Millennials have been ‘sold’ a recipe for success when growing up – work hard, get good grades and cushion your CV with some extra curricular activities and after university you’ll get a good entry level job…or so it went.
There are three reasons why the above recipe has failed to deliver. Millennials are entering the job market during one of the biggest economic shifts of the past 50 years and they are competing against a global workforce – not the local and small pool of competing workers that their parents and grandparents knew. Lastly they are sandwiched between the world that was and the world that will be, a world increasingly characterized by the military term, VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) and a transition to transient advantages (as Rita Gunter McGrath writes here).
To illustrate this dynamic between the old and new world, let’s look at an example. On the one hand, the job market wants Millennials to play by the rules: “Upload your CV, in format X and do not send us anything unsolicited.” On the other hand they want Millennials to demonstrate their creativity and out-of-the-box thinking (there’s a woman who landed a job by sending the CEO a plastic arm and leg with the note ‘I’ll give an arm and a leg for 30 minutes of your time’). True story. Regardless of the approach taken, what is it like when Millennials try to enter the job market?