The working population of the world today seems to be under a lot of pressure. More than that, millennials seem to be getting most of the heat as they are often criticized for not achieving and not having the purchasing power and properties the way their parents and grandparents did back in the day. But save those arguments and discussions for another day. Whatever one’s position may be on these matters, what everyone would easily agree on is that  the value of money has significantly lowered.

It is also much more difficult to get a job these days compared to two to three decades ago considering many factors like the rise of population. For those reasons, millennials can make use of every helpful advice there is to build up their careers and achieve their dreams. After all, you millennials are tomorrow’s leaders and educators, and the fate of the next generations somewhat relies on them. Here are some advice which you will find useful in your journey up your career ladder.

Joining The Workforce: Career Advice for Millennials

Focus on your vision and goals

Much has changed as our times progressed and technology advanced. While much of these developments like the Internet as well as our gadgets like smartphones, gaming consoles, and laptops provided convenience and made a lot of things easier, they also made for big distractions. As a result, focusing on your work and career is even more difficult. This is why the need for having goals and repeatedly reminding yourself of them is even greater.


How exactly do you do this? Getting rid of these possible distractions is not exactly feasible; in fact, it might even slow your progress. We have to admit that these technological advancements have become a massive part not only of our social and recreational lives but also our professional lives and careers. Just imagine how someone working in the IT field without her computer. The key, therefore, is moderation. Now, this is easier said than done, but you can go a long way but starting small:


  • On your social media pages

It is easy to get carried away as you are scrolling through your newsfeeds and boards. One moment, you are just checking a tagged photo. The next you already wasted away the whole day staring at the screens of your gadgets. It is obvious what you have to do: limit your time for checking your social media pages. Allot only a few minutes to an hour a day for it. It might make it easier to start such habit with family, friends, or your partner. If this still does not work, try downloading apps that would lock these social media apps for a certain time.

  • On goals and plans

There are times when we get distracted or worse, lost. So do yourself a favor by making sure that you will never forget what you are aiming for. First, ask yourself: what do you really want in life and career? Something as simple as writing your plans and goals in your planner can go a long way, or better yet, scribbling them on a whiteboard and place it where you can easily see it as you wake up each day. It also helps to have long term goals, even if you might deem them undoable given your present circumstances and/or financial standing. That would give you something to look forward to.


Aim to make a difference with your skills and job

Somewhere along the way, you will realize that your career is not all there is in life, if you haven’t yet. There is nothing wrong at all with using your talents for the sake of furthering your position, but make sure you do not stop there. Make sure you also use them to contribute for the betterment of the many, if not the world. It does not have to be something as big as finally finding treatment for then incurable diseases; little things count. Even something as little as helping a coworker or friend in need can make unimaginable differences.


Be open to and prepared for changes

A philosopher from ages ago once said one cannot step into the same river twice, “for fresh waters are ever flowing in”. Today, the quotation Heraclitus is well-known for continues to be relevant. One need not complicate it; simply put, it means change is inevitable. And what do you do when there is nothing you can do to stop something from happening, when all efforts of preventing it will only be put into waste? You prepare yourself and willingly welcome and embrace it when it comes.


Millenials are not exactly unfamiliar with changes. After all, they are witnesses to the greatest changes that happened in humanity’s history. They saw globalization at its peak and the biggest leaps in terms of technological advancement. But our willingness to let entertain changes and ambiguities must not stop there. This must extend to one’s financial matters and career choices. The littlest happenings in politics, for instance, have the ability to impact your career, albeit indirectly. Things are ever-changing in business and the economy. The value of money inflate and deflate. The movement of stocks can be greatly affected by catastrophes and other tragedies. So always be aware of current events. Make sure you have saved enough or “emergency funds” in case something unexpected happens.


Do not be afraid of failure

Whenever one fails, it is usually accompanied by negative feelings like disappointment and embarrassment. For this reason, many tend to avoid failing at all cost. Whenever things are uncertain, they deem it not worth the risk of failing. As a result, however, they also tend to miss out on rare opportunities.


However, like much like changes, failure is also an imminent truth we will have to face at some point. The key, therefore, is to redefine what “failure” is instead of continuing to associate it with the undesirable feelings it brings. Sara Blakely, CEO of Spanx and billionaire, puts it nicely: “failure is just not trying”. Instead of denying your failures, celebrate and embrace them. Be proud of them because it means you were brave enough to take the leap; believe it or not, people are more likely to respect you when you own up to your mistakes instead of hiding them away. More importantly, always make it a habit to look back at them and remember what you have learned from these missteps.


Time management is invaluable

Countless articles and advisors go on and on about how vital managing your time well at work is to get things done. However, it is an advice that you should take one step further. Time management is beyond just being able to plan out your whole day/week of work for the sake of productivity. It also means having the capacity to divide your time to the different aspects of your life – social, family, career, etc.


One need not exhaustively go through scientific articles; there is actually a simpler explanation for this. As you may all know, your job performance is not only determined by how much time you allot for it and how hard you work to check off all your tasks on your to-do list. For instance, your overall health, physical, mental, and emotional altogether, also make a difference in your career; people cannot go to work when they are sick, or they find it more difficult to focus on their job when they are going through something with their family or friends.


So what do you do? Make sure each aspect of your life is given enough attention. They are all interconnected in some ways, after all. Bond with your families. Go out with friends occasionally. Save up and go for a vacation after a long, tiring project. Never ignore symptoms of possible illnesses, both physical and mental. Go to your doctor, dentist, etc. for regular check-ups. Do not deprive yourself of sufficient time for rest and recreation.

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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva


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