Gen Y workers often seem to regard the workplace as a series of revolving doors, each opening onto a new opportunity. But just because they’re more likely to be comfortable job hopping than their older peers doesn’t mean that they can create meaningful careers amid all this change — at least, not without effort. Here’s how millennials can find meaning into day’s chaotic business world.
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Once upon a time, it was expected that you would graduate from school, get a job, and become a member of that business community for most of your working days. You achieved success by climbing the ladder in that company, and felt a sense of loyalty to your place of employment. Those days are long gone.
Forbes lists a 2012 statistic that the average worker stays in any one job for only 4.4 years. This means if you start working at 20 and stop at 75, you will have worked at more than 11 jobs.
Millennials working today must find meaning not from being a long-term member of a specific company, but by looking into themselves.
1. Know Who You Are
Adam Smiley Poswolsky, writing for FactCoexist, points out that meaningful careers are a product of personal journeys. It’s OK to experiment with different job opportunities and even volunteer activities. Pay attention to what is important to you, what excites you and what doesn’t. You may find yourself drawn to working for a specific type of company. For example, you may be interested in corporate social responsibility, but not comfortable in the corporate environment. Non-profits that focus on social responsibility may be a better fit.
2. Leverage Your Skills
You depend upon your skills in an unstable job market. If you are lacking a necessary skill in your field, start developing it before you need to look for another job. Take a class, or ask for training at work. Develop the skills you wish to be able to sell as you continue your career.
3. Keep Your Perspective
Millennial Juliana Collamer advises her peers to keep their perspective. It doesn’t matter what others are doing — do what is right for you. You may not become a multimillionaire, but you don’t have to be rich in order to be successful. Focus on what you want and what you are doing, and you will find meaning.
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