Shaping Your Career as a Millennial

Want to know the millennial way to kickstart your career this year? Here’s some context: things have changed, and phenomenally so over the generations that come and go. A successful career no longer comprises merely finding a good enough job that will see you through your pension – your typical 9-to-5-ers still exist, but that is definitely not the millennial way.

Starting a career is scary – no doubt about it – it might seem like switching from a child to a grown-up in a matter of months; but there’s no reason to panic, because the millennial way is one of ambition and fun, followed by a ton of passion and effort.

Your job isn’t your career

First of all, there is a vast difference between a job and a career. A career is your professional journey through a variety of jobs, a trip where you gather experience and progress with each coming stop, whereas jobs are something that you go through and switch between as you go – some are great, some are mediocre, and others are downright terrible. However, every job experience is exactly that: a valuable experience, good or bad.

Do not be afraid of switching jobs; there is no reason why you should let a particular profession wear you down – if you get the feeling that you don’t belong, or that you want to do something else, related or unrelated to your current field of expertise, you should take that leap and go for it!

Take that chance!

There is no telling where your job path might take you. Although purely following your instinct at all times is somewhat foolhardy, taking occasional leaps of faith is far from a bad idea. Sometimes, you just need to try your luck out, even if it means completely switching professions – give it a go, try your best, and if it doesn’t work out, you will have earned experience, at the very least, which is essential and irreplaceable.


The one quality you do need to possess, or obtain, is being communicative. No matter if you are an aspiring entrepreneur, an expert in a certain field, or a newbie, make no mistake – networking is essential. Learn how to find a common language with everyone – of course you won’t share all your viewpoints with everybody at all times, but focus on discussing those views that you do happen to share. Again, experience is the least that you’ll be able to walk away with, good or bad.

Always be learning

The funny thing with formal education is that it is simultaneously not enough and sometimes unnecessary for the modern business world. Sure, this doesn’t apply to all the professional fields, and it doesn’t even apply to every individual, but learning has taken on a completely different shape and form with the advancement of the online world. The number one thing that you need to do is actually know how to handle things – some lessons are learned the traditional way, in the classroom, some through experience, and others by upgrading your skill set.

There are skills that are applicable in almost every field of business, regardless of whether you are a banker, a solicitor, or a musician. For instance, taking on a number of financial modelling courses can go a long way toward helping you deal with your finances, and this is a useful skill, regardless of your profession(s).

Work on the side

Even if you aren’t afraid of switching jobs, even if you already have a time-consuming job, and even if you have a time-consuming hobby, you should start a side hustle. Sure, a side gig will boost your cash flow, but it will also help you connect with a variety of other people, supply you with a ton of experience to help you think outside of your professionally-related mold and teach you that you can always do more.

As a millennial, you’re entering a brand new professional world that is still in its relative infancy. Keep in mind that your job isn’t your career, so don’t be afraid to take leaps of faith, always work on boosting your connections, and be in a constant state of learning.


About the Author's picture

Dan Miller is a Payments officer with nearly ten years of experience in banking and international payments in the Australian banking sector. He has a masters degree in finance and banking. He is married and also a father of a beautiful little girl.