It’s Not All Fun and Selfies for Millennials in the Job Market

Photo (cc) by @lattefarsan

A new generation of tech-wielding, social-media-savvy millennials is rising in workplaces around the globe, but some are having trouble navigating the job market.

This is a well-educated generation, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but many of its members are saddled with college debt and were delayed by the Great Recession in leaving home and pursuing careers.

“Older millennials in particular have experienced a very difficult job market and, unlike previous generations, their workplace is less structured and their career roadmap is less defined,” said Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of FlexJobs, a subscription-based online service for hand-screened telecommuting and flexible jobs.

With these specific issues in mind, FlexJobs recently launched 100 Days on Jobs for Millennials, which includes job-seeking tips and strategies in the form of expert articles, videos, webinars, question-and-answer columns and success stories directed mainly at older millennials on its free Millennials & Gen Y Jobs blog.

Born between 1980 and 1995, millennials make up the largest portion of the U.S. workforce, 35 percent. They are followed by baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1963, who now make up 30 percent; Generation X, born between 1964 and 1979, 18 percent; and so-called traditionalists, born before 1946, at 17 percent.

In a breakdown of millennials by age, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there are 4.5 million 16-to-19-year-olds, 13.6 million 20-to-24-year-olds and 31.2 million 25-to-34-year-olds employed. Unemployment runs above 10 percent for younger millennials and just more than 5 percent for its older members.

“As an elder member of the millennial generation myself, I can attest to the differences in starting, managing and developing a career over the last decade,” wrote Brie Weiler Reynolds, FlexJobs online content director. “Members of this portion of the millennial generation went through a major recession during the exact years we were supposed to be growing our brand-new careers. Many of us do jobs that didn’t exist when we graduated from college. And we’re all basically learning how to develop our careers (and what a career even means today) on the fly, because the rules aren’t just changing – it’s almost as though there are no career rules anymore.”

They also have to put up with managers who doubt their work ethic and buy into negative stereotypes about millennials as entitled creatures consumed by social media. If you’re wondering what that stereotype looks like, check out a recent “Saturday Night Live” skit featuring Miley Cyrus, Kate McKinnon and others constantly texting and taking selfies at the office. In a promotion for the fictional Fox TV show “The Millennials,” a worker portrayed by McKinnon demands a promotion.

“I deserve it,” says McKinnon’s character. When asked how long she’d been at the company, she responds enthusiastically, “Three full days.”

Her elder managers coped with the younger workers’ antics as if they agreed with the way real-life managers responded in a survey reported by Careeerbuilder.com about perceived weaknesses of millennial workers.

  • 54 percent feel millennials lack the ability to receive criticism.
  • 51 percent perceive millennials as impatient with established processes.
  • 35 percent perceive millennials as ineffective communicators.

More than 500 millennial-age respondents to a recent FlexJobs survey provided insights from their point of view, some countering the managers’ perceptions:

  • Top reasons to work: Pay for basic necessities, 83 percent; pay for luxury items, 55 percent; enjoy working, 53 percent; passionate about career success, 50 percent; have a professional impact in the world, 46 percent.
  • Top reasons to seek telecommuting and flexible job opportunities: Work-life balance, 84 percent; family, 67 percent; time savings, 60 percent; cost savings, 49 percent; and commute stress, 48 percent.
  • Most sought-after type of flexible work: Telecommuting all the time, 85 percent; alternative or flexible schedule, 54 percent; telecommuting some of the time, 50 percent; part-time schedule, 47 percent; and freelance/contract, 39 percent.
  • Top social media channels used in job searches: LinkedIn, 65 percent; Facebook, 28 percent; Twitter, 13 percent.

Although millennials are seen as job-hoppers, they really are no different than earlier generations at their age, reports The Washington Post. Since the Great Recession ended, millennials have been hanging onto jobs for just more than three years, on average. CareerBuilders says nearly 8 in 10 millennials expect to have five or fewer jobs throughout their careers.

The top five industries for millennials jobs, says FlexJobs, are retail and wholesale, health care, professional and business, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing.

Among tips posted on the FlexJobs site:

  • Establish a personal brand as a dependable person.
  • Know your strengths so you can strategically target opportunities.
  • Invest in your career and yourself with certifications and other education needed for the career that interests you.

What ideas do you have for millennial job seekers? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
7 Surprising Ways Retirees Waste Their Savings
7 Surprising Ways Retirees Waste Their Savings

You can make your retirement money last a lot longer by avoiding these costly mistakes

7 Free Tools for Saving More Money at Amazon
7 Free Tools for Saving More Money at Amazon

Use these websites and other tools to save money — or earn extra cash — when shopping at Amazon.

10 Common Expenses That Have Skyrocketed for Seniors
10 Common Expenses That Have Skyrocketed for Seniors

Retirees must stretch their dollars further and further these days — no thanks to these costs.

8 Ways to Snag Extra Savings at Walmart
8 Ways to Snag Extra Savings at Walmart

Are you aware of all these ways to boost your savings in Walmart stores and at Walmart.com?

Why Is My Pension Killing My Social Security Benefit?
Why Is My Pension Killing My Social Security Benefit?

A reader says the government is penalizing him for having a pension. Is he right?

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk
Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk

A new study finds that wearing a cloth mask can backfire if you don’t clean it properly.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car
This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car

Looking for a good deal on a set of wheels? This should be your first stop.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.