How to Make Millennials Like You, Part 2 :-)

#OVERQUALIFICATION (And why it's a moot point)

Picture this:  You just graduated from college and its *literally* the best day of your life. Your family is so proud and you just posted 1,000 photos to your Facebook page so all your friends who had to take a victory lap can see what they missed.  Then the worst question of all time comes up at your celebratory dinner:  "DO YOU HAVE A JOB?" No, Random Family Member, no I do not.  #whywouldyouaskthat

A lot of Millennials share the above story.  Graduated during a recession - check. Unable to find employment post graduation- check.  Living in parents basement (which many older people think we love to do) - check.  So what do you do?  What advice were we given by college and career counselors? STAY IN SCHOOL! GET A MASTERS DEGREE! GO TO LAW SCHOOL! Then $100K of student debt later, you are told you're OVER-QUALIFIED for pretty much every job you apply for. :-(  :-(  :-(

In some cases, the term "over-qualified" may be an honest analysis that the candidate's knowledge and experience simply doesn't fit the needs of the job. However, "over-qualification" is also another way of telling someone "I'm unwilling to pay you what the letters after your name say you're worth."  It's also a way of saying "your skill set may be too advanced for this position" (a.k.a. "you may be smarter than me and one day take my job.")  It depends on the context, but it appears this term is a bit overused nowadays and is quite frankly a moot point in today's economy.  Here is why:

(1) Shockingly, Millennials are not all idiots.

Grad school doesn't always mean more $$$$; experience means more $$$$.   Most Millennials recognize the fact that even with an advanced degree, its really experience that gets you big money.  So if I am fresh out of grad school and have never worked a real-world job, I'm probably not interviewing under the assumption I will start at a company for $100K+ a year.  I probably just want a job so I can move out of my parents' house  and make a few unsubstantial payments on my student loans.  We're also damn good creative problem solvers thanks to 20+ years of education (see below). 

(2)  A lot of Millennials didn't even want to go to grad school but were told (maybe by you) that it was the appropriate route to take.  

Most Millennials didn't ask to be an over-qualified, unemployed adult.  Just because a lot of us have an advanced degree doesn't mean we can't get creative with our respective career paths. We may actually be very qualified for the job but you will never know that until you take the resumes seriously and invite Millennials for an interview.  For example, due the the flux of lawyers in recent years, many J.D.s are actively pursuing alternative careers in education, business, and consulting.  Law school may not teach students how to run A/R reports but it teaches critical thinking, which last time I checked is paramount to any career.  My guess is the same is probably true for other grad degrees so keep this in mind. 

Bottom line: Millennials have some pretty cool skill sets that are surprisingly versatile for a lot of different careers - you just have to get past the M.A.'s, MBA's, and J.D.'s and realize not everyone wants to pursue a career in their field of education.  

.... And if you don't give us jobs, eventually we will start our own companies and put yours out of business.   #omgburn  <insert evil smile emoticon here>.