I published this post last week on LinkedIn, after an intense job hunt over the last few months. I don’t want it to seem like I’m complaining about the unfair treatment of millennials in the job market, but I’m not going to lie, it is very frustrating. Even if you’re not an unemployed millennial, you can probably still relate to this post. They think we have it easy, but millennial life isn’t as easy as it seems.
There is a huge misconception that the unemployed millennial is inexperienced, entitled, and just plain lazy. I cannot speak for everyone in my generation, but from my personal, educational, and professional experiences with my peers, I know that millennials are quite the opposite. We may not have years of experience, but we are eager to learn. We weren’t babies when the recession hit, so we are well aware that opportunities aren’t going to be handed to us. We know that we are going to have to work hard for the things we want. The purpose of this post is not to complain, but I want to help non-millennials understand the millennial mindset.
What does “entry-level” mean to the unemployed millennial? When we see this short phrase on job postings it immediately sparks our interest. We click on the posting only to get our hearts broken after we see that 3-5 years of related work experience is required. We were thinking more along the lines of 0-2 years of experience. We are looking for positions that will be willing to train us and mold our sponge-like minds.
Millennials have no major issues with internships, even if an internship is unpaid it still gives us an opportunity to gain real world experience with a safety net and it may even set us on the right career path. The issue with internships comes from the fact that some internships are now requiring prior internship experience. This is absolutely mind boggling! Why do I need internship experience to get an internship? Although this doesn’t make much sense to me, I understand that there may be hundreds of other millennials out there vying for the same opportunity, so my work experience needs to be competitive. If a second internship will set me on the right career path, I’ll take it.
What We Want!
As an unemployed millennial, who has worked temp job after temp job, I know the job hunt struggle all too well. I have worked jobs I’ve hated, jobs I’ve loved, and jobs I wish I had never applied for. I know I am not alone in this situation. There are millennials out there who are not ready for a long-term position, but there are a good bit of us out there who are ready for that type of commitment. We want job security, real opportunities for upward mobility, and pay that will allow us to live an independent life and pay off of student loans. We are willing to relocate and leave our families and everything we’ve ever known for the right position. Of course we will make mistakes; unfortunately school doesn’t teach us everything we need to know for an actual career. We may not be extensively skilled, but please understand that we bring more to the table than social media skills. We want and need you (employers) to take a chance on us and teach us, because we are willing to learn.
The Unemployed Millennial