Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What is the Best Job for Millennials in 2013?

Last week, this list of the best and worst jobs of 2013 was released. CareerCast.com put together the list based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other government agencies. They based the rankings on five criteria: physical demand, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook. Topping the list were actuaries, biomedical engineers, and financial planners, while lumberjacks and news reporters took the bottom two spots.
This got me to thinking: what would be the best job for millennials in 2013? I always hear about the lack of STEM  science, technology, engineering, and mathematics  workers in the United States so it would be easy to assume the best job has to be in one of these fields. In terms of hiring outlook, the National Association of Colleges and Employers claims the industries with the greatest demand for college graduates and millennials are business, engineering, computer sciences, and accounting.  If income is your deciding factor, petroleum engineer, IT manager, and quantitatisove analyst are some of the highest paying jobs for our generation. What about work environment? Millennials who want to be surrounded by their peers may look no further than the retail industry. Payscale.com found that millennials have filled more jobs in retail than any other industry.
But what exactly are millennials looking for in a job?  Compared to our Baby Boomer parents, millennials job-hop more frequently.  According to a Department of Labor study, the average millennial has worked 6.3 jobs by the time they are 25.  Some may attribute this to that generation having grown up in the age of the Internet where job listings are much easier to find and recruiters can easily contact potential applicants via LinkedIn or other social networks. 
These high turnover rates can be attributed to job dissatisfaction. It seems we millennials expect more from our jobs than sitting in a cubicle all-day and staring at a computer. We want to enjoy what we are doing, be engaged, learn something from our jobs, and we aren’t afraid to find a job that can fulfill these roles. The average millennial left their company after 28 months and 81% are open to new job opportunities regardless of their currently employment status.  Gone are the days when our grandparents spent decades working for one company. 
It might be overly simple, but the best job for millennials is the one that makes them happy. More and more it seems like happiness comes from making a difference in the world. Instead of maximizing corporate profits, many look to maximize the number of people they can help or ways to save the environment. A new class of corporation has emerged with our generation. "B Corps" are dedicated to social enterprise, the idea that uses business to help solve humanity's problems. The success of TOMS Shoes serves as a testament to this business plan.
So what would my advice be to millennials looking for the best job of 2013? As U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said at my commencement ceremony, "Go out and get your hands dirty." Our generation is young and we should take advantage of the opportunities we have before life takes over. Apply for your dream job, take that internship or job abroad, do whatever makes you happy because in the end that is truly what makes the best job. For those of you who know you want to do something big, something excited, but do not know where to start check out Escape the City. This website is a great resources for anyone, millennial or not, to find out about some amazing jobs. And who knows, maybe I’ll meet you there.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

We are the Millennials

            We are the millennials. We are Generation Y.  We are the 95 million Americans born between the late 1970’s and the early 2000’s.  We are America’s largest age demographic, we are growing, and we are the future of this great nation. According to The Center for American Progress, by 2020, there will be 103 million of us: 90 million of which will be eligible voters representing 40% of the electorate. In the landmark 2012 election, for the first time in the history of the United States, more millennials voted than senior citizens.  President Obama successfully won our demographic by large margins in both the 2008 and 2012 elections.  In fact, in 2012, President Obama received about 5 million more votes from 18-29 year olds than Mitt Romney did. Just by looking at these figures, it is safe to say that the candidate, who wins the millennials, wins the election.  The new, perpetual presence of millennials within the electorate is an extremely important concept that will dictate the future of our nation. We, the millennials, need to grasp how significant the opportunity that lies before us is.  We need to wake up and understand the undeniable potential for change our generation can bring about.
We are a radically different generation compared to the Baby Boomers or even Generation X.  We are the first generation to grow up in a globalized world and to experience the political, social, and economic transformations brought about by the Internet. Most importantly, our generation understands that change is unavoidable, a necessity, to remain relevant within the modern world.  Unlike past generations, we do not partake in the nostalgia of “traditional America values” because American values have been evolving our entire lives.  We look back at the 20th century to see what made our country great, and then look ahead to the future for ways to make our country even greater. 
            Our familiarity with change and the lack of traditional ideology allow millennials to offer new common sense solutions to our nation’s problems.  We understand the need to reform entitlements because the looming burden of retiring baby boomers ultimately falls upon us.  We see the need to alter our bloated defense spending because taking care of our battle weary veterans and defending against cyber warfare are a greater priority than creating surpluses of fighter jets.  We take a progressive approach in promoting green energy, investing in schools, and supporting government’s role in society.  And yet, we do not want the federal government making decisions that should be left to the states, such as the legalization of marijuana, and most recently, gay marriage. 
            The topic of gay marriage is a surprisingly accurate gauge of where our country stands, and in what direction it is headed. Within the next few weeks the Supreme Court will likely either throw out, or make significant changes, to key anti-gay marriage legislation.  In 1996, when DOMA was signed, many argued same-sex marriage was morally wrong and had to be prevented at all costs. Today, over half of the nation believes gay couples deserve the right to marry.  This is attributed, in large part, to the influence of us, the millennials.  73% of 18-29 year olds support gay marriage compared to 39% of those aged 65 and older.  Some surveys even show figures of millennials supporting gay marriage in ratios greater than 4:1.  Last week, Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, a potential Vice Presidential candidate for Mitt Romney, declared his support for same sex marriage.  The national conversation is changing on both sides of the aisle, and millennials are leading the way.
            Our generation is finally finding its voice in American politics.  The 2012 election was the 3rd straight election in which more than 50% of eligible millennials voted.  As we continue to get out and vote, we will elect representatives who embody our generation’s hopes and dreams.  The number of Millennials in Congress increased 3% from the 112th Congress to the 113th Congress; today, over 35 house representatives are under the age of 40. These trends will only continue to grow in 2014, 2016, and beyond as our generation becomes more politically active and aware.
            Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress should take heed of this coming shift.  The refusal to reform entitlements, change our tax code, or invest in our future will not go over easy. If both parties do not pay attention to the changing political tides, then it is all to likely that we just might put an end to this defunct two party system and create a party of our own. When Congress kicks the can down the road, it lands squarely in our laps - if Washington cannot solve our nations problems, then we Millennials will find representatives who will.