Advance Your Career as a Millennial
A fantastic, rewarding career isn’t just going to drop into your lap. You’ve heard it before: success is a result of hard, back-breaking work. This is true, but if we had to offer a single piece of advice to millennials, it’d be this: keep an open mind.And on that note…
…here are 17 ways to land a stellar career, or boost the one you already possess!
1. Dream it; Do it.
It’s ok to set big goals. It’s ok to pursue big names. Think of your career as an investment in your life. The only way to get where you want to go….is to go there.
- First, perform a self-assessment. What are your skills and abilities? Be honest with yourself, but don’t be afraid to push yourself.
- Believe in what you can accomplish.
2. Network, network, network.
Networking is about building relationships and a reputation. If you go about this with a self-serving attitude, people will take note, to your detriment. Be genuine and sincere. Leave your personal agenda at the door. You’ll find more examples of how networking can advance your career as you read on. Check out some of these networking tips (even if you hate networking!)
- Start networking before a specific need arises.
- At networking events, have a plan on what to talk about.
- What are your goals?
- What skill sets do you possess?
- How can you help others?
- How can others help you?
- Never dismiss anyone as unimportant. Everyone has a role to play, even if they are a janitor or clerk.
3. Talk to influential professionals.
Successful people can aid you enormously with career advancement. Their job is to take you under their wing and share with you their experience and lessons. Always respect their time and express your gratitude for the lessons they share.
Here’s how: Networking is an excellent way to find a mentor.
- Ask friends and family, or inquire with professional organizations. You certainly do not have to limit yourself to one mentor.
- Establish boundaries and expectations that work for both of you.
4. Consider an internship.
Internships let you explore your career before you commit. It’s a vital tool to make the transition, and provides you with skills and experience that may help you land the real job. An internship also lets you get a foot in the door in your industry, and some offer college credit, in addition.
Here’s how: By now you should have realized how important networking is to your career. What’s an excellent way to find a worthwhile internship? Networking. There may also be positions posted on job sites or at your college.
5. Shadow a professional.
Shadowing can give you an inside peek at a career choice you are considering. Some professionals will let you shadow for a day, others may invite you for a week or more. Be observant and ask questions when appropriate during your time as a shadow. Here’s how:I bet you know what’s next!
- Ask friends, family, and co-workers for names of individuals who may be okay with you shadowing them for a short time.
- Always be respectful of their time and thank them for allowing you to tag along.
Volunteering is not only a great way to boost your resume, but can help you gain valuable experience in a low-pressure setting. Your supervisor could end up being a reference for a possible job.Volunteering benefits you and your career in a multitude of ways.
- Network! Networking is a good place to start to find companies who are in need of volunteers.
- Check your local newspaper or professional organizations for opportunities as well.
- Volunteering can also help you expand your network and develop new skills.
7. Try online training courses.
Online courses can really give you a boost as far as career advancement goes. Companies such as Simplilearn offer online certification courses in multiple industries.
- To get some perspective, first look at the career trajectories of professionals whom you wish to emulate and take note of the kind of skills and certifications they possess (LinkedIn is useful here!)
- Then, via Simplilearn, you can narrow your focus to the industry you want to advance your career in.
- Dive deeper to see what certifications are available within Business and Technology, such as: PMP, Finance Management, Sales and Marketing, or IT Hardware and Networking, IT Service and Architecture, and Web App and Programming, among many others.
8. Make your resume stand out.
Managers are often overloaded with resumes when looking to hire. Often, they merely glance at a resume before making a quick decision. Your resume needs to make an impact, and it needs to do so within a few seconds.
- Include everything you’ve done that proves you’re suitable for a job. If you’ve done any of tips 4-7, be sure to make mention of them!
- Use industry buzzwords, but don’t over-saturate.
- Use a modern format that is clean and easy to read. Do not use anything frilly or odd looking.
- Make sure it’s only 1 page.
- Make sure your resume is error-free.
- Ask family or friends to proofread it, if need be.
