As a Millennial, you can count on the immense power of the internet to connect you with the right people at the right time in order to find a great job. You don’t even have to limit yourself to companies operating in your own country since you can collaborate remotely with international co-workers or simply decide to work from home.
At the same time, however, you’ve experienced the world’s economic crisis and global recession, which cut down the number of jobs and made generations of people just like you forever afraid of leaving college. In the eyes of employers, such ambivalence makes you associated with a variety of stereotypes commonly attached to the millennial workforce.
Namely, Millennials are often regarded as generations that lack the work ethic and are unable to carry out communications outside social media. Yet, they still constitute the greatest portion of the global workforce and actively contribute to the changing landscape of the job market once they decide to enter it.
Over the last few years, several studies examined whether Millennials are prepared for some serious professional undertakings. Among the most insightful ones, The PreparedU Project commissioned by Bentley University in January, 2014 explained how Millennials look for and handle job opportunities.
The study examined over 3,000 people in order to find out more about the Millenials’ profiles, expectations and overall opportunities in the job market. The results of the study point to several aspects that are still relevant for getting a perfect job. Although Millenials might still find it challenging to figure out what they want in life after college, perfect opportunities are waiting for them as long as they make themselves hireable according to the employers’ rules.
According to the PreparedU findings, the college degree is the first sign that a Millennial is ready to enter the workforce. 62% of business decision-makers are confident that the fact someone has graduated from college means they areable to handle professional tasks. Similarly, 74% of respondents believe that college education is enough for not only a successful start, but also a later career advancement.
Obviously, a college degree is seen as an essential resource for Millennials, but is it really enough?
With all the specificities of a modern workplace that keeps pushing for well-rounded candidates, simply choosing your field of study may not be enough for an excellent job. Instead, being savvy with technology and being able to wear multiple hats in a single organization may prove to be more valuable skills to your potential employers.
Recently, we discussed what recruiters wish to find out about you before making a hiring decision and some of the views presented here match those given in the PreparedU research. Among the skills that determine your hireability, recruiters are interested in your personality traits and communication skills, which prove you’d be able to communicate across teams and departments efficiently.
Similarly, the study suggests that business leaders tend to value soft skills over the hard ones. Namely, they see integrity, professionalism and positive attitude as some of the most valuable traits, while job-specific skills are frequently at the bottom of their list of relevant factors.
Now, this means that in addition to hard skills such as a suitable college degree and technical knowledge, Millennials also need to strengthen their soft skills in order to succeed. Most corporate recruiters and business decision-makers list the following five as the essential skills a candidate should possess:
Given the great percentage of those who believe that soft skills are critical to hiring a Millennial, it is evident that such a personal development might be the key for them to improve their job prospects.
Taking into account the dominant stereotypes related to the millennial workforce, there is an evident discrepancy between what companies expect and what Millennials have to give. While employers still doubt their ability of Millennials to handle serious jobs, the research suggests that a large portion of them does defy these conventions.
55% of Millennials say they are willing to “pay their dues,” while 45 percent of them doubts that the rest of their generations are willing to do so. Now, this is a huge difference compared to 75% of older generations that think Millennials are not willing to pay their dues, which evidently points to where all the stereotypes come from.
Finally, it could be said that Millennials have a great degree of prejudice to cope with in order to demonstrate their professional abilities. Like most other generations, they need to work on developing their skills according to the dominant demand and find ways to differentiate themselves from everybody else in the job market.
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