The current job market has not been kind to millennials. According to government statistics, 20-to-24-year-olds are the only demographic that has lost jobs as a whole over the past six months— 200,000 positions, to be exact.
While there is belief that certain policies, like a higher minimum wage, have hurt all types of young job seekers, this lack of perceived security also extends into the future. Case in point: a full 80% of millennials believe that they’ll be in a worse financial situation than their parents were, all things equal.
With the loss of jobs in many sectors and Social Security potentially running out, the cries for help have only heightened. Fortunately, however, with a bit of planning and discipline, you don’t need to feel helpless.
This post will present ways in which to ensure you have both a promising financial present and future.
To get jobs, it’s important to use all of the tools available to you. Social media, contrary to what some may believe, can be of immense help in actually finding your dream job. LinkedIn, in particular, is a helpful channel, as you can show off your resume and accomplishments to employers.
Being able to write and communicate effectively is a highly desired skill, along with a curious attitude. Companies will want to hire dependable people who they feel will be participants within the company and its processes. Being observant and having an entrepreneurial mindset go a long way.
Remember, you’re often competing against not only millennials, but the entire playing field.
Therefore, if you feel like you’re lacking any skills, never feel bad about taking an unpaid internship or similar position to prove that you have the skills required for a paid, full-time position. Staying at home for a few extra months can ultimately pay off.
Here are some additional do’s and don’ts in regards to the job search:
- Do not go to grad school simply because you can’t find a job. If additional education helps advance your career, fine. But don’t think you need an MBA or law degree if you’re just having difficulty finding steady work.
- Don’t overlook the use of a cover letter. A well-crafted cover letter can help illustrate your communication skills and creativity. It can play a big role in ultimately helping you catch an employer’s eye.
- Don’t be afraid to ask around. Your friend, or even someone you meet, may be hiring or know someone who’s hiring.
- Don’t be wary of asking for help from your alma mater. Most colleges have dedicated Career Development Centers.
- And ultimately, do what you love. If faced with the choice of a job you dislike, but pays well, and one that you like, but doesn’t pay quite as well, choose the one that you’d enjoy more, as it’ll be a better long-term fit.
Although many millennials struggle just to get jobs, keeping them can be just as big of a challenge. A 2012 study found that 91% of millennials expect to stay at their job for less than three years. Furthemore, the average millennial is expected to have somewhere between 15-to-20 jobs throughout their lifetime. For better or worse, the days during which an employee would stay at a single company for the duration of their career are gone.
There are benefits to taking on short-term jobs, particularly when just coming into the job market. It can help you discover what you do and don’t like about an industry without requiring too much commitment.
With this being said, issues can arise. Employers tend to look at “job hoppers” as having a number of red flags. It often signals to the employer that the individual is unmotivated, unengaged, and unable to get along with others.
To avoid becoming a job hopper, it’s imperative to be satisfied on the job. Here are some particular issues and how they can be resolved.
- If feeling burnt out: Communicate with your boss or supervisor. Let them know that your workload is too much to handle, and you need help. Most companies want their employees to have work-life balance.
- If you feel underappreciated: In many cases, employers will not provide feedback or recognition because they are afraid to even slightly offend their employees. Plus, they’re busy. Make a point of asking your employer how you’re doing.
- If you have problems with coworkers: Simply talk it out. People are usually understanding, and it’s better to address problems than let them linger.
As can be seen as a common thread, communication is imperative for satisfaction in any career.
Having a Secure Financial Future
Unlike their parents and grandparents, a retirement safety net is no sure thing for millennials.
Reports have shown that at current rates, Social Security will be unable to fund itself by 2034. This quite simply makes it so millennials cannot be reliant upon it. In addition, pensions are no longer a sure thing, in large part because of the job hopping that has become the status quo.
With all of these considerations, millennials need to take retirement funding into their own hands. The average millennial saves eight percent of their earnings for retirement, but unfortunately, this is not enough.
Here are ways tips for saving as much as possible for retirement:
- Aim to save 15 percent of earnings.
- Use the resources available to you. If you’re employed, your employer will likely have resources. If not, there are many resources online.
- Start an IRA or investment vehicle. A cheaper option for money management is a robo-advisor.
- Take your retirement seriously. Don’t allow yourself to buy something unnecessary that eats into your savings. It may be easy to rationalize retirement as being remote and far-away, but the truth is that it will likely feel that way up until you retire.
- Don’t worry about high yields or returns on your retirement investments. This entails more risk, and it’s more important to have a fairly significant amount when you retire rather than something potentially more substantial.
Every generation faces new challenges, and millennials are no different. Follow the tips in this article and you are well on your way to prosperity and job satisfaction in the present and future.