Important Career Lessons for Millennials

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Gen Y a.k.a. millennials are changing the job market. Millennials have a fearless approach to not settling for mediocracy. They want to build their own dreams and love what they do. With or without a clear path, they maneuver their way towards their goals. There are lessons to be learned by this generation a.k.a. your generation:

Expect to switch careers. The embrace of a multicareer work life is perhaps the most striking difference between Gen Y and older folks.

Author Neil Howe, who coined the term “millennials,” says that this is a function of neither their age nor their appetite for risk, which Howe believes is less than you might think.

Rather, he says, it’s because the seismic economic shifts that were occurring just as this group entered the workforce changed the rules.

As Dev Aujla, who wrote “Making Good: Finding Meaning, Money, and Community in a Changing World” and is a millennial himself, puts it, “The steady straight line that meant stability for previous generations isn’t guaranteed.”

You’ll need more training. This is the most educated bunch in history, and they expect they’ll require more in the future.

Howe says millennials understand the economy handed them lemons, so they’re developing skills to make career lemonade. “Credentialed training is very important,” Howe says, “partly because it is portable but also because it gives legitimacy within their organization.”

Focus on the experience, not the job itself. Many of your newest colleagues don’t expect to stick around long enough to climb the “ladder” we so cherish.

A millennial co-worker told me she thought “it might be interesting to work in TV for a couple of years.” Not that I ever felt that way, but if I had, I wouldn’t have said so for fear of limiting my chances to advance.

Don’t be an Eeyore. Millennials are optimistic and prefer to work for companies that articulate a mission to serve society.

Those who graduated from college are keenly aware they paid a lot for an education that doesn’t guarantee them a lucrative job. Ultimately, though, says Howe, they believe they will find what they’re looking for.

Consult your elders. Millennials like, lean on, and trust their parents. A lot. Brig. Gen. Lori Reynolds, who handles Marine recruiting, showed me a new poster that targets parents, not their children.

Embrace change, keep learning, be willing to start over, and find what you really want to do. Not bad career advice, especially from those who are so young.

And don’t forget, spend time with your parents. They still have lessons for you too.

(via CNN Money)