Millennials: Tech-savvy future leaders or job-hopping, lazy workers?
These digital natives, born from the early 1980s to the late 1990s, have been labeled both positively and negatively. Fair or not, stereotypes can be a real hindrance when trying to get a job or advance in a career. So how can millennials fight the hype and show their true authentic selves? If you’re a millennial, six strategies can help you forge a path to career success.
#1: Commit to a goal.
Growing up in the digital era, you are flexible, adaptable and able to think quickly on your feet—qualities that may lead to a constant stream of opportunities within one company or several. While jobs early in your career may not be what you imagined, these opportunities can be used to advantage if you show a path to continuous learning. But be mindful of bouncing around with no focus. Keep pushing for success, and commit to a goal. When interviewing for a new role, be prepared to discuss why you left each position, what you learned along the way and how your experience will be leveraged for continued success.
#2: Focus on the fit.
Accenture’s 2016 U.S. College Graduate Employment Study shows that recent grads want interesting and meaningful work, and they want to work in an open and engaging culture. Doing something you care about, something that matters, can only increase your productivity. Being interested and passionate about what you do will lead to current and future career success. When interviewing, focus on what’s important to you and ask questions about the company. Make sure the fit is a good one.
#3: Stay sharp.
Because you are inundated with information from a variety of sources, you know how to think fast, analyze what’s important and develop new skills that are constantly emerging. These qualities are very attractive to prospective employers. Keep your skills fresh; wow current and future employers with your willingness to keep learning and growing your career. These days, your “learn ability” can be your most desirable asset to an employer.
#4: Don’t forget the “soft” stuff.
Even though we spend most of our times behind screens, human contact is still vital. Build your communication and interpersonal skills. List them on your resume, and then prove them during the interview process by asking questions that show you researched the company and position. Take the next step, and send a thank you note. A personal touch makes a difference.
It’s important to disconnect now and then and reconnect with reality. Put your phone away during meetings and interviews. When applying for a new job, show your non-tech side through your interests and volunteer activities. A well-rounded employee is a successful employee.
#6: Go the extra mile.
In today’s job market, mediocre doesn’t cut it. You need to work a little bit harder than everyone else to stand out from the crowd. Build your knowledge, gain experience and make connections that’ll get you where you want to go. Get practical work experience early, and go above and beyond what your employers and clients need from you. When you’re applying for a new job, pay attention to detail throughout the entire process, and show you’re willing to work hard for what you want.
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