9. Design the CV
Once you have the right words to make your CV or resume stand out … how about taking a trendy route and giving your CV a visual boost? Check out this article on Forbes for some examples.
- Pick a theme. Modern? Old time? Abstract?
- Make a sketch.
- Use a design program such as Adobe InDesign or Adobe Photoshop to make your CV come to life.
10. Have a professional web presence.
How you present yourself on the internet is critical to your professional career. The next three points will cover this.
10a. LinkedIn shows you’re serious.
You’re going to want to sign up for an account on LinkedIn. Here’s how:
- Take some advice from a fellow millennial on how to use LinkedIn.
- Follow Tips for the Perfect LinkedIn Profile
- Use it! Don’t let such an important career tool stagnate. How often do you use other social media? Transfer some of that energy to LinkedIn.
10b. Build a website.
You can refer potential companies to your website through your resume or via social media outlets. A website is a great way to display your portfolio resume. You can include additional files and photos, but keep it professional.
- Choose a domain name and web-host. Try sites such as AccuWeb Hosting or another domain hosting service. You may end up paying a small fee, or some sites will host your website for free.
- Include a simple, professional design free of errors.
- Your website doesn’t need to be fancy. In fact, keep it clean, simple, and polished.
- Test your website before you launch.
10c. Facebook: A reflection of who you are
When you are job hunting, clean up your Facebook page. Delete or make private any photos or posts that may be inappropriate. Keep in mind that many employers will look at your Facebook page. It is a reflection of who you are.
- Adjust Facebook privacy settings. Facebook privacy settings are easy to navigate. You can make specific posts and photos private, or visible only to certain friends.
11. Hire a career coach.
A career coach can give you direction, advice, and help with planning. The best time to use a career coach is before you need one. Check out this article on the Wall Street Journal on more on how to hire a coach.
- Determine WHY you need a career coach.
- Seek out specialists in the field you are aiming for.
- Interview multiple coaches to see who will be a good fit. Make sure to ask what they charge, and what services they provide.
12. Be grateful. Drop the sense of entitlement.
Some older generations believe millennials have a sense of entitlement. Prove them wrong.
Here’s how: No task should be too small or beneath you.
- Show humility, and you will find that you can work your way up quickly.
- Never expect things to be handed to you.
13. Give thanks for criticism.
You will eventually get some criticism coming your way at your new job. Be humble about mistakes and take steps to make sure they don’t happen again.
- Analyze why and how the mistake happened.
- Put steps into place to keep it from happening again.
- Say something along the lines of “thanks for catching that!” to the person who caught your mistake.
- Don’t get defensive, learn how to handle mistakes.
14. Tactful salary negotiations.
Negotiations can be scary, but you should get the pay you deserve. Be willing to walk away if the number is too low. Research tips and advice on how to negotiate your salary.
- Check out the job you are applying to and find out what it typically pays. Sites such as Salary.com usually come pretty close to being accurate.
- Pick the top of the range so that you have some wiggle room to negotiate with your employer. Always throw out a specific number.
- Walk in with confidence to your meeting with your employer, but don’t be pushy.
- Put your number out first.
- Always remain professional. If there is no wiggle room with salary, perhaps try to negotiate flex days or vacation time.
15. Never stop learning.
There is always room to improve! Find ways to make your life easier and gain more success. At any time during your career, whether you’re just starting out or are already in the workforce, there are tons of resources at your disposal. You can do your research to find salary data, job hunting tips, planning tools, and advice for after you’ve got a job. The Internet is, of course, an obvious choice, but don’t neglect real people in the field, retirees and other millennials who are searching for jobs or already have jobs.
Get Certified; Get Ahead.
Simplilearn helps professionals across the globe realize their dream careers. Our online courses come with a 100% money-back guarantee. We have a pass rate of more than 95%. Our content is upgraded every few months so you can trust that our courses are timely and relevant.
We train more than 5,000 professionals each month and offer more than 300 certification courses to choose from. We offer classroom workshops in addition to our online classes.
Contact us for more information. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
Or call us at 844-532-7688 to take charge of your career and start your path to success.
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