Career Guide

Career Planning

3 Tips for millennials and Gen Zs

Generally, millennials and Gen Zs get bored too quickly – they dislike routine work and administrative or repetitive jobs because they are explorers. They like to explore various things before finding the true purpose in what they do.

They have the luxury of doing so as they rarely have any big commitments before entering the working world. This gives them the flexibility to be an explorer.

However, they still need a career strategy as there is a high probability of getting lost in today’s global corporate jungle.

A survey of 2,000 millennials found that one in five has two or more jobs, one in three plan on changing industries within the next two years, 13% intend to change industries within the next year and 45% will be looking to move within three years.

With career shifts of this magnitude happening so quickly, how do you make sure your career moves are the right ones – the ones that will get you to where you want to go in the future?

Reality check

Based on my personal interactions with many millennials and Gen Zs, the majority of them would like to venture into start-ups. It’s a great idea, of course!

However, one of the key questions to ask yourself is, “Am I ready?”

Only a handful among thousands of start-ups succeeds and these are the ones who have done careful planning, made themselves ready, have the right support structure and have the necessary resources needed.

No matter what you do, you need a clear strategy.

Here are three simple action steps to build and execute your career strategy.

1.Understand yourself

It takes a while to understand yourself. In fact, very few people understand their full potential early on.

This may be one of the fundamental reasons why millennials explore or job-hop in search of their true selves.

Exploration could be one of the ways to find your passion and pursue your calling. However, the most efficient way is not to drift from your role or career, but to use it to understand yourself.


1. Do a personality test. The DISC and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are some of the basic ones to know your personality type.

2. Whenever you have free time, be conscious of the first thing that comes to your mind and capture it on paper.

What are the things that drive you naturally? Which part of your job do you like/dislike the most? Do this over a month or two to find a pattern or common theme.

Through these exercises, what do you discover about your strengths? What are you good at and what do you enjoy?

What motivates you? What are your values?

By understanding this, you save yourself a lot of time and pain in the future.

2 Research

Research your career options. This will give you glimpses of sectors/industries that are growing.

Focus to match your strengths to roles that will give you long-term meaningful work.

Once you nail down the roles you believe will make the best use of your strengths, dive deeper into its details.

What are the skills required for those roles, in terms of technical and soft skills? Develop and hone those skills.

Again, the key is to have patience.

As quoted by Albert Einstein, “If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”

3 Plan and execute

According to Ram Charan and Larry Bossidy in their book, Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, “Execution is a specific set of behaviours and techniques that one needs to master in order to have a competitive advantage. It’s a discipline of its own.”

Once you’ve understood what makes you tick and after you’ve done your research, it’s now time to plan and execute your strategy.

Is it just about searching for your “dream job”?

Instead of looking for a job or role that accommodates your strengths and passion, learn to identify the areas within your roles where you can best leverage your strengths and passion.

Therefore, be vocal about your interest to your leaders. Focus on personal branding and building your skill sets.

Prepare yourself

Check out this formula:

Luck = Opportunity + Preparedness

When we see someone landing their dream job, we immediately say the person is “lucky.”

Well, the person probably got the opportunity when they were well prepared to take it on.

In this formula, you have no control of “Opportunity.” However, you have full control over “Preparedness.”

If you are not prepared, the probability of you being lucky in landing the opportunity is zero.

To prepare yourself, have SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals to improve your personal branding, build skill sets and expand your network.

Regularly check on your progress and ask for help to accelerate your learning.

Focus, discipline and execution are key elements here.

In summary

Don’t simply drift or keep changing jobs. It may be painful to stay longer (especially if it is not what you love to do) but you will accelerate your career in the near future.

As Orson F. Whitney says, “No pain we suffer, no trial we experience is wasted.”

So, use the time and experience to understand yourself and discover your purpose.

Research extensively, identify the roles and skill sets needed to match your strengths and passion.

Lay a clear plan to build your personal branding, gain key technical and soft skills, and expand your network.

Have a written goal and create a purpose statement for yourself – this will greatly help you to stay on track.

All the best!

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