Challenges For Millennials At Work
By Mark Swartz
Monster Contributing Writer
Hey there 18 – 29 year olds. Grown-ups think you’re slackers. Youth unemployment is rampantly high. You’re barely scraping by and budgeting’s a burden.
Nice to be a millennial,yes? Good thing you’ve got tech skills envied by all. Social media and plenty of schooling have taught you collaboration. These are plusses that employers value.
So will you barely survive, or learn to thrive, in today’s demanding workplace? For those of you planning on the former, here are some hurdles you’ll have to clear.
Canada’s unemployment rate for 15 – 25 year olds in the workforce is staggering. It stands at around 13.3%, nearly twice the national average.
You’ll have to be creative and persistent seeking work. Leverage social media to make contacts and do research. Then master the art of face-to-face networking. Going mobile while pounding the pavement pays off.
Broke and Anxious
When strapped for cash, it’s likelier you’ll take whatever job you can get. Employers know this and may try to exploit your anxiety.
Reducing expenses can help prolong your job search till you find something better. It may require living at home longer. Or foregoing that first car for a while. Does it beat job hopping and working in dead end dives? You decide.
Impressions Other Generations Have Of You
Look here, you self-absorbed, attention deficit loafers. Exit from Vine and stop leaving early. We need to get some real work done here.
Tired of hearing these generalizations made about your generation? Then lean in closer. Do the grunge tasks no one else wants. Be patient when it comes to earning more responsibility.
Prove your worth on the small stuff and gain your employer’s trust. If you stick around longer than a year and a half, your efforts should get rewarded by a raise and promotion.
The Rules Of The Game Were Made By Your Elders
Damn those Boomers and Gen X’ers. They killed job security. Stole the housing market for a song. And left the earth a polluted mess.
Still, until they all retire to golfing and shuffle board, they continue to rule the roost. Flip this to your advantage: offer to mentor a senior staffer. Teach them the tricks of tech. Remind them how they can question the status quo. Meanwhile have them teach you the rules that govern success at your company. Everyone benefits.
Removing The Millennial Stigma From Your Resume
The market is flooded with resumes from millennials. Too often they lack relevant experience and abound in generalities. Worse, they don’t match the applicant’s social media presence.
Stand out from the crowd by highlighting your technical and job-relevant skills. Focus on the needs of employers. If necessary, customize your resume to the jobs you’re applying for (without bending the truth, of course).
Paying Off Student Loans
The average Gen Y’er graduates with thousands owing in student loans. The faster these are paid down, the freer you are to start saving for other important stuff.
Happily there are options for paying off student loans. Debt relief and tax credits can help defang the bite. Use them liberally.
Another stereotype of Gen Y: they’ve got unrealistic expectations. Swallow a healthy dose of pragmatism. The first five years of work are where you learn how to make a living.
Don’t count on your job to satisfy your social needs and fulfill your vocational fantasies. Even the most engaging, progressive workplaces will let you down in some way. So hold on to your dreams while building the foundation of a satisfying career. Life unfolds gradually – but it can pass by quickly if you don’t grab it by the horns.