Millennials from college seniors to small business owners showed up to our second weekly #TNGGchat last night. The topic: the Gen Y job hunt.
No moaning and groaning—the general air of the chat was enthusiastic and hopeful. Two things are for sure: we know what we want, and know that we can get it… eventually.
Below are a few insights into the discussion. Do you agree? Tell us what’s up with your job hunt.
We’d rather be unemployed than take a job we hated… but we do need money
Many agreed they couldn’t stand to take a job they weren’t passionate about, because as Kelsey Mason said, “[I’d] feel like I’m wasting my time.” But others begged to differ, citing that taking a sucky job would be bearable if it helped advance them in their career.
Being forced to choose between the lesser of two evils wasn’t an option for some, as it creates an opportunity to invent their own jobs. We’re proving that necessity is the mother of invention.
We want a job that helps us grow
Being challenged and in an environment that fosters personal development were two of the most frequent answers. We see work as a place where we can reach our best potential, not just earn a paycheck.
Aside from wanting personal development, we need the vibe of our working environment to be in tune with our own beliefs. The workplace and culture has to be conducive to learning, too, says @prettypinkpro, “Fitting in with the culture is key.”
And we’re not saying this just for our sake. @InsideJobs summed it up nicely by saying:
So how do we get the job? It’s about who you know
“Your best resource will always be people,” said InsideJobs. Whether it’s on or offline, connecting with others and building relationships (“Quality, not quantity” urged Lauren Weil) has laid the groundwork for getting the job. A combination of social media and face-to-face communication will help create the type of relationship you want to have going into the workforce.
Good places these relationships can be found are on Twitter, at local networking events, professional organizations you’re involved in (or should be signed up for!), and places you’ve volunteered for in the past. To sum it up, see how you can help others and start talking!
Oh, and don’t forget…
Employers, please break the silence!
A frustration felt by the majority of participants was the lack of communication on the part of employers in our job search. A response (if any) is rarely followed with feedback–something we feel we need to take the next step forward.
Being “open and honest” with applicants, as Celia Nisson said, will work wonders for our job hunt. A company will stand out if their HR department is courteous enough to give us some insight. And don’t forget, third party endorsement works wonders for a reputation.
Advice for first-timer job applicants
- Don’t just “network” without substance, develop relationships with people you want to emulate.
Always follow up with people you’ve met at events, internships, past jobs, school, wherever. Give as much as you get and try to anticipate the needs of others.
- Think ahead: research and prepare
Know what you want. Don’t show up to a networking event or informational interview unprepared! Make sure you know who you’re talking to, and despite how many years you’ve been in school, continue to do your homework. Go the extra mile by trying to see what you can do to help this person out.
- Don’t be afraid to take risks
If something doesn’t feel right, don’t jump into it. This may be a time for you to reflect on what you want and consider other job options like freelancing, starting your own business, or putting your job search on the back burner while you figure things out.
What advice do you have for the Gen Y job hunt? For employers? Let us know below.
Photo by andercismo.