5 Skills Every Millennial Will Need To "Make It"
Hard work, dedication, and a positive attitude may not cut it anymore. From one confused millennial to another, here's what you'll need to get through the next 10 years.
1. Self Assurance and Self Promotion
Whether you choose to accept it or not, you are your own brand (see #3). Because most of us plunge our way into the working world by creating our own opportunities, we essentially are learning how to sell ourselves as a product. Authenticity is valued in products, markets, and even celebrity culture now. People want to know you, your identity, and your ideas. They want to know that you, as a person, can also be consumed. Yikes.
The good news is, we young folks have been doing this for years. Instagram and Twitter have provoked this sense of self-exploitation to the point of social worship. Unless you're one of the few that has given up social media entirely, chances are, you already have a "brand," even if you're not aware of it.
2. Coding and/or Web Design Experience
The other day a friend and I were hypothesizing what the effects of a theoretical attack on the world wide web might catalyze. Essentially we concluded that every single person would lose their jobs. Could you imagine the state of our country if the the internet just stopped working completely? Extreme chaos.
While this isn't an immediate cause for anxiety, I do think that this reflects our complete and utter dependence on the internet. No matter your field, web design and coding is inherently a necessity to your company or organization. The rise in internet reliance juxtaposed against the need for tech savvy people has created a large gap in job markets. We are collectively realizing that we need more people who can create, manipulate, and interpret internet technology.
3. An Understanding of Social Media Marketing
The entire backbone of our American culture is rooted in the consumer experience. This is not news to anyone. What is changing is the face of how goods and services are promoted, shared, and exchanged. With free resources available for self-teaching, elders are expecting us to come into the workforce with a knowledge in how goods and services can be analyzed through internet and media platforms. They know that we know how to sell ourselves and they expect this new generation to put their brain where their image is. Even if you don't plan on working in business, employers are asking for experience and awareness in marketing. They know we have it because we know social media better than any other generation.
4. A Journalistic Pulse on Current Trends
As my friend Mara puts it, "it's no longer cute to be uninformed." While maybe 20 years ago young people could get away with not knowing all of the latest on political drama and world news, this is no longer the case. No matter your field, you are expected to know at least the basics of every major breaking news headline. Not only because it's professional, but because keeping up with trends requires constant attention to the ever-changing face of globalization.
With a spotlight in "PC culture," everyone is expected to be informed and aware of issues affecting their identities and their workplace. Not only will this impress you boss and co-workers, but it will be a major determinant in the relationships you build. Now more than ever in recent history, every person is empowered with freedom to know, research, and investigate scandals, issues, and events.
5. Excellent Relationship Building
Some may call this networking, but what I'm talking about is much deeper than a work contact. With the large impending gaps in insurance coverage, a turn towards a gig, or, freelance career market, and just a general plummeting of the economy, we will need to genuinely form communities to get through the next few decades. Sure, it makes a lot of sense to meet people to acquire more job opportunities, but we will need a village in order to stay afloat.
Remember when it was totally normal to walk down the street to ask your neighbor for baking powder because you didn't have any? As resources thin and health becomes more expensive, we will need to revert to relying on each other more to gain more basic things. There is no nation wide crisis, but I do think we will be need to be a little more tactical with how we live our day to day lives.
While we aren't facing any sort of zombie apocalypse, we will need to think of ways to come together to better take care of ourselves.