Top List of Career Advice for Millennials from Top Notch Leaders

 

 

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(Source)

What do I need to do to get ahead?

What risks are worth taking?

What… to do for my career?

 

As a young millennial myself, I face these questions on a daily basis. I know I’m not alone. There are many questions that keep us up at night. We often torture ourselves with the ‘what ifs’. While we churn through the overwhelming sea of tips and advice online, we become paralysed with what to choose.

The leaders and entrepreneurs were the ‘millennials’ of their generations. They succeeded and failed, facing the very same questions that haunt and torment our nights. Cupping both ears to heed their insight is something that will shed light on many of the problems and concerns we face.

 

Below are what they have to say.

Dan Schawbel is a career expert and founder of Millennial Branding. Below is his advice to millennials trying to get on track with their careers. (HubSpot)

 

Experiencing as much as you can

Start early. The more you experience and try new things, the earlier you will figure out what you like and dislike. He managed to develop his own websites during middle school and crammed in 8 internships between high school and college. That’s not considering his side business.

What he suggests is three main areas to focus on:

1. Experience as much as you can, the earlier, the better. Getting over our fear of the unknown will give you confidence in accepting and adapting to new difficulties and challenges.

It will let you come closer to what you are suited to or want to become. Often, jobs don’t match qualifications. You are the ones that match your ideals and visions with what career path you choose. Finding out is the problem.

2. Build an online presence. Building websites and profiles of his work and showcasing his skills and experiences were what helped create opportunities for Schawbel, in his words.

Personal branding and content marketing: This is relevant for the millennials of today. The opportunities available online are vast. What you post online and who finds and sees it “can make or break your career”.

The key here is consistency: Shawel notes the instant gratification seeking tendency of millennials. In the interview with HubSpot, he points to HubSpot as a prime example. Hubspot posts new content every day and has made massive gains and created awesome opportunities. People that stick to it for the long run will gain the recognition and be able to leverage their online presence.

Me: This resonated with my own efforts and findings. Everything I found online from leaders and experts was on similar lines of thought.

 

Personal branding: Setting yourself as an expert in your field by creating content is the best way to create opportunities for yourself. If you want to leverage anything for your career, showcasing what you know is critical. Why?

  • Creating insightful content geared towards your specific industry and audience will gain interest in who you are, in your ‘personal brand’. You will be seen as an expert, and the content you create will give you status equal to that of an expert. Companies and professionals alike will be keen on offering you jobs and referring you to fantastic opportunities.
  • And it has to be online, and it has to be consistent. Much like an organisation, having no content strategy supporting that company’s brand means the company doesn’t exist. Consistency is about growing awareness and respect of your brand, by consistently creating insightful content that benefits your viewers.

 

3. Having a side project. For Schawbel, he focused his efforts on his websites and various business interests. For myself, this blog is my ‘side project’.

Also, he mentions that creating case studies of your work experience. Measuring the outcomes, and keeping records of work projects and side projects will give your resume and online profiles valuable substance. Recruiters and employers are looking for how you impacted an organisation’s objectives. Did you lower costs by creating a more efficient system?

My case study: I can use my blog to showcase my content marketing findings. Measuring metadata, i.e. the comments and traffic I get on my site, I could promote my online digital marketing skill set. It would leverage opportunities for companies in need of a digital marketing specialist.

You: What case studies do you have to market yourself? Go through your company accounts and your previous projects, and start to measure and record a story. A story of how you overcame obstacles and impacted your organisation’s bottom line positively.

If you still aren’t convinced, Schawbel slaps in some reality. Side projects can lead to freelancing, or become a path to freelancing. You can get laid off at a moment’s notice. Your company can declare bankruptcy, or become merged. Cost cuts can make your job disappear, or your role may simply become obsolete. Your side project then can become:

  • A source of income, if you are freelancing. Besides, it will give you some breathing space to search for other options.
  • Or lead to opportunities if you were giving your activities some limelight online. Leveraging your skills and side projects could well lead to a new job offer.

 

In Closing: Hit 3 all on the head

It’s a lot to take in at first. Here is an excellent way to combine these activities:
If you don’t have a side project or something to present as a case study online, start now. You will be doing 3 core things:

  1. Doing something new. Whether it be finally letting your creative writer or image curator persona free or creating logs of your projects at work, you will be doing something new. These experiences will open up new avenues of thought, in what works for you.
  2. Showcasing your efforts online will start the path of being noticed. With consistency, and measuring what works and doesn’t, you will be able to leverage your skills to get recognition. This will open doors to opportunities that can’t be found anywhere else. The online world is vast, and can be accessed by anyone searching up your particular skills and projects.
  3. Your side project and case studies will become a safety net. If you find yourself stranded, focus your efforts on leveraging your online content and presence to a new level. Freelancing and opportunities will arise and set you on a new path.

 

As you can see, you can utilise techniques and tried ways to benefit yourself and gain multiple skillsets and experiences along the way.

It is a great investment of your time and life. But only those that work smart and put in the hard yards will have something of worth to jumpstart their career.

 

What do you think? What side projects or activities are you doing to make your mark?

Please share your stories and experiences in the comments below.

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