Oct 4th, 2019, 12:05 PM

Millennials Career Patterns

By Maximiliana Wynne
Quay of the Seine/ Image Credit: Maximiliana Wynne
What now? & Where do we go from here? The daunting questions that leave many millennials frazzled about their future career paths.

Life is complicated. It is misleading, unpredictable, and, thus, always changing. As university students, we are perpetually asked the daunting question, “what is your plan after graduation?” While some have the unequivocal answer, others do not. This article is not about how to find your calling in life. Instead, this article is about millennials’ predicted career patterns and studies that suggest why we do not need to have the answer to such questions. 

For as long as we can remember, having a career meant finding a job and sticking with it until retirement. However, times are changing, and this is no longer the norm. Millennials should embrace job-hopping as it is merely a stepping stone to finding their niche. 

They say your ‘true’ self is a reflection of the things you choose to do in your spare time. For instance, you are the books you read, you are the shows you watch, you are the people you spend time with, you are what you eat, you are what you study, and the list goes on. But who is to say that we are everything we allow to occupy our minds? Rather, I would assert that we are precisely what we are not. 

This brings us back to the title, what now? And where do we go from here? 

Unfortunately, I do not have the answer to this question. However, I can offer some well researched emotional support. Many of my mentors have instilled in me the common phrase,

“You do not necessarily know what you like until you have tried it.”

That being said, try everything and fear nothing, not even failure. While many of us fear failure, failure is simply a learning curve and should be internalized as exactly that. 

Recent studies indicate that the average millennial will change professions several times in their life. Is it because we are insatiable? Is it because we get bored easily? Or is it because we want more for ourselves? 

In a CNBC article titled, “58% of young workers plan to change jobs this year to get more of this--and it's not compensation,” Michelle Fox, a digital and television journalist, states that millennials are more likely to change jobs because they are in search for learning and growth opportunities as well as finding a work-life balance. The article claims that individuals are seeking the “right company or role.” What constitutes as “the right company or role” are things like culture, environment, values, and employee experience. 

According to a Forbes article published in 2017 titled, “Millennials Aren’t Afraid to Change Jobs, and Here’s Why,” digital marketing specialist, Sarah Landrum, says that millennials should not apologize for their job-hopping tendencies. 

A survey conducted by CareerBuilder indicated, “employers expect 45% of their newly hired college grads would remain with the company for under two years, and the study showed that by age 35, about 25% of young employees would have worked five jobs.” This is because both millennials and employers are aware that they are hiring individuals who would prefer to switch jobs if it meant being stuck in an unmotivating situation that is not beneficial for neither them nor their employers. Ultimately, as Millennials, we have the opportunity of choosing a career as opposed to having a career choose us. 

Additionally, Landrum offers three reasons to remain an unapologetic job hunting millennial. First, job hunting allows millennials to have autonomy when choosing a career path that best suits their respective skillset. Second, she states that because new graduates have more flexibility at the start of their careers, “employers hiring millennials are more likely to make relocation packages available for a move to a new city, and millennials are eager to explore new places in affordable transitions.” Last, a millennial will job hunt until they have found a company whose mission aligns with their values to secure a position in the long haul with a company they culturally identify with. 

Nevertheless, do not be discouraged, a 2018 PEW study indicated that despite millennials' job hunting tendencies, they remain the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. Since then, the millennial labor force has only continued to grow.

That being said, get out there, explore your career options, and do not give up until you have found one that you are undeniably happy with.