Those born between 1980 and 2000, the Millennial generation, are facing some challenges.
With previous generations working longer before retiring, competition can be stiff among young people trying to break into the work force and start their career.
Dave Pulford, a Millennial that recently graduated from university made a choice between trying to break into the work force and entering a grad program.
“Right now I’m trying to look at the big picture.”
Pulford maintains part time employment at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, a sports and real estate company that works with the Toronto Raptors and Maple Leafs. But he also spends almost every night at rinks hockey coaching and scouting for hockey teams.
“Right now I’m trying to look at the big picture,” Pulford says. “Hopefully working my ass off will help me more and give me more opportunities than going back to school would.”
Pulford refers to this period of his life as his year off even though he is, “way busier than I would be going to school.”
Louis Del Re, who had a summer internship after graduation that led to full time employment with a pharmaceutical advertising agency, considers himself lucky to have found a job so quickly.
“I think for the most part it’s pretty difficult,” Del Re says. “I think I was pretty lucky finding a full time job quickly. With so many people coming out of university, the biggest problem is networking. You have to know somebody to make your first shot.”
While some Millennials with a strong work ethic, a little bit of luck, or both, have been able to start their careers, youth unemployment and underemployment are still causes for concern in Canada. However, according to David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data Inc. an organization that has done in-depth research on the Millennial generation, the work force is starting to change in ways that will accommodate them.
“As much as there’s unemployment and particularly youth unemployment in the country, there’s still a need for businesses to recruit and retain really skilled employees,” says Coletto.
“Millennials are going to make up the bulk of that group.”
Coletto recognizes that some Millennials have had to make concessions and compromises in their dreams for the sake of getting a job but as more members of the second largest generation enter the work force their influence will change how companies and organizations operate.
“As we move into an economy where Boomers retire, there’s talk of this demographic shift where the competition for young people, for new employees, is going to be even greater,” says Coletto. “That’s when Millennials are going to have even more influence because organizations that don’t evolve, don’t change, to how Millennials operate and work will be left behind.”
According to the Pew Research Centre, a nonpartisan fact tank, Millennials maintain roughly the same amount of optimism about their economic futures as the Gen Xers did twenty years ago.