There is a tremendous amount of attention that has been given to the obstacles facing adults under 30 to create a stable career. And rightfully so. Student loan debt, a shaky global economy, lack of traditional opportunity, and an overwhelming set of career options is undeniably challenging. For this reason it’s understandable that so many are unaware of their strengths in the quest to find direction, build a fulfilling career, and live happily.
If you’re under 30, below are five advantages that you have right now over more experienced and established people who are also trying to establish or upgrade careers.
The World Has Changed For Older Generations Too
The world is an unprecedented era of change. Empires can crumble from using Twitter (e.g., Egypt) as a means to recruit and rally people for change. Many companies are operated solely using workers from different continents. You can speak face-to-face with somebody from the other side of the world that you’re meeting for the first time using your cell phone. A common thread with a majority of this change has come from technology advances that have leveled the playing field in many ways. Use this to your advantage. Generation Y is unique in that we have grown up with and are comfortable with many forms of technology — especially the Web and computers. We are also old enough to remember life before the tech boom. That’s a huge advantage. These days, every company uses technology in some way to operate. To get ahead, find a technological niche within your ideal profession. This is an area where you can add value to your employer (if you aren’t self-employed) and this time you have the experience edge — even among people who have been in your particular field longer.
Employers Lack Resources:
In today’s shaky global economy, many places of employment are seriously strapped for resources. I’m referring to qualified personnel, personnel in general, funding, money, access, etc. Basically there is the same or more amount of work to be completed with fewer resources. Use this problem for employers to your advantage. You can position yourself as somebody with the energy and commitment to be able to fill a void. All the meanwhile make the job work for you, even if it isn’t your ideal career. Your energy and ambition are assets and you shouldn’t diminish them because employers without resources covet those them.
You Don’t Need Permission:
We live in a unique time where tools are so abundant that you can create, promote, and distribute things all by yourself for cheap or even free if you choose to do so. If the traditional career route keeps telling you no (rejection), you can build a platform that displays your skills. Use this stage to gain a good reputation within your field and create your own opportunities. One of my favorite books, The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau, is a great resource if you’re interested. If you decide to follow the traditional career route, yes, you’ll have to answer to a boss. But, you don’t need your boss’ approval to continue creating opportunities on your own — both inside and outside of your employer.
You’re young enough to recover and more importantly learn from the Great Recession. We’ve all seen people who have worked at companies for 20 or 30 years only to be laid off during difficult times. The lesson isn’t that loyalty is bad. The lesson is in the 21st century you *must* have a side-hustle to survive. A side-gig helps lesson the pressure that comes from relying on your source of income for only one place and it expands your likelihood of discovering new opportunities. The other lesson is that few people are not expendable. In the past, people willingly worked in careers they didn’t enjoy for the benefit of security. But the Great Recession removed the illusion of security so you’re better off pursuing a career that truly interests you. Understood correctly, you’re more free — and most people are not free.
Expectations For You Are Lower:
We’ve all read or heard the numerous complaints directed at Generation Y is entitled, lazy, spoiled, etc. Whether you believe these barbs are accurate or not (it’s not) the bar has been set lower. So wherever career or life you’re trying to establish, doing the little things like actively listening, asking great questions, always being prepared, taking the lead, etc., can gain you respect and recognition much more quickly than if you were a senior-level professional — because for you, that behavior isn’t expected. Take advantage of the low bar people have set for Generation Y and surpass it to establish your own high-standard and you’ll stand out.
Reggie Hall Jr. leads the project FreshWisdom. FreshWisdom is a resource for Generation Y to find advice, information, and mentors from successful people who have found their direction and live happily. Visit freshwisdomonline.com or follow @FreshWisdomLive.
Category: Edu & Growth