Research indicates millennials and Gen Z’ers are drawn to flexible work. However, the majority of remote workers are middle-aged or older. How do hopeful work-from-home candidates catch an employer’s eye during a Gen Z or millennial job search? Read on to learn inside tips.
Applying for Remote Work: Millennials and Gen Z
Get a good job with good pay, and you’re okay. – Pink Floyd, “Money”
Maybe not every millennial or Generation Z’er knows this famous classic rock anthem about the almighty dollar. But it demonstrates that even in 1973, the idea behind simply going to school and getting a job wasn’t new to the world.
It’s the mantra spread by the baby-boom generation that’s permeated every available brain cell of subsequent generations. And while Generation X did a stupendous job adhering to these principles, millennials and Generation Z are doing it in an entirely different way. As the most educated generation in history, millennials are constantly looking for new opportunities for growth and responsibility. Conversely, Generation Z isn’t necessarily tethered to the same college-job-white-picket-fence lifestyle of their predecessors.
So what does this mean for remote work and the millennial or Generation Z job searches? That the world is full of opportunities for the brave, intelligent, and bold. Using these tips, these two generations can successfully navigate the remote work market, opening up new career possibilities and the work-life balance that these age groups value more than anything else.
Educational and Job-Related Stats for Millennials and Generation Z
Before diving into the remote work realm for the two youngest generations, a glance at recent statistics is a necessity. Not only does it show the trends between the generations and their career/job aspirations, but also the perceptions of education and work between these age groups.
Known as perennial job-hoppers, millennials are more willing than any other generation to switch employers. But not for the reasons you might think. Almost six out of 10 millennials are willing to switch jobs for career advancement and learning opportunities, not a bigger salary. At 58% of the surveyed population, the willingness to switch careers is 15 percentage points above any other generation. Although others may perceive this as a lack of loyalty, millennials see it as a lack of opportunity. If their growth is stymied, millennials have no qualms about taking their talents elsewhere.
Generation Z is a different think tank altogether when it comes to education and work. Although a whopping 89% of Gen Z find value in a college degree, many of the oldest ones (around 18-23) aren’t necessarily sold on the prospect of tertiary education. Between crippling student debt and the ability to earn money through entrepreneurship, online certifications, and self-teaching, Gen Z may have fewer degrees than prior generations.
Yet this is all part of ingenuity on the part of these youngsters. With changing work trends and technology, many experts agree that the university curriculum is a decade behind the working world. This isn’t exactly a knock on the university system, but rather a dated idea showing its age. As a result, Gen Z may turn to their greatest asset: the ability to obtain knowledge via the internet. With this information at their disposal, the Generation Z job search may include up-to-date certifications and practical knowledge as a more practical strategy to find employment.
Beginning the Millennial Job Search for Remote Work
Although millennials are always searching for career advancement, a vast majority (84%) also experience burnout from their job. What’s most interesting about millennials is that they also feel like burnout or career stagnation is entirely on their shoulders. While older generations may have relied on their employer for new skills and training, millennials believe that acquiring trades or education to strengthen their resumé isn’t necessarily a right.
The good news for these individuals is that developing new skills in their free time can drastically improve their millennial job search prospects. As more and more employers seek a diversified workforce that’s at least partially remote, hiring managers want to see initiative and self-sufficiency on the part of potential candidates. There’s no better way to achieve such a viewpoint than learning necessary skills on your own.
As you ramp up your millennial job search, you shouldn’t necessarily kick your current job to the curb. In fact, up to 58% of baby boomers and 74% of millennial managers have some sort of remote staff. These statistics demonstrate the willingness of all generations to at least consider your pitch as a remote worker. With a bit of convincing, you won’t have to jump ship and start back at the bottom with a new company.
Millennial Job Search Concerns
If your current job has no future workforce strategy that pertains to remote work, an opportunity elsewhere may beckon. But don’t forget: you’re not the only millennial with aspirations to become a full-time remote worker. As a result, you’ll need to turn to your strengths to secure job interviews and potential work arrangements. If you find yourself consistently below the minimum requirements for a job in terms of skills, there’s no better time than now to gain the information and certifications you need to shore up that resumé.
These day, you no longer have to resort to additional time in university to build your skills. Many authoritative websites and companies are now developing online certification programs that can teach you the skills you need while also making the certification highly coveted by employers. If you work in marketing, copywriting, advertising, programming, or graphic design, you should find a plethora of certification programs that may elicit more interest from employers.
If you’re thinking of a total career change but you’re not exactly sure what you’d like to do in a remote capacity, try some online academies. LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and Coursera are three of the top online programs that provide practical knowledge you can use to bolster your credentials and bring to a new virtual position. If you still can’t find what you’re searching for, don’t fret. Community colleges and online university classes can still provide the learning modules you need to succeed.
Generation Z Job Search for Remote Work
A successful Generation Z job search in the remote world starts long before graduation. It starts when you’ve begun courses within your major. Historically, universities push internship programs as a way to “test the waters” while gaining practical job experience and a foot in the door. But this is quickly becoming a characteristic of the past.
Instead, Generation Z should turn their attention to online work through reputable employers. While this may seem like an impossibility to college students, many companies hire part-time and contractual employees during their busiest seasons. The advantages of such employment are twofold:
- You can earn practical work experience much like you would with an internship.
- You can ditch the unpaid internship for a job that provides an income for expenditures or future loan expenses.
If you’re searching for a job while you’re still in college or one right afterward, you should also concentrate your efforts on a reputable job board such as Virtual Vocations. Once you start to peruse these job boards, search for keywords that may pertain to a position you’re qualified for. Terms such as part-time, junior, contract, or entry-level may help narrow your scope and weed out positions that you aren’t qualified for.
Another common mistake that novice Generation Z job hunters make is using generic templates to create their resumé or cover letter. While these provide a starting point to craft acceptable documents, they should never be copied entirely. Why? Because hiring managers can recognize them almost immediately.
Instead of these generic templates, take the ideas and tailor your cover letter to each job. Highlight any job experience/classroom experience. Share why you want the position and what you can bring to the employer, such as work ethic. Remember that it’s all about selling yourself while standing out from the pool of applicants.
Generation Z Job Search Concerns
As the first fully digital generation, Generation Z is the ideal fit for remote work, at least from a glance. However, these individuals also put a premium on human interaction and work-life balance. This balance between remote work and human contact is coveted, but not always realistic for a first-time job search.
Subsequently, Generation Z job hunters should have realistic expectations regarding a remote job search. As a fresh graduate, you won’t always have a bargaining chip on your side or grounds to make demands. That doesn’t mean you have to take a low-ball offer or make concessions that negate your remote work aspirations. It just means you shouldn’t have outrageous or unfounded expectations from your first job. If your employer wants you, they’re bound to make some adjustments to keep you. Don’t put them off otherwise.
Remote work options for millennials and Generation Z will only continue to heighten as employers look to strengthen and diversify their workforce. Yet at the same time, the competition for these jobs will become all the more competitive. But don’t fret. Whether you’re a millennial on the cusp of a career revolution or a Generation Z’er fresh out of college, the job market is rife with opportunities for remote work. It’s simply how you approach it that will make or break you.
Therefore, the idea is to remain emboldened and confident in your job search even when setbacks happen. Confidence and perseverance are a winning combination. Coupled with your skill set, remote work is closer than you may think. Above all, remember that remote work hasn’t reached its apex. There’s always time to hone your skills, build your resumé, and become the ideal candidate. With any luck, you’ll find the work-from-home opportunity that provides the personal and occupational fulfillment you’ve always wanted.
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