There is a generalized fear that the educated millennial generation has been fed a falsehood leading to feelings of failure and depression. This falsehood relates back to the American Dream of following the rules. We were generally obedient kids, went to college, graduated with x amount of debt, and realized once we “grew up” that just because you have all the credentials and degrees to be a teacher (hand sheepishly raised) no such career was forthcoming.
Without getting into specific details, I was not able to relocate and there were no openings within an hour-and-a-half commute. So, as a recent graduate at the top of her class, I did the intelligent thing. I sulked. I complained. I was bitter, angry, and embarrassed. All because I did not have a job in my field. A descriptor that I felt would denote my worth in society.
But, all that aside, I am here to tell you how to become a valuable desired resource as only you can be.
Step 1. Be a millennial. You know what drives you and makes you tick. What you eat, read, enjoy, but most importantly, what you spend your money on, is something the business economy is very interested in. That fact, and that fact alone, makes you very valuable to companies that are so desperately attempting to woo the elusive millennial shopper.
Step 2. Find a job in an area you spend money in. Think of it this way; if you don’t pay for x, you won’t get paid to do x. The previous statement is not always true, but we are keeping the premise simple for the time being. Ever spend money at Walmart? Awesome, despite your pride and misgivings, we’re applying to Walmart (side note; I do work for a retailer, but it is not Walmart).
Step 3. Start small. You dream of being a marketing director leading a team of talented individuals towards a common goal. Great. Now to get there, apply for a part time cashier position. Again, this post is primarily for the educated unemployed or underemployed.
Step 4. You are now a cashier at Walmart. Bust. Your. Tail. Take on additional responsibilities, extra shifts, mirror your bosses even if you cry inside looking at the life they lead. And above all, do not act superior to anyone. You are just a cashier, remember?
Step 5. If after six months they haven’t offered yet, ask how to get into a management training program. The best part about large businesses versus a start up is they typically all have standardized models of hierarchy with training programs. You are the perfect candidate. Hard working, educated, target shopper demographic, welcome to management!
Step 6. Promote yourself into the pay you want. You might dislike your job, but now you have money and vacation time to follow your passion outside of work. Pay off your debts, get your 401k going, purchase a new laptop to write the next American novel. Life is pretty good, if only you liked your job…
Step 7. Bring passion to work. You have stayed the course, you have a comfortable job that pays you well, and as a big fish in a small pond you stand out from your peers. Now, apply for an internal junior position in the marketing department. You’ve proven yourself and as an internal, they are much more likely to take a chance on you when before you were a throwaway resume. You have experience in the field, great references, education, perfect candidate!
Now it is time to reap the fruits of your labor. You make less in this position, but you are doing what you love. With your hard work and dedication, despite the windy path you took to get there, you now have your dream job.