pro in your field already, there’s always something new to learn and travelling exposes you to things you wouldn’t normally see at home.” Connor Campbell, 28 year-old foreman at Danik Electric, puts aside time to travel every year in order to appreciate everything life has to offer and utilize his money in a productive manner.

  1. Relax and Recharge.

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Being well-rested and focused is essential to success so that your mind is also being nourished and cared for.

Sleep is not just for the dead. Take the time to get some proper shut-eye every night—a lack of sleep results in lower productivity and a higher chance of sickness.

Meditation, yoga, even just a simple bubble bath, are great ways to reconnect with yourself and recharge your batteries.

“Meditating even just 10 minutes a day can help you clear your mind, improve your memory, and reduce stress,” Elyse informs us.

Journaling, drawing, colouring, and musical arts are great ways to unwind and unleash your creative side. Don’t be afraid to embrace any activity that helps relieve stress; there is no wrong answer when it comes to what you need!

But word to the wise, merely doing these things in your spare time does not guarantee success. If you choose to maximize on leisure time, then there is no room for complaints at the lack of accomplishment. However, finding that balance between working and living will help guide you toward a more rewarding professional life—and keep you sane at the same time.

Mitali is a student in the Professional Writing and Communications (PWC) program at Humber College that has always been engrossed in the world of literary fiction and non-fiction. It was at the University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology (UOIT) she was able to seriously start to hone her skills as a writer. At UOIT she realized her talent for research-based writing. This sense of accomplishment and genuine joy led her to Humber’s PWC program. Humber’s PWC program has pushed and pulled her abilities, stretching them far beyond imaginable measures, teaching her that you really don’t know what you don’t know. In short, writing makes her incandescently happy. That happiness inevitably echoes through all paths in her personal life, enriching it entirely. 

Real talk: how the PWC program will actually help you succeed

April 3, 2018 | Laura Billett

For its first three years, the Professional Writing and Communications (PWC) graduate certificate program has attracted many aspiring writers. The program’s value hinges on whether those graduates become what the title implies: professionals. So, before forking out another year’s worth of tuition, you deserve to know: is this program truly what its website describes? Importantly, will you get a job out of it?Home office large

2017 PWC alumni Ardo Omer, Leticia Rodrigues and Sean White share their perspectives on the outcomes of the program.

Omer applied to the PWC program because it offered practical writing development. “Communications for me was more stable. It was a more career-oriented thing that would also give me the leeway to possibly pursue things like fiction,” Omer says.

The program opened her eyes to the nature of a communications role, and it gave her a better understanding of different sectors within communications. She was initially interested in writing for magazines but, after listening to the experiences of instructors and guest speakers, realized that it was not the industry that would bring her satisfaction.

The PWC program’s diverse classes exposed Omer to types of writing that she enjoys and uses in her job as festival assistant in communications with the International Festival of Authors (IFOA). “What you thought wasn’t your thing, becomes your thing. I never thought I would like writing press releases, but I know that’s probably the most fun I had writing anything, and I was really good at it,” Omer says.

In her internship with the IFOA, Omer was responsible for a range of activities—including writing and editing news releases. Now, she leads the IFOA’s social media activities, writes their blog and helps with research and marketing. As one of three on the communications team, Omer says her education brings weight to her voice: “I think both of [my colleagues] appreciate my insights with social media, which from an organizational stand point came from Humber.”

Rodrigues says the range of PWC courses has given her knowledge that helps her succeed. She completed her internship with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) before moving home to Curitiba, Brazil. There, she works as a copywriter for Nossa Causa, writing copy for blogs, email marketing and social media.

“I would say everything [from the program] somehow added up to what I am doing now,” Rodrigues says. “[PWC] helped me with not only my own work, but it gave me the right tools to be able to help other people with their work. For example, we have another person in the agency who is responsible for the planning of the campaigns, and I have things that I teach her from the [PWC] project management class to improve her management inside the agency.”

The broad scope of the program could also be seen as a downfall, White admits, but it’s what gave him the skills to succeed in the multi-faceted world of communications. As an intern with Prostate Cancer Canada, he wrote materials like news releases and articles. In his current role as a communications officer with CBC/Radio Canada, he writes more reactive communications, mostly on social media. White says every career requires constant learning, and “I like that [PWC] gave me options. It had a robust description of what the program entailed and that turned out to be really true.”

More than a range of skills, the program provides an opportunity to build a strong network of friends and professional contacts. PWC instructors encourage students to network with professionals in the writing community, but “the best networking is really [with] the people at your level,” White said. “I establish an actual network that is not based on ulterior motives; it’s just based on genuine human connection and friendship, and then that becomes a network.”

When White was looking for work after his internship, it was the Humber network that helped him find opportunities. PWC instructors recommended him for jobs, and friends from the program passed on freelance opportunities. In interviews, “I had a lot of response like, ‘oh wow, that program a reason why we called you,’” White says.

Omer agrees. “I find that a lot of organizations, especially if you’re just starting out in a communications role, want to be able to see that you have that school credit.”

Learning continues after the program, so you’ll have to be prepared to ask questions and show initiative, Omer says, but “[the certificate] is something now that I can go into any organization with, saying, ‘Hire me because I know this stuff’.”

To find out how you can apply to the Professional Writing and Communications Ontario Graduate Certificate, visit our website: https://liberalarts.humber.ca/programs/professional-writing-and-communications.html.

Laura is an aspiring writer and avid reader. She graduated with a BA in English from the University of Regina and is completing Humber College’s Professional Writing and Communications program. Stories have always been a source of inspiration for Laura, and she hopes that her own writing will open new worlds and perspectives for readers.