When the news broke that the United Kingdom had voted to leave the European Union, a series of events ensued: David Cameron announced he would step down as Prime Minister, the pound plummeted beyond control, and the 75% of 18 to 24 year-olds that voted to remain were thrown into a future they didn’t sign up for.
Chief amongst the list of millennial’s post-Brexit plights was the UK jobs market, with the referendum result accompanied by such risks as a lack of desirable jobs both within the UK and abroad.
One year on and time has done very little to pacify these concerns. According to Morgan Philips Group Talent Trends research, which surveyed over 1,000 office workers across the UK, 87% of 16-34 year-olds admitted concern regarding Brexit’s impact on British jobs - a third (34%) of which said they are very or extremely concerned.
While the jobs market may not seem as secure as it once did, in today’s new world of work there are plenty of opportunities for younger workers to succeed in the workforce, although not always through conventional means. Take the late American poet and activist Maya Angelou’s words of advice into consideration: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
Here are four ways millennials can succeed in the new world of work:
Your greatest asset is your mind(set)
Change can be a scary thing - in fact, our brains are hardwired to resist it. But in today’s commercial environment, Brexit is just one of many elements that pose a risk to business as usual; digital technology sparking wave after wave of disruption to traditional business models is another.
In this ever-changing environment, the ability to demonstrate agility and a willingness to learn is fast-becoming a more desirable trait for organisations than any task based skill, especially at a time where the average lifespan of a skill lasts between two and a half and five years.
Embrace change by volunteering to learn new skills and thinking carefully about the attributes you may need to overcome forthcoming hurdles in years to come. And when you’re on the lookout for a new role, favour organisations that are also making an effort to embrace change and take on board new ideas.
Adopt a “try hard, fail hard” approach
In this day and age planning your career objectives can be a daunting prospect, especially if the path your Careers Advisor helped you map out a decade ago no longer exists.
Our recent research found that in the eyes of 50% of younger workers (16-34 year-olds), Brexit will make it harder for them to achieve their career objectives.
While Brexit will undoubtedly have an impact on the UK jobs market in years to come, it’s worth noting that the jobs market in its very nature is prone to continuous change.
Take the publishing industry as an example. As the internet took the world by storm in the mid-90s and early 2000s, almost 60% of US newspaper jobs were lost from 1990 to 2016 - but over the same period, the online publishing and broadcasting industry created more jobs than were lost, as did the film and video production industry.
Don’t let Brexit stop you from seeing your career objectives through. Take risks – try your very best, and if you fail, learn from your mistakes, ask for feedback and move on. And most importantly, be resilient. You might not meet your destination right away, but power through and see each challenge as an opportunity to grow and develop.
Become a team player
As organisations continue to invest in flatter and more dynamic workplace structures, the ability for individuals to demonstrate key people skills has become essential.
In flatter workplace structures, employees from all levels are empowered with the responsibility to take the lead; some organisations have gone so far as to dismantle workplace structures altogether.
So, while having the right mindset and experience are important, individuals will also need to be confident and influential when interacting with colleagues and clients alike. The ability to articulate yourself clearly and effectively engage with people from all different backgrounds, age groups and levels of experience are the skills that will help you stand out from the crowd and succeed within new world organisations.
Be ahead of the pack
Given the uncertainty of our current jobs market, younger workers are skeptical to switch jobs – with our research revealing 78% of 16-34 year-olds would feel nervous about embarking on a job search in the next six months.
But if you’re wanting to find a new role, don’t use Brexit as an excuse to hold off from applying. In the new world of work, organisations want people who are proactive and make change happen – demonstrate this ability to future employers by adding a creative element to your job search.
And take a strategic approach to selling yourself, such as creating a blog that demonstrates your knowledge and expertise, engaging with potential employers or key influencers on LinkedIn or Twitter, and building up a strong and authentic network of contacts in your relevant field.
What steps are you taking to establish your own personal brand?
While Brexit may not be what you signed up for, taking a proactive, optimistic and creative attitude to your career will help to be more attractive in the eyes of new world organisations.
While the jobs market may not seem as secure as it once did, in today’s new world of work there are plenty of opportunities for younger workers to succeed in the workforce