As a soon to be college graduate I am find myself confused by my fellow millennial friends, yes I’m talking to you. I know “they” say we are entitled and demanding, but I guess I didn’t realize how much truth there was behind those labels—until it came to job hunting.
Like many of you, most of my friends and classmates are knee deep in the trenches of the job war search. Scouring LinkedIn for job perspectives and setting push notifications on all the top career sites has become a hobby everyone can’t wait to rid themselves of—and don’t even get my started on networking.
Applying and interviewing for jobs is truly an exhausting and tolling experience. The emotional roller coaster job hunting throws you on often times seems like a cruel joke, so it makes sense that through it all we want the end result to be perfect. However, I would like to take this time to reset your expectations and quite frankly, ask everyone to humble themselves just a little during this process.
While there is nothing wrong with aiming high and having certain expectations, I think we need to collectively understand our place in the hierarchy. Somewhere along the line many of us (millennials) felt we were entitled to having our dream job right out of college. The best part, or maybe scariest, is that most millennials I’ve talked to don’t even realize this is how they’re coming across (I suppose that would be the part where “they” say we are also narcissistic). I’m not sure when this occurred or why, but I do know for a recent graduate it’s the wrong mindset.
When it comes to your first job out of college it’s not a matter of settling for a mediocre position, but adjusting your mindset. Somewhere along the line we discounted the immeasurable value gained from taking a job outside our dream career path and somehow anything other than your dream job after college equates to failure now.
HELLO—didn’t anyone watch Devil Wears Prada?!
You have to take a few hits to get to where you want to go. Why do millennials feel so entitled that they can skip this step? Please, if you have any thoughts on this, shed some light. I’m genuinely confused.
Instead of getting caught up in landing the perfect job, I think it’s time we start thinking about the experience gained from a position and how it can propel us forward in our career—because ultimately we should be focused on launching a career, not landing a single dream job.
Just starting out in my career and when deciding to take a job or choose a company, I always think about the type of leadership I will be exposed to. Are they going to invest and grow me as much as I am going to invest in them?
This is a really important thing to consider especially when we’re just starting out. Too many of us right out of college are so caught up in status and landing the job of their dreams right away that they overlook this very important point—leadership.
I recently took a position that I know is not my dream job or where I want to end up in my career necessarily, but I believe and trust in the management and leadership I report to. I know they are invested in me and want to teach and groom me to move up. They want to see me succeed and view it as part of their responsibility to teach me the skills to get there. At this point in my life, that kind of leadership and professional development is way more important to me than having my dream job right off the bat.
It’s great to have high standards, but don’t climb to high up on that horse that you miss out on a lot of relevant experience and opportunity to expand your skill set simply because it is not the position you’ve dreamed you would have. There can be a lot of other valuable aspects of a particular job outside the job description itself or the company. Make a list of the qualities that matter to you most in your first job and begin your search there.
Building a career takes time and thoughtfulness. Forget title and status and begin making career decisions rooted in intention, not material. If you can align yourself with this type of thinking you’re sure to have a promising career.
Not so millennial Girl
P.s. S/O to all those millennials out there doing the damn thing, taking their hits and learning. The worst bosses or jobs are often times the ones you learn the most from 😉