“Sampo Generation” is it a term in South Korea that labels young men and women from ages between 20 to 30. The term literary translates to “give up” in reference to young Koreans who want to marry, purchase a home, and have children but are unable to because of their economic circumstances thus, placing an indefinite hiatus on that part of their lives.
This scenario mirrors that of the United States, only here young Americans are known as Millennials. It is a term that has been applied to people born between 1980 to 2000 who happen to struggle with economic problems, and student debt; unable to make a stable living.
Millennials have been taint with descriptions such as, “the entitled”, “whinny”, “complainers”. There this misconception that Millennials expect to be handed everything they desire without much effort. But the reality is something else.
So why label this generation, “give up” or “the entitled”?
Just like with every generation before the Millennials, the workforce is competitive; but it seems that this generation has almost all odds against them.
Upon graduation, Millennials are faced with a hard reality. Jobs are scares. The economy is at its worst. The fairytale professors constructed is merely a castle build of sand that upon confrontation with the sea; the truth splashes on their eyes. Times are bad. When Millennials are still unemployed six months up to a year after graduation, they are referred as being “entitled” for being reluctant to take any job position as they are thought to be too greedy to go after their passion. They’re “lazy” to work from the bottom up and by refusing to take low-level jobs.
The truth is, Millennials are desperate to be given a chance by recruiters to show their potential but their efforts are often met with silence. But times are changing and Millennials have a different perspective when looking for a job. For instance, Universum Global comments, ” Millennials are quite open to working hard at times, but as you can see they typically view challenging work in terms of innovation or having a steep learning curve. In order, words they are looking to work smarter, not just harder.” Millennials do not want any random job position but they’re looking for one that offers development, and opportunities. It takes up to a year for Millennials to find a job in their field and decent pay.
It is surprising to say –– despite the obstacles society has built against Millennials –– in 10 years Millennials will make up more that 90 percent of the workforce and the workforce itself will change. “There is a shift underway when it comes to flexibility in the workplace – around working hours, the possibility to work remotely that has to do with this notion of working smarter.” Universum Global states. And it is true. Just take a look at job postings online. Almost half of those postings offer to work remotely a few days during the week if not all. But this is just one, if not the only, change in the workforce.
However, research shows that unemployment rates are beginning to lower but Millennials are not benefitting from this factor at all. Entry level positions –– reserved for recent graduate students that serve as a launching path for their careers –– asks for a minimal of two to three years of experience; a requirement often asked for mid-level positions. Truth be told, entry-level positions are practically non-existent. Unemployment has been so high in recent years that professional with years of experience under their belt are going after these entry-level positions and of course there is a high preference for them. It is understandable to hire an employee who doesn’t need training and be ready from day one. Entry-level jobs no longer welcome fresh out of college Millennials but instead lock its doors, as the years of experience for what might be considered an entry-level job is rising as we talk. The Wall Street Journal comments on this specific issue, “a decade ago, managers took the approach that ‘we can teach you everything you need to know’… Today, ‘what we need is people who can immediately get in front of clients” Today there are extreme expectations from low-level workers. These means that early experience is crucial. That leaves us with one problem, where and how Millennials are getting the experience and knowledge to succeed in an entry-level job?
The answer: Internships.
Somewhere in between being a full-time student, full-time employee, networking, being active in the community as well as being active on campus; Millennials must make some time for internships to gain the experience entry-level positions required. It comes to no surprise that internships are now taking the entry-level positions’ place as internships require no experience. The problem with internships –– although they do offer valuable training, expose the individual to a specific field, networking and real job experience –– is that many are often unpaid. Considering the position recent grads are in –– loan payments, insurance, and rent payments –– it is understandable many do not go after one. But for now, Millennials must work with the tools they hold. They must be creative upon job searching and put effort into applying for internships that could potentially land you a full-time position. Claire Brooks told Huffington Post she held nine internships before finally landing a full-time position. But making changes is not only the Millennials’ job but also society’s. Universities must change their curriculums; Internships must be paid, to name a few.
The United States is the brink of a transformation and Millennials are caught up in the turbulence. Success may be harder to obtain today than in past generations but not impossible.