The Biggest Career Challenge Millennials Will Face

FocusThis is not your parent’s career. You know, the one where they stay in the same job and retire with the gold watch.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that most high schoolers today are going to have 10 to 15 jobs in their lifetime. Personally, I think that is a really low number; with Millennials, I think we’re talking 20 to 30 jobs!

Some of that number will involve holding multiple jobs concurrently. Part-time work is becoming more prevalent, and people might have to work two to four part-time jobs at the same time just to pay the bills.

Bottom line: Millennials will be changing jobs, early and often. They will always be in job search mode.

So the biggest career challenge that Millennials will face: staying focused on the present.

Keeping in mind that it is dangerous to lump 81 million people into one composite personality, consider this:

  • Millennials are so inspired to make change, when companies don’t shift as fast as they like, the natural instinct is to move on
  • They have a knack for rapid-fire acquisition of knowledge, so they get bored when new information isn’t coming right at them
  • They have so many different choices and pathways… there is always a new challenge in front of them; always a new career choice

So things get pretty overwhelming. They detract from the job seeker’s ability to stay focused in the present. It’s like someone is perpetually yelling “Squirrel!” and sending them off track.

So how do you thrive in this new world?

Know that it is okay to have multiple different career paths, as well as loads of jobs.

Understand that you need to stick with something long enough to have some type of focus and gain in-demand skill sets, while being open to the possibilities of the future. Embrace change and the need to consistently brand yourself as a subject matter expert. Live in the moment well enough to fully understand the concepts you are learning, right now.

Most important: know that wisdom is gained through experience. Real experience that can only be gained through mastery of a skill.

Do all that, and you will overcome the biggest career challenge you may ever face.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Pathfinder Career Services.




Dawn Rasmussen 3About the Author: Dawn Rasmussen, CMP is President of Pathfinder Writing and Career Services, a provider of results-oriented résumé, cover letter, and job search coaching services. Dawn is also the official “Get the Job” columnist for One+ Magazine distributed to over 26,000 meeting professionals worldwide and, a job resource site for creative and marketing professionals. Dawn is also a recognized career expert on – a top 10 world-ranked career advice blog – and a regular contributor to’s #TChat. Follow Dawn on Twitter!



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