2014 is predicted to be the year of the younger worker. Experts say that five trends are driving the job market for people younger than 45, and millennials are especially likely to benefit.
1 More and more boomers are retiring, and mid- and top-level jobs are opening up. Generation Y has more and more opportunities and millennials have a better chance of climbing the ladder into mid management. In fact, projections are that while the workforce will be smaller due to the retirement of people older than 65, their positions will be filled by a generation that has been waiting in the wings for some time.
2 Millennials are now a large segment of the workforce, and as such are getting the notice they crave. Some predict that this age group will make up 50 percent of American workers this year. As boomers leave and Gen Y's move up, millennials will become the group managers tap to get the job done.
3 Companies are realizing that they have to build a workforce even before the workforce graduates from college or completes training. Forward-thinking firms, especially those in technical and health fields, are reaching out to students through internships, apprenticeships and shadowing. If you are still in school, seek these opportunities before you graduate.
4Younger workers know how to make the most of their contacts and references. Social media is a great strategy. But don't forget face-to-face contact for a warmer way to network when looking for a new job. Staying in touch with your network even if you are currently employed will put you on the fast track to your next promotion or new job.
5 Savvy employees keep up with old bosses and business contacts. Often these relationships lead to new job opportunities in a firm they've worked for before or new contacts to jobs in other companies. Why? Because former referrals and bosses are networked and engaged. They may know of jobs you know nothing about and they may also know about an opportunity in their own company that is just opening up.
Sources: Top 10 Workplace Trends, U.S. News and World Report, Jan. 7, 2014, by Robin Modell
Employment: Job hunting trends for 2014, Jan. 1, 2014, by Laurie Lucas, Press Enterprise/PE.com
TravelWeekly.com, Travel Plus, Diane Merlino, Millennials Critical Mass in the Workforce in 2014
Marie Stempinski is president and founder of Strategic Communication in St. Petersburg. She specializes in marketing, public relations and business development. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.