– Written by Shubika Bilkha
The ‘millennial 20-month itch’ syndrome has received particular attention from companies as millennial workers constitute almost half of the current workforce in India and slated to grow to 75 per cent by 2025. With the average time, a millennial spends in a role estimated to be 20 months, corporates are now working overtime to align their cultures and workspaces to the millennial and GenZ mindset.
Despite the effort, a Deloitte study suggests that one in four millennials are likely to leave their current role within a year, while 44 per cent of them are likely to leave in a two-year period. Retaining and motivating the millennial career aspirant has become a challenge in itself for the traditional Indian corporate.
These employees are seen as more focused on faster job growth, more technologically savvy, have a strong need for constant peer group validation and appreciation, more entitled, lifestyle-oriented and want to feel like their work or they matter to the organisation at large. Flexibility, personal growth and advancement are extremely important to this segment.
While the human resources (HR) departments and leaders across the industry are in a frenzy on attracting and retaining this talent, the advent of the gig economy and the startup ecosystem is now the biggest competitor to a career in the 'traditional' corporate sector.
In my work with millennials and organisations, I find that venturing into newer opportunities provides millennials with the requisite flexibility, fulfilment and sense of self that they seem to value. The traditional concepts of stability, longevity and commitment seem to hold less prominence and newer fields that ceased to exist even when I started my career journey, now seem to be extremely aspirational.
From vaastu consultants to mind readers or stylists or food bloggers, a number of 'non-traditional' job roles offer millennials the opportunity for social appreciation, immediate gratification, recognition, balance, as well as are now lucrative sources of income.
A few newer career opportunities that can be considered are as follows:
Why have one job when you can have many?
From pet grooming to food consulting to planning or blogging or adventure travel or professional gaming, training or even traditional marketing, the appeal of the gig economy has never been more extensive. As companies look to tap into this gig ecosystem and outsource a number of services, the realm of opportunity will only further increase. Just remember, to excel in the gig it is imperative to cultivate skill and own it.
Influencers: The world of influencer marketing has gained tremendous appeal in the recent past and brands are increasingly seeking out influencers as a way for subtle product placement. Digital influencers based on their profile and following can now command decent brand placement fees and a number of key influencers are seen to charge per post or tweet. Good content, creative skills and a large following can make someone a digital sensation overnight. It is important to keep staying relevant to your TG!
Design: As consumption patterns navigate multiple mediums, attention spans grow shorter and memes alter the way we communicate, the importance of the visual medium has never been greater. UI or UX design, spatial design, graphic design, social media design, among others, is now a key component of the new world order. Content in various forms, verbal, video and visual is now king!
Cyber Security: Increased digitisation has led to a growth in cybercrimes. With growing vigilance about personal security or organisational level security, the world of cybersecurity has immerged as a lucrative career opportunity. Specialisations within it such as ethical hacking, advanced threat research and more also provide a wonderful career opportunity.
Social Impact and sustainability: With growing shared consciousness, increased funding towards social impact and a societal shift towards sustainability, this segment provides millennials with a wonderful and meaningful career opportunity. With returns of impact funds on average in some cases being higher or on par with that of traditional private equity, the rise in the number of impact investors and growth in philanthropic mindset, on the whole, will only further boost careers in this segment.
AI, Machine Learning and Data Science: An advisory on newer career opportunities in the digitally enabled world we live in is incomplete without the mention of lucrative career opportunities in the realm of AI, Machine Learning and Data Science. As corporates battle for top talent in this segment, those with a leaning towards technology, mathematics and science can hone their skills to take advantage of this opportunity.
– The author is an Entrepreneur, Advisor, Executive coach, partner, EdpowerU