People talk shit on Millennials. Call them lazy. Entitled. And a million other names.
But here’s the thing: they have a point.
Our generation was raised in arguably the greatest era of innovation in human history. We experienced the last days of civilization before the internet. We were also there for the birth of some of mankind’s greatest innovations.
We remember a time before smart phones. Before Google search. Before on-demand everything.
We didn’t just watch this enormous shift in the world take place before our very eyes — we participated in it. We helped drive it forward.
These transformations didn’t make us entitled to things we don’t deserve. They made us believe that everything SHOULD be better. That the status quo isn’t good enough. That if there’s a better alternative or route to something, people should be free to pursue it.
Consider that in the context of higher education.
Yes — we were lied to. Not everyone should go to college.
In part 1 I laid some groundwork. We were told the goal of school was to get good grades. Why? To get into a good college. That a degree would get us a good job.
But what if we could get a good job more easily? What if we could do it without student debt? Why wasn’t that an acceptable option?
Everyone we trusted told us college was the only way. The best way. The right way. And we listened. Yes — that’s on us. Now that we have better information we feel betrayed.
We don’t hold it against our parents. But we do hold it against the establishments. Against the institutions that told us — promised us: Come trade 20% of your next 20 years’ income and we’ll get you a better job.
But the jobs don’t come as easy as the vision that was sold to us. They still required more hoops. The kind of hoops we wonder if we could’ve jumped through without all the college bluster. Still we’re stuck holding the bill. So do we have buyer’s remorse?
While that advice about college would’ve been truer 30 years ago, the landscape has dramatically changed since our parents and teachers were applying to their first jobs.
We live in a different time. With different stakes. With different types of businesses and industries. With much lower information costs than any generation before us.
While it’s so much easier to find info about companies and jobs than it used to be, it’s also so much easier for companies to find out everything about us. Where previous generations could rely on a piece of paper — we cannot.
No one told us how powerful this could be in launching our careers. They told us to delete all our pictures of beer. They told us not to cuss online. Then they promised us our degree would do the rest of the talking for us.
In part 2 I told a story. I wanted to paint a picture of the frustration, the despair of today’s job market. Maybe it’s a bit dramatic. Maybe it’s not. Go ask a college grad on the job market where he should start his search. Let me know what you find out.
The fact of the matter is that college grads don’t feel prepared to go find a job. They also feel like they weren’t taught the skills they need to succeed. And employers agree.
But their degrees didn’t come with a warranty.
They can’t go back to the bursar and demand a refund. They’re stuck holding the bag wondering WTF they’re supposed to do with their lives. And they feel constant mounting pressure to prove they’re not a failure. To their friends. Their parents. Their 2,000 instagram followers.
They don’t want to live in their parents’ basements. They don’t want to be dependent on others for money. They want to go out and make a difference. To engage in meaningful work. To change the world.
But they don’t know where to start because college was sold as their North Star and it turned out to be a black hole.
So forgive them for having higher expectations of institutions that’ve been around for hundreds of years. They expected better because their tuition dollars should’ve gotten them better.
So what now?
Enter a new age in how to get hired. An age where paper credentials mean jack shit. Where degrees are more valuable as kindling than for job applications.
In this era people don’t just “get jobs.” They LAUNCH CAREERS.
Competition is as fierce as ever. Automation is nipping at the heels of entry level workers in every industry around the world. As jobs are displaced the window of opportunity is closing for people without skills or the ability to prove their skills. If you want to work in this day and age, wanting or needing a job won’t work. Applying like everybody else won’t work. What you know won’t work.
Only what you can DO matters. But you can’t just be good at doing it. You have to prove it.
You have to find people who are willing to pay for what you can do and convince them to buy it. You have to sell. And you have to sell better than any of the other people standing in line behind you shouting that they can do the same thing better, faster or cheaper than you can.
Sounds like a helluva tall order, right? Because it is.
But the good news is…you’ve come to the right place. We can help you. We will help you.
No, we won’t promise you a job. But we’ll show you how.
We’ll tell you everything you need to know to discover your perfect career. We’ll guide you where to start. And we’ll put the tools in your hand to go chase it down.
Because here’s the secret no college will ever tell you…
You didn’t need them to tell you what to do with your life. Just like you don’t need us to.
You need YOU.
That’s right. You are the secret to your career.
Your skills. Your unique interests. Somewhere in the world there’s a company looking for exactly what you can bring to the table and what you can become tomorrow.
All you need is to discover it. That’s what we want to offer. We won’t tell you what you should do. But we can help you discover it yourself. Email me today to learn how.
This post originally appeared on Mitchell Earl’s Medium