It’s becoming readily apparent that Millennials are just not working in the same ways that people used to. Instead of working in a factory, they’ve chosen career paths like Uber in order to make ends meet.
We at Chattr feel this pain too. So, we have put together a list of things to help you gain employment in the current society.
1. Know about computers and other things that go beep
Digital literacy is one of the most important skills for a world that a lot of Baby Boomers constantly refer to as ‘changing’, and it’s a skill that a lot of you readers probably already possess. On the bright side, if you missed the bus on this particular skill, here are the central tenets of digital literacy you must have to get a job:
- Photo-visual literacy – the ability to read and interpret visual information, like data graphs.
- Reproduction literacy – being able to create or modify work using digital technology.
- Branching literacy – the ability to navigate digital spaces, like the Internet, or different pieces of self-contained software.
- Information literacy – being able to locate information and think critically about it, online and off.
- Socio-emotional literacy – not being a sociopath online, i.e. not trolling or sending threats to people you disagree with on Twitter. Simple stuff.
The last two points are the most important. With so much of human interaction now taking place online, or at least through some kind of digital medium, being able to critically assess a piece of information that you may not be able to verify in-person is vital. If more people had practiced this during the American election, and thought critically about the kind of news certain websites were publishing, they results may have been different. Most white collar jobs – and plenty of blue collar jobs, too – require you to be digitally literate and able to interact with a range of different computer systems and programs.
2. Speak multiple languages
Cross-cultural competency is quickly becoming an integral part of working life in the 21st century. While our grandparents might have been able to get away with only speaking English and not being able to use chopsticks, we can’t. The vast majority of Earth’s population speak more than one language; many speak more than two. In an increasingly globalized society, it’s vital that we’re able to do the same in order to get a job.
Languages may be something you have to take into your own hands. Luckily, there’s an app for that. The always handy Duolingo is actually very good at teaching a language, so long as you’re willing to commit to it, and there’s a plethora of other language apps that aim to fix some of the areas where it’s lacking.
Of course, cross-cultural competency is more than talking the talk. It’s one thing to speak Mandarin or French, and another altogether to know the right time or situation for certain turns of phrase.
To this end, everybody should take it upon themselves to engage in a little bit of cultural study. Read books from another country. Learn the history. Eat the food. And of course, always try to engage in constructive, respectful conversation about different cultural backgrounds.
3. Being an expert at holding multiple jobs
In recent years, there has been a predicted rise of so-called ‘portfolio’ careers. This is working multiple skilled and unskilled jobs for the rest of your existence instead of having an actual career doing one thing.
Lots of people already, particularly Millennials, do this. Journalism isn’t exactly a bottomless pit of cash, so I clean office buildings. Other people drive for Uber. The hard part arises when it becomes apparent that we will all be doing this for a very long time. This is due to a combination of things – from technology to a job becoming obsolete.
Furthermore, Millennials are expected to become ‘shallow experts’ in new electronic systems so as to increase their chance of getting a job that hasn’t been snapped up by a robot that watches fewer compilation videos during office hours.
4. Organise your immense information into manageable portions
Could you believe we’re reading too many unimportant things? I get hit with more information before my feet touch the floor in the morning than the average Roman farmer did in a lifetime. Managing this information can be hard. Luckily, things like TweetDeck will help you organise your social media intake so that you too can be productive enough to afford smashed avocado on toast. It’s also a very handy journalistic tool, and is great for spreading the ‘personal brand’ people keep talking about.
The world is yours for the taking – if you want to play by its new and scary rules. Just remember that your primary competition is a robot and try to have a bit more personality. Shouldn’t be too hard.