Guest Post: Jobs That Matter for Millennials

This is a guest post by Heather Krasna, author of the new book, Jobs That Matter: Find a Stable, Fulfilling Career in Public Service:

Recent surveys show that Millennials want to make a difference in the world. The National Association of Colleges and Employers found that 27 percent of graduating seniors in 2009 plan to work for nonprofit groups or government. Another survey by the Partnership for Public Service found that 90 percent would be interested in a federal government job. On top of that, the recent Heartland Monitor Poll found that 55 percent of Millennials are seeking long-term job security.

Many of the jobs that make a difference in the world, like those in environmental, social services, education, community development, religion, international development or the arts, are found only in the nonprofit sector or government. Some of the most interesting and fulfilling jobs—like wildlife biologists, foreign service officers, community development specialists, social workers, disaster management specialists, or community organizers and advocates, can only be found in government or nonprofit organizations.

Another reason to consider public service work is that many of these jobs are the most stable in a down economy. For instance, the layoff rate for government was only 0.6 percent in January 2009, compared with 2.1 percent in the private sector.

But the job search for nonprofit or government entities can be very different from the typical ones you might have been prepared for by your college career center. For instance, government agencies may ask you to write essays about your work experience and how it relates to a job, or you may have to take a civil service test. You have to follow all instructions carefully in order to be considered, and a normal resume may not work. For a nonprofit organization, you should highlight your volunteer experience and leadership, and make sure to network as much as possible into the often tight-knit nonprofit community.

Interested in learning more about public service careers? Heather’s new book, Jobs That Matter: Find a Stable, Fulfilling Career in Public Service (© 2010 JIST Works), shares the secrets you need to land a fulfilling job in public service. For more tips from Heather, visit www.heatherkrasna.com.

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8 Comments

    Comment: Posted by Matthew Murray on August 1, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    I’d wish to obtain a job in this particular industry and after some latest employment interviews, the comments I’ve received is that
    I really require some formal qualifications. I will get started with a brief course
    and grow from there.

    Comment: Posted by Lindsey Pollak on July 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    @flash games free online for boys- Thanks for your sharing.

    Comment: Posted by flash games free online for boys on July 20, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Um… to be honest , i am surprised by the post . Being a developer , now i think to make a free game on this!

    Comment: Posted by Lindsey Pollak on August 12, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    @Rishit – Thank you for the thoughtful comment. My hunch is that Millennials’ desire for job security is related to the current economy. I have a feeling we’ll see that change once the job market gets better.

    Lindsey

    Comment: Posted by rishet on August 12, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Heather/Lindsey,

    From my experience and knowledge of my mates, I agree that the Millennial generation cares about making a difference. I think this is an admirable truth of our generation. It is surprising to me, however, that studies also show that we care about job security.

    I have read from Lindsey in the past that studies show this, but this seems slightly contradictory to another important characteristic of Millennials: our yearning for self-aspiration. As I understand it among my peers, we want to be doing something that we care about and that betters us or the world in some way (to the first point about making a difference). We are open to changing jobs until we can get that. We will move on if a better opportunity presents itself. This goes against the idea of us seeking stability or long term job-security. Thoughts?

    Thanks,
    by
    Rishet
    http://www.mycareeradvice.com

    Comment: Posted by Heather Krasna on June 22, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    To get back to Laura, one way you can have both security and job mobility is through the federal government. For instance, federal government offers some fellowship programs (like the Federal Career Intern Program or the Presidential Management Fellowship, which are post-graduate, 2 year, fully paid jobs) which includes training and sometimes rotational assignments in different departments or even different agencies. These programs allow you to “try on” different jobs to see what fits you best. You also can move between different agencies fairly easily once you get your foot in the door.

    Another way to go is to do “job-hopping,” or trying a job for a year or so before trying the next. While this still has a lot of negative associations for many Gen Xers and Boomers who value loyalty to an employer, it’s becoming a bit less stigmatized by some employers, especially with the challenging economy. If you handle the relationships with your employers well, it may help you build your career without being stuck in one place for too long. There’s an expectation that you will eventually land at one employer and stay there for a few years, but when you are first launching your career it isn’t as bad to try a few different jobs as it once was.

    Comment: Posted by DC Jobs on June 22, 2010 at 11:32 am

    This transition you have pointed out towards government and non-profit sectors makes sense, especially considering the double motivation of employees wanting to make a difference in their worlds and seeking job security in uncertain times.

    Comment: Posted by Laura Zeligman on June 22, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Heather/Lindsey,

    From my experience and knowledge of my peers, I agree that the Millennial generation cares about making a difference. I think this is an admirable truth of our generation. It is surprising to me, however, that studies also show that we care about job security.

    I have read from Lindsey in the past that studies show this, but this seems slightly contradictory to another important characteristic of Millennials: our yearning for self-aspiration. As I understand it among my peers, we want to be doing something that we care about and that betters us or the world in some way (to the first point about making a difference). We are open to changing jobs until we can get that. We will move on if a better opportunity presents itself. This goes against the idea of us seeking stability or long term job-security. Thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Laura

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