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The work place and the next generation—what's a Millennial to do?

For most, entering the working world is something you look forward to. When you are able to achieve independence by doing things such as buying a home, purchasing one's own items, and even having time to make a difference in the world would signify the stage of life known as adulthood.
For many Millennials, the current state of the economy has made such a level of freedom difficult, if not completely impossible. The reason that many Generation Y adults are living at home with mom and dad is due to the fact that unemployment or under-employment, along with the minimum wage jobs they have taken due to lack of options, do not provide wages sufficient enough to make renting a decent apartment or putting a down payment on a home possible. This makes future hopes such as marriage, starting families, and other potential scenarios a remote reality. The work place and the next generation could paint a scary picture.

Labels for different generations are nothing new. Many people considered Baby Boomers "selfish" or "greedy." Generation X-er's were looked upon as "slackers" or "self-absorbed." Millennials, or Generation Y, are no exception to the rule. They have been characterized by society as "entitled" or "narcissistic." So does that mean if you were born within a certain timeframe that you are sure to carry these characteristics, doomed forever by a potential employers labeling habit? Not necessarily. What it does mean is that careful consideration needs to be given not only to the career path that you choose, but also the needs of the workforce upon attaining the required certification toward that particular line of work.

With careers such as postal worker, telemarketer, and communications operators on a fast decline, due largely to evolving technology, how can a Millennial (or anyone for that matter) choose a solid career that will be looking to hire employees?

First, do some research on what employers are looking for in your geographical area (or one where you would like to live — and could feasibly do so). Many jobs can also be completed from a remote location or home office. Be sure that this is an option in some cases, especially if that is something that you are banking on as being part of your decision.

Next, choose a school that offers programs with a high placement rate upon graduation. Schools such as Western Dakota Tech offer a placement report for you to review, where you can see not only placement, but average wages in different fields. Knowing this information in advance offers security in your decision, and is an ace up your sleeve in planning for the future.

While it may not seem important before starting school, remember the other details that will help you to be placed in a career that you work hard to get ready for. The Career Services Office at WDT offers other services that can help you be successful by assisting you with resume and job interviewing skills, posting of career opportunities, hosting of on-campus job fairs, and career guidance.

Don't get bogged down by the generational label that you may carry. Take steps toward a solid and rewarding future that will allow you to wear the label of 'adulthood' proudly.

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