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Why 9-To5 Doesn’t Cut It For Many Millennials

Employment, but not as we know it.

22/05/2017 8:36 AM IST | Updated 22/05/2017 8:58 AM IST
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Hiring forecasts are once again tilted towards the favourites—IT, data analytics, medical sciences. But peel away those broad layers and you'll uncover a demand for unique skill sets and jobs you may not even know existed.

As technology releases us from the nine-to-five routine, a growing number of opportunities are arising for millennials to transfer their skills in seemingly unrelated, under-the-radar careers, with unique job titles. And in this age of competition, getting off the beaten trail can be a good way to differentiate yourself from the pack.

Most millennials know they'll work longer than the generations before them. So why not think about careers as waves, with changing paths, pace and regular breaks?

So, for instance, being a member of BlaBlaCar, an Airbnb host, doing a few hours as a cab driver on Ola or Uber, or sharing some skill on YouTube, may not be full-time jobs, but these activities are increasingly becoming part of the working profile of many. All those who pursue them exploit their spare time or under-utilised skills to use technology and reach out to an audience for their work. At a time when full-time jobs in traditional industries are being lost, these "gigs" are quite seductive.

Moreover, there are no boundaries for these emerging platforms. Instead, there is an openness and flexibility of thought that inspires, something which is not usually associated with traditional roles and companies. These platforms teach you that the way to grow fastest is by inviting the participation of people outside your company. They exploit the passion that exists outside their company. It is this paradigm shift that is delivering value to the world.

In India, career choices have always been dictated by the idea of proving ourselves better than the neighbour's child, or the class topper. Which is why, when anyone is asked about their idea of a perfect career, most people are inclined towards the conventional, "ideal" roles. But nobody talks about the one working with an NGO towards social change, or the one who is a lead vocalist with a boy band. Recently, while going through articles on unconventional jobs in the world, I came across a campaign initiated by a discovery platform, magicpin, advertising for the best jobs ever. Curious, I clicked on the link, and found to my amazement roles that wanted people to chug beer, try out new shoes, or even be a spa expert. While these roles obviously do not exist, the idea of placing the spotlight on jobs beyond the conventional and highlighting the fact that millennials are thinking out of the box to explore innovative career options is worth applause.

[M]illennials are turning their passions into professions and are willing to accept challenges.

And it is true that millennials are turning their passions into professions and are willing to accept challenges. According to a recent LinkedIn survey on "Why & How People Change Jobs", it was discovered that 36% of respondents said they had left their previous role as they were looking for a more challenging position that utilised their skills, and 47% accepted a new role as it would test them in their career. Along with the large number of candidates seeking more challenging roles, there are also people actively seeking a complete change in career. More than one third (34%) of respondents to the survey were classed as "career changers"—individuals who changed company and function.

The "can-do, will-do" generation is redefining the way we look at employment. Their willingness to accept new ways of working may eventually open the door to various alternative employment models. Most millennials know they'll work longer than the generations before them. So why not think about careers as waves, with changing paths, pace and regular breaks?

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