Job Opportunities for Millennials and More
Are you looking for job opportunities? You probably don’t need me to tell you that for certain groups these are unprecedented economic times. Our children are the first generation in living memory predicted not to do better than their parents. And this despite the history of our great country being that of the children of immigrants enjoying economic prosperity of which previous generations could but dream.
But our 20-somethings tell a different story. Many are faced with student loan debt, poor job prospects, and the daunting economic reality that comes with an uncertain future.
But I can also tell you that for kids who “get it” the news for job opportunities is unexpectedly good. The principles I wrote about in All About Them have helped these job seekers have a future as bright as those of previous generations.
Here are the six guiding precepts that will allow your children to find job opportunities. Handled properly, they can achieve the dreams that you have for them and they may have for themselves:
- No job is too small. There is no shame in earning eight dollars an hour to start. No, you can no longer afford to buy a house in Coral Gables or Beverly Hills. But your parents did not own that home just out of college either.
- You are always being interviewed. Because today’s job opportunities are everywhere, you must pay attention morning, noon, and night. After all, not only could the woman sitting next to you on the subway be your future employer, but the guy scrolling through your feed on Facebook or Instagram could be as well.
- Everyone has something to offer you. Interview your parents’ friends, the officer at your bank, your physician, your boss at your current job. Most of them worked for minimum-wage before they got their first break and they have a lot to share. They might even know of available job opportunities. It’s up to you to be open, alert, and aware.
- Stop complaining. Besides the simple truth that nothing you’re going through is as bad as you think it is, nobody wants to hear about it anyway. As Gordon Gekko said in the 1987 movie Wall Street: “If you need a friend, get a dog.”
- Find out how other people did it. The ‘net is loaded with clickbait examples of accomplished people who had jobs in unrelated fields before hitting their stride. Harrison Ford was a carpenter before getting his break as an actor. Madonna worked at Dunkin’ Donuts. Jon Bon Jovi and Jim Carrey were both janitors. Closer to home, I was a bag boy at Publix and fetched shrimp and beer at a tackle shop on Miami Beach.
- Perfect your elevator speech. If it’s true that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, you’d better be ready. As my dad (the second smartest person I know) used to say, “When opportunity knocks you can’t say ‘come back later.’”
Once you get lucky and find your job opportunities, what do you do?
When I was writing All About Them I asked Mark Levit this question. Mark was a successful advertising agency owner in New York until he traded the subway for sunshine and moved to South Florida. Today Mark teaches advertising and marketing and works with hundreds of students.
Mark believes the only statements worth making promise prospective employers that you will save them time, effort, or money or that you will make them money.
Everything else, he says, is superfluous. “The person reading the résumé doesn’t look at a student’s job search the way the student does. They’re scanning the document for key words signaling the applicant understands why they’re being hired and what’s expected of them. If they find that, then they’ll go on to look at the applicant’s specific qualifications. If they don’t find it in the application, the résumé goes directly to the circular file.”
What job seekers don’t realize is that a résumé is the wrong place to be yourself. Instead, it’s the opportunity to be what the employer wants you to be. I’m not suggesting that students should lie or even exaggerate—remember in today’s world, confirmation of a job prospect’s former employment and education is only a mouse click away. What students need to do is look at their job search materials less as an opportunity to tell the world who they are and more as the chance to tell a potential employer what they can do for them. Because that’s what gets kids hired.