Millenials are regarded as searching for meaning and unsettled – also because – depending on the preconditions – they have more options than the previous generations.
LEAD spoke with Martin Klaffke, Professor of Business Administration at the University of Applied Sciences Berlin and head of the Hamburg Institute of Change Management. He has worked with the millennial generation in the workplace and can give tips on how generation Y should design their job search.
He knows that digitization has had a major impact on this generation – they are the first so-called digital natives. “Representatives of this generation have helped to shape this process,” says Klaffke.
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1. Use apps to find a job
According to Klaffke, companies are also increasingly recognizing the importance of keeping up with digitization in recruiting – and adapting their application processes accordingly.
“There are job-search apps like Jobspotting or Truffls that work like Tinder for jobs,” he says. Even the Federal Employment Agency offers its own apps for job search.
2. Millennials should “visualize”
“In addition, millennials should be visible to potential employers and gain, for example, a well-maintained account in business networks such as LinkedIn and Xing. More and more companies are actively looking for suitable applicants, “says Klaffke.
So you could very easily come into contact with companies.
3. Comply with formalities
What Millennials should not forget: In the personnel departments, there are still firm ideas about what an application should look like. Klaffke recommends: Keep to specifications, do not forget cover letters and work samples and comply with formalities.
“One can also observe a certain trend towards colloquial language in formal processes. Then in the application ‘Hi’ instead of ‘Dear Ladies and Gentlemen’. The looser tone certainly has something to do with our WhatsApp and Snapchat culture, but it’s also because the application process has been made easier and the hurdles are not over. However, I would definitely recommend applicants to follow formalities. “
In turn, Klaffke advises companies to pay less attention to compliance with the formalities, but rather to how well the applicants are suited to the job.
Sample CV examples and more tips can be found after a short Google search on the Internet.
4. Make a list: What do I expect from my job?
Before entering the profession, millennials should consider what they expect from a job and make a list – because asking “Do I find the activities exciting?” Is not enough. Klaffke explains: “A job is a total package and you have to figure out for yourself which aspects are most relevant”.
One choice: Can I imagine being an executive – with all the advantages and disadvantages? How important are flexible working hours or compatibility with a family? Am I ready to work overtime and if so, how many? How much do I want to earn, how important are status symbols? Are there ways to work in the home office? Do I want to travel a lot or stay home? How do I get along with hierarchies, can I imagine being independent?
5. Learn to handle options diversity
But what if you do not even know which jobs you want to apply for? “I would advise young people to first fully understand what is available – such as on Whatchado, a website that presents different job profiles,” says Klaffke.
“The decision is difficult for many: The options have increased, with the Bologna reform, there are now more than 19,000 courses, some of them with a strong degree of specialization. In addition, digitization has given rise to many new occupational fields, many of which are thinking of going abroad. The spectrum is larger and the idea of the later life has become more individual. This easily creates an insecurity, one wonders: ‘Am I doing everything right?’ “
“I think you have to learn to deal with options and do internships in a few select areas that you find exciting,” advises the professor.
“You need a rough idea of what you want to do later. After graduation, for example, you can take part in a trainee program, which usually leads through several departments of a company. Here, too, you can convince yourself once again whether the occupational field really lies or how you want to specialize. ”
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6. Show yourself open in the interview
Anyone who has gotten a job interview should prepare for the usual questions and be informed about the company. For example, you should be able to say why you want to work there.
In a job interview, millennials can self-confidently show what they can and do – but, according to Klaffke, they should also be open in the discussion for suggestions from the potential employer.
And before it comes to a disappointment: it is worth asking again and again about the daily work, the tasks and the colleagues.
7. Be prepared for a disillusionment
“The first day of work is not a children’s birthday – some should be prepared for a reality shock,” warns Klaffke. “It can happen that the computer is not set up and nobody knows who you are. This is of course bad style, but unfortunately it is not uncommon. Millennials should reflect this, the new colleagues usually do not know it better. ”
Especially older ones are still characterized by the time, active onboarding of employees was unusual.
Klaffke advises to seek a mentor, to exercise patience and to learn to accept a no: “At the first disillusionment you should not put your head in the sand right away. You can tell after a few months, if you want to stay there, there is also the trial period. ”
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