How millennials can get ahead in a tough economy

Millennials planning for retirement

As a parent, you want your adult son or daughter to find a great job in their field and be successful. But it can be challenging to stand out in today’s competitive job market. Fortunately, there are some things young adults can do to distinguish themselves.

For example, many of the soft skills and experiences gained through travel can help young people stand out. Here are just some of the ways these learnings match up with what employers are looking for:

Travel and learn. As the most educated generation, millennials will need more than a degree or two to stand out. Having experiences abroad where they’ve engaged with new cultures and languages in a meaningful way is a great way to stand out from the crowd. This history can demonstrate an open mind, and an ability to be flexible and adapt to new situations.

If your child wants to work while traveling – a great way to connect with the place they are visiting and earn some cash along the way – a useful resource is International Experience Canada. This Government of Canada program allows youth ages 18 to 35 to work and travel abroad for up to two years in more than 30 partner countries and territories.

Think in experiences. When you’re just starting out in your career, it can be easy to get caught up with titles and trying to move up the corporate ladder. But current and future employers will be more interested in what a recruit did and how they learned from it. Profiling travel experiences and framing them as opportunities for learning and growth can be one way to stand out.

Develop social skills. Lots of applicants can tick off all the boxes on a job requirements checklist, but the most important question many hiring managers ask themselves is would I want to work with this person every day? Employers are more likely to be drawn to a candidate who is curious, easygoing, is open to new perspectives and has travelled.

Find more information on work and travel abroad at canada.ca/iec.

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