Work Life for a Millennial (천년 사람들)

As a member of the millennial generation (late 1980s baby) I am a part of the generation that is highly over educated and underrated in the U.S.  The millenial generation unlike previous generations before have been well nurtured with the rise of modernization (the period of major growth in OECD countries with a relatively high comfortable standard of life).

Our lives have become more  easy  in the eyes of our forefathers and parents whose families may have struggled pay check to pay check or lived modestly with a simple paid job.  We millennials, however,  who are graduating or have graduated from college and graduate school within the last 6-10 years are experiencing a new way of life that is neither simple or easy.  In the age of globalization and rising trends we are faced with stark competition.  Competition between ourselves and the rest of the working pool of baby-boomers (1960s-70s) who are retiring later in life in order to secure their life-savings.

As a millennial who has completed graduate school and gained experience – living abroad, working in a corporate company, nonprofit, and in the educational field I personally feel as though my experiences are viewed minimally in places I seek future employment.  From the beginning of the year  since I’ve been back state-side  I have been tweaking my resume and high-lighting specific qualifications on all job applications I send out.  However, I have been unsuccessful in receiving many interviews.  I fail to make the mark due to being overqualified.  I wonder when did being overqualified become a bad thing?

The truth of the matter is that companies want skilled employees who meet the basic job requirements and do not have high demands – such as salary minimal requests.  Higher-educated individuals (nowadays with a B.A. or M.A.)  automatically are viewed on a different level from an applicant with a GED and some college experience.  These higher-educated individuals such as myself can not get a basic part-time job even if they wanted to at a local store.

There is an invisible glass ceiling for millennials.  This is true not only in the U.S but in many other OECD countries, including South Korea from my knowledge during my time job-hunting there, as well as,  based on my Korean friends personal stories about the competitive environment inside Korean companies.

nyc skyview
NYC May 2016: Attending a social work event overlooking Central Park in the Midtown area.

As for myself and many of my college and graduate school friends we are still trying to break through glass ceilings we come across.  For many of us finding temporary work, taking tech/ computer skill-related supplemental courses, or even going 360 into new professional career are some strategies that have helped us find employment.

Neither simple nor easy, we millennials unlike our forefathers and parents are living in a globally competitive world.  Our competition is fierce and never-ending it seems as we all try to stand out and be individually recognized.  Currently, I am lucky to be working once again in the non-profit and educational sector (*two areas I already have worked in before).  Thankfully,  I benefited in obtaining these positions due to my experiences more than my degree.  While I am overqualified for the position(s) in terms of my degree I possess the skills & experiences as well as an interest in the profession to meet the needs asked of me and complete the work required.

As a millennial I know that finding work is not a simple 1,2,3 step process.  Millennials will undergo many hurdles in order to make it into the ideal job profession of their choice.  In the future I hope that our children will have an easier life and time finding employment when they reach our age.


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