Career Confusion is the kiss of death for tomorrow’s leaders: 10 career-launching tips for Millennials

By Nicole Raphael, MA

I’m exceedingly proud to be a part of the “hope & change” wave that’s washing over American Business.  In the decades to come, Millennial leaders will grapple with global warming, political reform, economic overhaul, and overpopulation in new and innovate ways.   The good news is that there has never been a generation more prepared to take on all of these momentous challenges; however, with the stakes so high, I’m seeing more and more of my peers being overwhelmed to the point of paralysis about the career choices that they must make.

Here are 10 tips for overcoming career confusion and indecision for the “change & hope generation”:

1)    Set Goals.  Goal setting works. Period.  When you set any type of goal you have a higher likelihood of reaching it.   Even if you feel like you’re circling the block somehow, in time, you will arrive at the correct location.

2)    Commit – Commit to a direction or a path, but correct your trajectory if you stray too far away from your ultimate goals.

3)    Beware of the “further education trap”.  In this challenging economy, it can be tempting to pursue advanced degrees rather than to face job-hunting in a depressed economy.  However, according to job placement firm Adecco about 60% of recent graduates have not been able to find a full-time job in their chosen profession.   The lesson here is that additional training, certification courses, and advanced degrees are important, but they do not guarantee gainful employment.

4)    Cast a wider net.  You never know where an opportunity will lead you, so don’t hold out for the perfect position.   Be flexible with regards to the route you take to reach your goals.

5)    Use your network. When you’re just starting out, your network is everyone that you know.  You can also employ the LinkedIn definition of a Network which expands your contacts exponentially, to not just your connections, but also to your contacts network.

6)    Find a Mirror.  Does anyone know you better than you know yourself?  Trusted confidants are often good mirrors in which we can rely on to see ourselves clearly when our internal compass is offset.

7)    Put things into perspective.  Don’t panic if you haven’t found your dream job. According to an Intrepid study, the average millennial will hold 7 jobs by the time they are 26 (click her for other key millennial statistics).

8)    Volunteer.  Yes, you need greenbacks RIGHT NOW.  So work part-time for pay and volunteer doing something that you love to do just to get your foot in the

  1. Not only is volunteering a valuable service to our society, the experience you gain can help you land your dream job.

9)    The X factor.  No one really knows how things will turn out, so let go of the false belief that you can have complete control over your future.  My career has taken many unexpected twists and turns.   For some time, I was concerned about the meandering path of my career, but it’s all a matter of perception.  So, I changed mine.  Now I see my tapestry of wide-ranging positions and job duties as a wealth of valuable experiences.

10) Be bold.   I’m a great fan of Norman Vincent Peale, the great champion of bold action.  His message: If you think you can do something – set the wheels in motion.  There is great power in action!

The multitude of career choices that Millennials have, in real terms, translate into a million ways to make a real and lasting change in the world.  Future generations will judge us by the decisions we make today, so now more than ever, we have to make smart choices about the type of professionals that our planet needs.   We have time to get this right, but we do have to choose.

Nicole Raphael, MA, is a Senior Career Strategist with Heckers Development Group, LTD. She brings many years of personal branding and marketing experience. Reach Nicole Raphael at 303.480.5484 or email her at nraphael@heckersdev.com

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