If you're reading this blog from your college dorm room, allow me to be the first to welcome you to the workforce community. I know what you're thinking, "I just started college! I don't need to worry about job security yet."Perhaps not the best attitude to have when you consider that 40% of unemployed workers are millennials.
There is no doubt that freshman year is the most exciting time of your collegic career. While you enjoy this formative threshold to your adult life, remember (and we're sorry to report) that you are a part of the generation jobless. It is truly important, now more than ever, to set a clear and sustainable path because graduation day sneaks up faster than you realize (trust me!).
Here are 5 Job Tips Millennials Must Consider:
- What You Major in Matters: While the Liberal Arts and majors such as Theatre Arts can be gratifying, enjoyable and mind-opening, they very often translate to difficulties in landing your first job and/or a well-paying job. Does this mean you should give up your dreams? Absolutely not! Double major. Pair a Bachelor’s of Science, Business Administration or Information Technology with your passion and you’ll be extremely marketable. Additionally, no one’s career path is ever straightforward, so arming yourself for many moves and career twists will help you to be more professionally agile.
- Know Where The Job Market is Headed: Have you ever heard of S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)? Well the job market is already experiencing a shortage of qualified individuals in the S.T.E.M. fields, which will only be exacerbated by the time you graduate in 2018 (or beyond for those who become Super Seniors). If you have the aptitude and/or interest in these areas, obtaining a degree will set you up for more career options than most of your peers – and this includes those of you pursuing both technical certifications and trades. Not enticed enough? By 2030 the US will be “super-aged.” That means once you hit the working scene and obtain your formative experience, you’ll be well-positioned to advance into subsequent roles vacated by those replacing retirees in leadership positions.
- Learn Another Language and Study Abroad: The world is uber connected and you will experience a myriad of diversity in your professional career – from that of ethnicity to thought. The better able you are to collaborate with peers who have diverse backgrounds the more successful you will be. Pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone to briefly live in another country and/or learn a new language is tantamount to providing yourself with a more realistic understanding of alternate world views and what true cross cultural collaboration takes for success. In addition, a U.S. News and World Report article earlier this year also noted that those with “second language fluency can expect to add an additional 10 to 15 percent pay increase!” Of course, this presumes that your literacy are in languages highly sought after in business such as Spanish or Mandarin (I’m still waiting for Yoh to open an Italian office).
- Protect Your Brand Image (aka Don’t Regret What You Put Online): We all love social media and your generation is the most socially connected; however, I emphatically tell you that you will regret some of the things you put online (from comments, to pictures and more). Start guarding your personal brand now (i.e. the perception of you based upon what you share online)! Perception is reality which equals the opening or closing of doors to opportunities. Everything you put online can and will be found by the savviest of recruiters. Before you post think “would I want my future boss or parents to see this?” If the answer is no – STOP!!! You’ll thank me later…
- Experience Matters – Take Advantage of Internship / Co-Ops: One phrase you will learn to rue once you graduate is “we’re looking for someone with experience.” But how do you get experience if no one will give you a shot? Jump in and find yourself internship and co-op programs which will give you not only experience but great professional contacts who would be willing to recommend your work ethic and results. Can’t find paying opportunities? Take on part time work during college to show responsibility and the aptitude to perform. If you’d rather volunteer that’s great too. At the end of the day, make sure you have something to put on your new resume after graduation beside that shiny new diploma! P.S. Leadership roles in clubs, sports and/or Greek life are additional bonus points for your resume.
Deep breaths, all of the above are more attainable than you realize! Take it all in and at the end of the day find your happy medium (i.e. don’t play too hard, but also don’t work so hard that you miss the plethora of opportunities that are right before you). Here’s wishing you a fabulous future, I’m looking forward to working with you when you join the working world!
A slightly jealous 30-something!
This blog was written by Cindy Lombardo. With nine years of experience in the staffing industry having worked in the capacities of recruitment, project management, training and marketing, Cindy currently focuses on developing and implementing digital strategies that target and attract talent across all industry sectors for both national and international employment opportunities. She is passionate about following emerging applicant trends as well as educating others about both the growing talent deficit and strategies that can drive better recruitment efficiencies and return on investment. When she’s not working on candidate marketing strategies, Cindy spends her time outside of work running a non-profit opera company, practicing judo and playing with her crazy dog Scruffy.