Career Planning for Millennials

September 30, 2015 by Raymond Lee

Recruiters want you. Employers need you. But as a millennial, you need to ask yourself: is it time to take a step back to think about your career plan?


Millennials are the focus of the workforce. Recruiters everywhere are trying to figure out what millennials want and how millennials work in order to get them on their side. While there are plenty of articles about millennials in the workplace for businesses and companies, there is not a ton out there on millennials for millennials, especially when it comes to career planning.

In an article published in Business News Daily, Brett Faren, president and CEO of Match Marketing Group, says, “Millennials are looking for more opportunities to chart their path within their organization.” For a generation with a reputation of a desire to start at the top, it is important that millennials in new positions are able to outline a trajectory to reach the leadership positions they crave. By setting up a five-year plan, attaining goals within a company will promote the continued sense of purpose that millennials need in any workplace.

But this career path doesn’t need to be the model that generations before have followed. Instead of following the ladder structure, millennials should think of themselves as entrepreneurs in any career. Workplace flexibility, modernization, and technologies have redefined what it means to climb the career ladder. In LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and author Ben Casnocha’s book, The Start-Up of You, they say, as millennials, “You must understand that you need to create your work, your jobs, and your career.” The goals within your career plan should have more to do with learning and development at each stage in your career than a rung-by-rung climb.

In this vein, one of the most important aspects of your career plan should not necessarily come from each job role in itself but from the people at each spot. By finding mentors and discussing your options with higher up professionals, you are forming valuable connections and receiving invaluable personal advice. Additionally, by getting involved with different networks, a career plan can be guided and shaped as you go. Hoffman says, “[Networks] create a sonar map of intelligence, expertise, information, and insight. They tell you where the opportunities are, how to achieve those opportunities, and also how to take the intelligent risks for breakout results.”

Another important factor lies in whether the path you are set on coincides with your passions and values. “While salary is an ingredient in the overall picture, it’s more important to decide whether you are happy with the work you are doing,” says Randall S. Hansen, founder of Quintessential Careers. By taking the time to evaluate whether or not your current position or future positions in a company align with what you want to be doing, it is easy to adapt your career path accordingly. Don’t be afraid to consider alternate paths if the career you have chosen is not what you expected.

To further learn about developing your career path and career planning for millennials, check out the following links:

  • Career Rocket Fuel: A detailed plan for each stage of work life, designed with long-term success in mind.
  • Career Planning Advice for Millennial Professionals: Business coach Jullien Gordon shares his 4-step process to create a dream life, attract a dream career, build a dream team and land your dream job.
  • The Truth about Millennial Workers: A look at the myths and realities of what millennials want from the workforce and how employers can help them get it.

ALSO, be sure to tune in to Careerminds’ latest webinar Career Management, A Retention Tool to see how millennials and career management go hand in hand.

Written by: Meredith Brandt

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee is the President of Careerminds, a global outplacement company based in Wilmington, Delaware. He has over 20 years of human resource, outplacement, and career consulting experience. He has his bachelor’s in psychology and holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech University. He is active in SHRM and ATD. Raymond’s been featured on SiriusXM Business Radio, CareerTalk, and the Wall Street Journal and he’s published a book titled, Clocking Out: A Stress-Free Guide to Career Transitions.

In need of outplacement assistance?

At Careerminds, we care about people first. That’s why we offer personalized talent management solutions for every level at lower costs, globally.

Speak with an Expert

Log In Contact Us