A Millennial Jobseeker’s Dilemma.


Remember when I mentioned last week that I was finally recruited to rejoin the rest of the corporate world?

Well, it turned out that the position I was offered wasn’t really what I was looking for, and the role was so new that nobody knew what sort of job description to give and explain to me. On the one hand, they would say one thing. On the other hand, they would say something else. The job scope changed depending on how they’d see things, and even the job title changed when they saw fit to change it.

Which brought me to think that us millennial jobseekers are in a really big dilemma. Not that we want to be fussy in the prospect of job-hunting but we want something for that we can enjoy and look forward to. We want something that would make us want to wake up in the godforsaken hours of the day and peel ourselves off the bed to go to work. We may not be as resilient as our parents and those of the Baby Boomer generation, but when we have something in mind, and it is something we want, we will definitely work hard to keep it.

So, this was what happened to me.

I had my third and final interview last week with a business director of a feng shui company. The funny thing was that I had three different interviews with three different people for two different roles. By the time I was done with all the interviews, I was left with a deep and sinking feeling in my gut. I realised I was not ready for the role they offered because it wasn’t the original one that I applied for. Also, the role had certain aspects in it that I wasn’t interested in.

But I had agreed to it and the HR department in the company set about preparing my contract and everything that was needed for the job. Yesterday (Monday, 14 March 2016) was my first day. Everyone was friendly and helpful, concerned about my well-being and if I was alright with the role. The HR executive placed the contract in front of me and read me my rights. Only then did I notice that the job title and job description were not what I was informed during my third interview! There were more information that was being divulged then, more than what I knew during my meeting with the director! Alarm bells rang in my head. I looked at the HR executive and asked her to explain the discrepancies. I asked for an extension until 2pm to think about it. I refused to sign the contract until I knew what was going on. Why had they changed the job title and simply added on the tasks based on how they saw fit?

Long story short, I gave the director the option of finding a more suitable candidate for the role and left the office at 2pm. It wasn’t an easy decision to make as I had a lot going for me when I agreed to take on the job. It was a head-splitting few hours as I sat at my desk, wondering if I should give this opportunity to someone else or suck it up and stick with it.

You see, this is when we millennials are always told that we’re wrong to give up when the circumstances aren’t to our liking. Is it a sin to quit something that we are not comfortable with? Are we wrong in justifying to ourselves why a job doesn’t fit us? Do we want to be like the older generation who were more likely to suck it up and suffer it as long as it is a job that pays?

Here’s an excerpt written by a guest contributor on Forbes.com. Contributor Sanjeev Agrawal speaks the holy truth (and quite accurately too) about millennials and their troubles during the job-hunting season:

Millennial jobseekers are not in awe of companies. Between the 2001 and 2008 recessions, they have grown up watching the economy struggle. They have grown up watching their parents lose their jobs after decades of service with their health benefits slashed or taken away completely, despite being loyal to the companies they worked for. They are now aware that employee dedication, loyalty and respect are not always reciprocal.

Also, the process of how employers interact with the millennials is at odds with the generation’s expectations and experience. Millennials have been taught that they are highly valuable and graduate believing the world is their oyster. But the moment they start applying for jobs, they suddenly find themselves thrown into a shockingly impersonal world, which can be best described more as an automated system. They experience what is known as the “black-hole syndrome” — the 100 resumes that you sent out, only about 10 per cent of the employers respond.

That is hardly what millennials would feel confident about. Even if the company does reply, the message is often cryptic. “We are interested in speaking with you, what is your availability?” That is only if the candidate is fortunate enough to get an interview. There is an air of elitism or lack of information that implies the candidate is only considered lucky to be a part of the company. Otherwise, it is rare that candidates will ever hear back about any outcome of their application on whether the position has been filled or not.

The process that Agrawal touched on is only the beginning. What happens when the candidate is actually offered a job? What if the job doesn’t fit the candidate? Is he or she allowed to turn it down in hopes for a better opportunity? We may not be able to see what lies around the corner but we do know that there is always something for everyone, and while our cup of tea isn’t here yet doesn’t mean it will never arrive.

My concern is more on what happens when we turn down a job offer because there were certain aspects in it that we aren’t comfortable with. Will we be seen as a quitter in the eyes of society? Will we be called ‘selfish’ and a ‘coward’ for not wanting to try? Or will we have the support of our peers and families instead, that no matter what we do, they will still be there for us sans the insults and criticism?

What would you do if you:

  • Liked the job but there are certain aspects of it that you don’t have the experience or background for it?
  • Don’t like the job but you feel you can give it a go and see what happens after the six months probation?
  • Don’t like the job and don’t think you can do it because you don’t have the experience but you need it because you need the money?

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