by Dixie Somer
Millennials are facing challenges from all sides in the modern job market. On the upside, they are considered cheaper and more tech savvy than their Generation X predecessors. However, full time job are getting harder to find. Also, Generation Z is quickly coming up behind them with just as much tech savvy and a better understanding of the gig economy. With these challenges in mind, here are the best career planning tips for millennials.
Learn the Gig Economy
The modern economy is all about the independent contractor. Millennials must learn to form their own LLCs and work as partners instead of employees. As a millennial, you must learn to take care of your own health insurance and leave money saved in a separate account to pay taxes. Speaking of taxes, getting into the habit of paying quarterly estimates will save on fees.
The gig economy is also about efficiency. You are no longer paid on the number of hours that you work, but for the work that you actually accomplish. This should serve as a huge incentive. If you are fast, you can take more clients and earn more in the same period. There is virtually no limit on the amount that you can earn in the gig economy.
Learn How to Advertise Yourself
Over 70% of people get their jobs through word of mouth. This does not mean the traditional resume/interview path is dead—it just means that it is definitely less fruitful than it used to be. Focus on getting connections. You may have to join an adult education program and work an internship through it. You can also earn a great deal of respect by initiating small projects within your industry. Even if you do not get paid for them, they serve as an undeniable example of your skill set.
Plan to Move
Even if you are lucky enough to get a full time job, you should never rest on your laurels. Experts say that millennials will change careers a total of seven times during a working lifetime. This is actually a great opportunity although it may seem scary and insecure. Each of those changes gives you the ability to negotiate up in your salary based on superior performance and more experience. However, you need to keep your resume up to date and your skill set sharp. There is no such thing as an off day. When you are not working at your day job, you are investing in your future skill set.
Multiple Streams of Income
The days of a single specialization are gone. If you have many interests, then you can have many jobs. Having more than one stream of income is a necessity for nearly every household nowadays. Additionally, the skill set that you cultivate at work should be able to help you in your “side gigs” as well. For instance, if you are a bank account manager, why not take the knowledge you gain from creating client spreadsheets to help organize your own weekend business? Cultivate multiple streams of income by combining your skill sets and monetizing everything that you do. Going to a Salt Lake City college for a specific degree takes on a whole new difference with this in mind. You must make yourself marketable in more ways than one.
Career Planning Requires Patience
No one said that creating a life for yourself in this highly competitive world was going to be easy. However, you have more opportunity than virtually any generation before you. Before you begin lamenting the fact that your life does not look like that of your parents, start using the new technology and processes you have to your advantage. With these tools at your side, you should be able to work your way into much more than a job—you will have a career that you can count on.