Did you know Millennials make up the largest generation in the labor force ( 33%) yet 48% of the unemployed population are millennials in this country? #MindBlown.
The level of un/underemployed millennials is steadily rising in today’s economy, it can take anywhere from 6 months to 2+ years to find your next job opportunity. So what can millennials do to make the most of this “free” time?!?!
Many millennials are taking control of their destiny and creating their own path (aka entrepreneurship). Let’s use that same work ethic and creativity to embark on these four strategies to ensure your time between jobs is strategic, fulfilling and as epically lit as possible.
Strategy # 1- Learn new Skills -( AKA Invest in yourself)
Every year more and more millennials are getting educated and competition within the current job market is extremely tough, to say the least. In order to combat the side eyes regarding the gap in your employment history, it is of utmost importance you invest in making yourself more marketable. Investing in yourself can come in numerous ways from conferences, podcasts, online courses etc. As someone on a tight budget (man do those unemployment checks dry up fast), I stumbled upon CareerAcademy.com an excellent online resource that allowed me to learn a plethora of new technical and industry specific skills to keep on top of current trends.
If you are considering a career transition, I would suggest checking out internships.com. An internship is great because it works two-fold in getting your foot in the door and impressing recruiters looking for real world experience. The easiest way to find such opportunities is to reach out to people/organizations within your network that aligns with where you see yourself growing professionally. Volunteering is a good option as well because in giving unto others, you learn so much about who you are as a person and what you really want in life. Volunteering keeps you humble enough to continue to walk in your purpose.
As a generation, we often tend to be overly focused on the latest technical skills that we fail to enhance our soft skills as well. Recruiters love to hire people that are multifaceted with various interests. Perhaps you have always wanted to learn how to crochet or make soaps. Invest in yourself and take a class, it could turn into your side hustle or just a way to relax from the stress of job hunting. A surefire way to make yourself stand out as a candidate is to highlight what you have been actively teaching yourself ( insert ABC) skill which will yield (insert XYZ) for the company.
Strategy # 2- Start a Passion Project ( AKA- Focus your passions into a results-driven solution)
I decided to take control of my vision and focus on my passions(the plight of the millennial, writing/speaking and social media). During this down period, I prayed on what I could do to provide a platform for others in my generation of positivity, encouragement, and community, hence AccordingtoGenY was created.
Every day I wake up, eat and sleep AccordingtoGenY because of that my vision has become even clearer. The love and support from the blogging community have actually been my muse for taking AccordingtoGenY from a passion project to a full blown business. I hope to launch the site and monetize down the line to achieve my dream of a location independent lifestyle.
During this uncertain time in your life, lean in on your passion and focus your energy on a project you can immerse yourself with. Your passion project could be creating a blog, podcast or nonprofit organization that is aligned with your interests. Passion projects are awesome for building a portfolio and showing companies you have diverse interests and possess project management skills. Companies love to hire people that are positive and go-getters. So let’s get going on developing your Passion Project!!!
Strategy # 3- Travel – Explore your city like a tourist ( AKA- Go on a Staycation!!)
Due to mounting student loan debt,limited vacation time/funds (only two weeks really?!?!?), staycations are currently trending for young professionals. The minimal planning and low cost are key aspects for why staycations appeal to the millennials desire for adventure.
Staycations are an excellent way to explore your local area. If you are lucky enough to live in a large metropolitan area, you can easily find a plethora of fun low-cost touristy things to do. If you live in a rural area, consider taking a mini road trip to the closest major city for a day. Grab some friends and get on the road..it’s calling your name!!
I had a good friend visit me in Atlanta (aka the dopest city in America) from Abu Dabi and we decided to ride bikes on the beltline. It was a great way to explore all of the various eclectic communities around the city. Not to mention as a health nut and blogger it was pretty cool to have good company, be active and even indulge in an impromptu photo shoot. If you live in an area with great weather, take advantage of that. Being active outside of your normal routine, allows you to reap the benefits of endorphins and vitamin D which give you the mental clarity to keep moving forward during the job search. When you push yourself outside of your comfort zone that increases your confidence which is crucial for landing your next job opportunity.
4. Meet new People ( AKA-Date and Network Often)
I am going to let you in on a little secret about myself…wait for it…ok, I am a classic Extroverted Introvert. This has been one of the most challenging strategies to consistently implement. When I am in a room with people I know networking, I can totally be in my element. However, in unfamiliar situations where I have to meet new people from a purely social perspective I clam up. I am currently, slowly building and nurturing my small group of friends into the positive, inspirational and flat out dope squad I know we can be for each other.
I would highly suggest signing up for meetup.com to find other like-minded people who share a common interest. Social media (Instagram/Twitter) is a great resource as well for finding local young professional events in your area. These are excellent events to network with others and spread the word about your passion project. Also during this downtime invest in your dating life. There is nothing that takes your mind off the job hunt more than getting dolled up to meet someone you have a mutual interest in. So dust off your Tinder/POF profiles and put yourself out there!!!
The goal of any downtime between employment is to be able to tell a story of how you turned a negative into a positive and made yourself more marketable to better serve the company.
There is no reason why your downtime between jobs should be any kind of pity party. Let that negative ish go!!, what is done is done and trust me you will be better for it. This time should be lit! it should be a time for renewed focus, stretching yourself outside of your comfort zone and enjoying connecting with others along the way.
I hope these strategies keep your spirits up while you search for the next job opportunity and above all don’t settle for average when you know you deserve greatness. Keep pushing and never give up on yourself.
If you would like to learn more about my personal brand and connect with me on social media, visit- porschajohnson.com. Also, please show some love and let me know your thoughts on how you spent your downtime between jobs below.
Be Blessed, Stay Woke, Love Life
Porscha Johnson is a conscious creative, foodie and music lover who currently resides in Atlanta, GA. She is the founder of AccordingtoGenY.com a labor of love “coming soon” which will focus on Gen Y professional women who want to thrive within health, career and travel. These are the three areas of life that have consistently inspired, encouraged and challenged her during the Glo Up. Porscha holds a BA in International Affairs from The University of Georgia. You can learn more about the face behind the brand, connect via social media and sign up to receive your #FREE One on One Guide at http://www.porschajohnson.com/.