It is no secret that the generation dubbed “Millennials” (typically defined as those born in the early-mid 1980s to the mid-to-late 1990s/early 2000s, also known as “Generation Y”) have a less than positive reputation. A quick Google search of the term brings about headlines such as “Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation,” “Missing Millennial homeownership endangers the American Dream,” and “Millennials Are Screwed.” When it comes to career outlook, Millennials are asking and expecting things (such as a work-life balance) that the previous generations before them did not event think of, thus bringing about more criticism.
According to the Pew Research Center, more than one-in-three American labor force participants (roughly 35 percent) are Millennials, making them the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. Further, 56 million Millennials were working or looking for work as of 2017. Based on these numbers alone, if you are a Millennial and struggling to navigate your job search or career path, you’re not alone.
There is a multitude of advice out there for Millennials pertaining to their careers. While many in this generation want to be successful, figuring out how to achieve your own success can prove to be challenging. Luckily, there are plenty of people before you who have figured it out for themselves. In an article for The Smart Local, some established Millennials offer career advice for those feeling lost. You can read the full article here.
“Don’t Just Focus On Having The Perfect Resume” – Yohan Launay, Senior Software Engineer at Google
For job seekers who have applied to hundreds of jobs without any success, Launay can relate to your frustrations. He realized that you can craft the perfect resume, but without any established connections, it is very difficult to stand out among the crowd of other job seekers.
He was clearly qualified for a job in his desired industry, having completed his Master’s degree in Computer Science, but he found that even though his resume was impressive, meeting the right people is what really got him a job. If you’re looking for opportunities in a creative industry, Launay recommends building a solid portfolio to show potential employers your abilities and previous work.
“In This Day And Age, Failure Is An Opportunity.” – Geraldine Chan, Senior Sales Operations Manager at Adecco Personnel Pte., Ltd.
Rejection during the job hunt can also be thought of as a failure by some job seekers. However, what you do with this rejection can make or break your career – are you going to wallow in self-pity that you didn’t get a job that you applied to, or are you going to view this as a learning experience to improve for future prospects?
Although you might not get a job that you wanted, another opportunity will likely present itself. One way to learn from this experience is to consider and seize opportunities to gain insight and knowledge in other areas of your desired industry. This can be done through informational interviews and even internships. After all, according to Chan, “The ability to learn about other people’s jobs or about other circumstances will help you do your job better because you’re no longer working with only your own perspective but with the perspective of how other functions in your organization works.”
“Your Starting Pay Is Not As Important As Your Ending Pay.” – Vincent Wong, Country Head for ShopBack Singapore
When looking for your first job, it is tempting to look for opportunities that pay well. Yes, you want to make enough money to live comfortably and within your means, but according to Wong, when starting out it is more important to work with nurturing mentors who will impact your career growth. Additionally, as a new grad, or someone just starting his or her career, it is unlikely that you have much bargaining power to demand a higher salary. Once you prove yourself and as you progress through your career, your pay will reflect that.
As Millennials slowly make up more and more of the workforce, these negative connotations will hopefully dissipate. Thanks to the advice from those who have experienced their own success, others can begin to pave their own path. While there will always be negatives in relation to the different generations, it is important to remember that just because an individual is classified as a Millennial, he or she does not represent others within that same demographic. Believe it or not, not all Millennials are like the “job seeker” in the video below.
Millennials have a lot of traits and skills that benefit companies, especially as they increase their digital footprint. While there will always be people blaming others, times are changing and so too is the workforce. If you’re a Millennial job seeker, consider this advice from others who were in your shoes and you will be just fine.