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Why millennials should consider taking blue-collar jobs

(BUSINESS NEWS) As millennials face a tough job market, maybe they should shift their focus.

Team meeting talking about performance.

Job hunting

Search your memory for a moment. Can you think of anyone that’s ever told you how easy it is to find a job?

If you can think of one, then they must know something that many of us don’t. As far as I can tell, the general consensus has always been that it’s no cakewalk.

Still an issue

I’ve been wrong before, of course. But reports indicate that a large percentage of millennials, like myself, seem to agree.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs throughout the month of February.

However, even with all that job growth, college educated millennials are still finding it difficult to gain employment.

Caroline Ghosn, founder and CEO of Levo, a professional network dedicated to millennials in the workplace, and a millennial herself, has a suggestion…

Try blue-collar work.

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Raised in a right-now society

During an interview with Fox Business, Ghosn attempted to shed some light regarding the millennial employment gap, stating that millennials are “the first generation to never have known what it’s like to not have the Internet.” As such, she explained that millennials are used to things moving very fast, which in turn can create “a little bit of a generational clash” in the workforce.

She added that part of the reason millennials are not searching for blue-collar work is due to how “interesting and futuristic” the media portrays the technology industry.

Though blue-collar work will not be a good fit for every millennial, Ghosn makes a pretty strong argument overall. In many places the jobs are there, but a large number of millennials do not take advantage of them.

Not thinking long-game

Don’t get me wrong, the technology industry is undoubtedly the way of the future. Many of these blue-collar jobs will likely show some sort of decline as technology continues to progress until it culminates into a post-apocalyptic mashup of the Terminator and the Matrix. 

However, many millennials seemingly overlook the potential stepping stones blue-collar work can provide.

Especially if one is not already working (regardless of the industry, it is always more helpful to have some work experience than none at all). Just because you take a job does not mean that you will be forced to remain in that field.

As a millennial myself, I can attest to the fact that many of my peers choose to overlook blue-collar work.

True, some turn their nose to the idea of doing manual labor, often feeling it is beneath them (Note: remember, I said peers- not friends). Some feel that manual labor is a career field with a limited lifespan. With technology evolving so rapidly, who knows how long many of those labor jobs will be around.

I mean, 3-D printers are building houses now.

Some feel it would be pointless to apply, due to a lack of any related experience. The upbringing of many millennials has made them more suited to software tools than power tools.

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And for those who are college educated, many stubbornly hold on to the hope that they will find something at least vaguely related to the field that they studied. After all, it can be pretty disheartening to work your butt off through college, absorb a whole bunch of knowledge, learn a myriad of technical skills, graduate, and then never use any of it in the real world.

But sometimes, them’s the breaks.

High in potential

And even more so, who’s to say that you won’t eventually use that knowledge or those skills. The fact of the matter is, you never know who you’re going to meet.

One of your coworkers could be the next Elon Musk.

Wouldn’t it be swell to be able to say “Hey, remember all that construction work we did together?” (Or something along those lines.)
And since we’re already using construction as an example, remember a few lines up when I mentioned that 3-D printers are building houses?

Yeah, well someone had to teach the computer how to build said houses.

Technology is smart, but it doesn’t come out of the cybernetic womb with all the answers.

The journey

Really, the point is that sometimes you have to use a stepping stone to get to where you want to be- a statement that applies to millennials, and members of previous generations as well.

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And who knows, you may find that you enjoy working with your hands.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that a lot of those blue-collar jobs have good benefits and pay pretty well. As Ghosn mentioned in her interview, for some of them the average salary expectation is $15,000 higher than the national average.

So, if you’re broke, you know, food for thought.


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Written By

Andrew Clausen is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and when he's not deep diving into technology and business news for you, he is a poet, enjoys rock climbing, monster movies, and spending time with his notoriously naughty cat.

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