Everyone has career advice for Millennials.
Today’s obsession with generations starts with the Strauss–Howe generational theory. Go read about it. People seem to love generational archetypes, but you should know that no research has been conducted to validate the generational theories.
They are just theories.
And just to clarify, the oldest members of Generation Y are now parents in their mid 30s. The youngest are out of college. When you read career advice for millennials, the authors might mean Linksters or even members of the Homeland generation.
But most career advice is for young people of any age who are lost. So let me chime in with my advice.
- Never take career advice from people your own age. Your peer group is your competition. They are just as clueless and dumb as you are. If someone sounds smart, it’s because they are giving you advice that was given to them by someone older and wiser.
- Stop obsessing about mentors. You don’t want advisors or mentors. You want friends who will do things for you. And you want to support your friends. Guess what? An older, wiser person can be your friend.
- Invest in your abilities. Your natural abilities may be totally different than your passion; however, your skills and abilities will help you earn money. Money funds your true passion.
- Money and title are earned. I never want to tell you that you have to pay your dues. But you totally have to pay your dues unless you are an owner or a founder.
- Debt is your enemy. I know you struggle. Fight harder. Buy less stuff. Trust me on this one.
- Your social footprint matters less than people tell you. Certain people want you to be online because they make money when you are online. Your social footprint only really matters when it is negative. Keep it small and tight.
- No decision is lasting and permanent. You can get up, walk way, and start over at any time. There are consequences, sure, but you are not locked into a decision forever. You always have choices.
- Talk less. Listen more. This is just good advice for anyone in any situation.
- Never listen to anyone who works for free. There is a lot of advice on the internet. You should consider the source and remember that very few people get paid to write unless they own the digital platform. Don’t take advice from people who have time to offer free advice that you didn’t ask for.
- You are more than your job. If you do it right, your life gets more diverse and interesting as you get older. You will wear more than one hat. You will have multiple roles. Life will get messy. And it will be awesome.
Good luck, young people.
And stop taking career advice from hacks!