Millennial workers (those born between 1982 and 2004) are facing a more promising job market, with a wide range of career options available to them. Factors like technology, more pay and employment opportunities for women, and social media have presented new jobs and new ways to search for jobs to this generation. But being a millennial also comes with struggles previous generations may have not faced.
The current unemployment rate for millennials is 11.5% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and many of the millennials employed are working less than they’d like to or are facing lower wages than they anticipated. And with the cost of a college education continuing to skyrocket, many millennials are facing a mountain of college loan debt. Last year, Pew Research did a study that conducted that more than one-third of people between the ages of 18-34 were living at home with their parents. In these circumstances, it can be difficult to focus on finding a solid direction for your career. To instill some more hope among these young workers and help them take advantage of what this world has to offer, here is some inspiring career advice for millennials:
1) It’s ok to make mistakes-but own them
Expect to make mistakes, and be honest about them. Employers respect someone that is honest and not afraid to ask questions. One of the best pieces of career advice for millennials is to learn the right way to do things early on. That way, you will be better prepared in the future. Take the time to learn from your mistakes, and you will have a more fruitful career.
2) Look for opportunities to make a difference
No matter what kind of job or internship you land, look for opportunities to go above and beyond and really make your mark. Think of ways to make a project you were assigned even better than your boss expected. Volunteer for projects outside your normal duties to expand your skillset (without sacrificing the quality of the job you were hired to do).
3) Build a brand for yourself
With many employers active on social media networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, it’s much easier for millennials to build a personal brand than earlier generations. A good piece of career advice for millennials is to create a personal branding statement around who you are and what you can do. It can be as general or specific as you want, depending on how much experience you have. Stay active on social media, connecting with like-minded professionals, participating in group discussions, and sharing/commenting on content that interests you. Also share any professional accomplishments you have or work samples on your social media profiles, especially LinkedIn. Some personal branding career advice for millennials that will really make you stand out is to go beyond social media and create a personal website that really lets your skills, experience, and personality shine. Remember to keep the information on your website up to date, as you would with your resume.
4) Don’t be afraid to take risks
When you are starting out your career, remember that your first job doesn’t have to be forever. This may also be the case with your second, third and fourth job as well. Don’t be afraid to try out different jobs that interest you. If they don’t work out, you will still learn something. This is the only way you will figure out what you are really meant to do.
5) Take networking seriously
In the age of technology, it’s easy to let your people skills fall by the wayside. One of the most essential pieces of career advice for millennials, regardless of what career they are in, is to network on a regular basis. Get to know your co-workers, people in your community, attend networking events, do volunteer work. This will improve your ability to communicate and keep your people skills fresh, which will give you an edge in the job market.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.