This is Part 2 to my first blog post titled 'The Millennial Way – A Guide to Taking a Non-Linear Career Approach – Part 1', which is all about how fresh graduates, school leavers, people who have just been made redundant or those who are changing career path can achieve success in today's social climate.
Here are 3 extra tips that are non-industry specific and can be adopted by anyone to improve your career approach:
1. Get Social
We are the social media generation! It’s time to put your skills to use and spend less time on Instagram and more time on LinkedIn and industry-specific forums. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and I don’t just mean your job titles and employment dates. Recruiters and employers undoubtedly check out your LinkedIn profile so take advantage and use it to put your best foot forward and showcase your personality. Use an up to date professional photo and come up with a summary that is succinct, informative and doesn’t just tell people what you’re qualified to do, but why YOU are the best person to do it.
Grow your network and connect with people in your desired industry whose job you may want someday. Ask them to tell you how they got to where they are – they’ll often be flattered that you’ve reached out and offered some free advice.
Sometimes you won’t find the right job, but the right job might find you, and more often than not that will be through platforms like LinkedIn. Taking these steps is a sure-fire way to set yourself apart from others as a standout candidate.
2. Be a driver among drivers
It is so easy to get de-motivated. We all go through those waves where we decide to try a new diet or say we’re going to go to the gym every day that week or try to commit to anything from a new hobby to maintaining a decent sleep schedule and nothing ever sticks. So how do we make it stick? It’s easy to set goals but the hard part is following through and it comes down to an important factor – accountability.
It’s easy to give up on something that only you knew you were attempting in the first place.
Next time you set a goal, tell people about it. Write post-it’s on your wall or ask your best friend to check in with you each week and see how you’re tracking. You could even take it a step further and set a mutual goal with one or more people in your life so that there’s an even greater shared accountability.
In our office, almost all of us go to the gym. I definitely didn’t before I started working here but since joining, I haven’t missed a week of it. Why? Because everyone around me goes, often together, and we encourage each other to take a break from our desks and stop talking ourselves out of it.
At the end of the day, it’s easy to use reasons like money and time as excuses for not getting things done or being where you want to be. In reality, the only thing standing in your way is you. We all need an extra push sometimes to keep being our best selves, so set your eyes on the prize and then create a support team around you to keep you going when you need it.
3. Find the right balance for you
Prior to working in recruitment, all my efforts in resume writing and honing my skills did really work for me and landed me a fantastic opportunity within the music industry. It was a great entry-level role in the Australian music scene and a dream role for a grad, but I decided to turn it down. Am I crazy for walking away? To some people, probably. For me though, it was the right decision. The job required 12-hour workdays, the progression within the first 3-4 years was minimal, the stress was high, the margin for error was slim and the commute would have taken away any chance of a decent night’s sleep, regular exercise and time with my family. The long-term prospects were great and the driven part of me wanted it, but I knew that overloading myself would cause a lot of short-term issues, so I walked away.
My reason for sharing this story is to highlight the importance of finding a balance. Think about what is most important to you and what you are willing to compromise before taking on a full-time role. The beautiful thing about living in the world we’re in today is that ‘adulting’ doesn’t have to be boring and mundane and soul-sucking. Don’t be afraid to take your passion and steer it into a different direction towards a company or industry that is going to suit your lifestyle a little better; maybe one with better hours, culture, opportunities, wellness programs or even an on-site gym! You’re going to spend an average of 90,000 hours of your life at work, so try to keep this quote in mind and remember that the reasons for why you should love a job should not always be industry, title or financially specific.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. – Unknown
Take advantage of your social media skills to grow your industry-relevant network.
Use accountability as a tool to keep you driven.
Be hungry, open-minded and switched-on – but don’t overload yourself.
So start thinking laterally, take risks, go the non-linear route, hone your skills, always keep questioning and editing your documents, stay on the ball, be accountable, put your social media talents to good use and go and craft your dream career – the Millennial Way.