Millennials form the largest workforce compared to other age groups. However, recent studies show that their average salaries are lower than the national average. The income is also 20% less than baby boomers’ salaries generations ago. Because of this, there’s a standard view that millennials’ entry-level jobs offer disproportionately low salaries. And yet, they have the right qualifications.
Another observation is that millennials find themselves in work where they’re overqualified. They have the best education, but it doesn’t translate into well-paying jobs. Instead, millennials get employment opportunities in low-paying sectors, like retail, hospitality, and food.
The same study says most of these low-wage employees have an undergraduate degree. Also, they financed their education through loans. But the millennials find it challenging to pay back student loans because of low salaries. Low wages and the inability to clear debts could negatively affect the millennials’ mental health.
High Levels of Unemployment
A large group of millennials is unemployed or underemployed. Compared to the national average, the unemployment rate is high. It worsens the situation because young graduates don’t earn money to care for themselves. Some millennials turn down low-paying jobs hoping to secure better work opportunities. As a result, they stay at home to save on living expenses. Long spells of unemployment might worsen their mental health.
Lack of Experience
As recent graduates, young people may be at a disadvantage due to a lack of experience. Hundreds of youths pursue degrees as they believe good education can widen doors in lucrative careers. Because of this, degreed millennials flood the job market. It leads to oversupply and lower wages.
What can the low-paid millennials do to lessen the toll on their mental health and earn a living?
1. Accept a Job Opportunity
Unemployed young graduates should accept job offers that come their way. Unfortunately, many companies these days aren’t willing to hire candidates that don’t have any experience. Even if the job is paying low wages, you can use it as a step stool to quickly find a higher-paying job.
While the income may be low, the millennials can gain experience and pay back their student loans. The job can also lead to other better opportunities. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, the demand for new technicians in the car industry will rise by 7% by 2024. These are promising stats for the unemployed millennials.
2. Know Your Worth
Learning to negotiate for better employment contracts is crucial for young people. First, millennials need to appreciate their worth by placing a high value on their education. It’ll help them negotiate with confidence. However, young graduates should be careful not to overvalue themselves. They may miss opportunities. The millennials should not underestimate their worth as they might opt for poor jobs.
Millennials are 67% of job seekers who prefer companies with a diverse workforce. As a result, they must leverage this critical factor when seeking jobs. It might work in their favor as many companies embrace diversity.
Employers should also create a safe work environment to reduce injury claims. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, compensation claims are due to injuries in the workplace, like slips and falls.
3. Know Your Basic Financial Management Skills
Educated young people should also learn budgeting skills to manage the little they get from their work. Essential financial management can stretch the dollar.
Bright Skies Ahead?
While all of this may seem very discouraging, there can still be brighter days ahead. With the recent push for unionizing and for lawmakers to pass a higher minimum wage, we should still hold out some hope that things will take a turn for the better. Until then, we have to continue to do our best to make do with what we have. Remember to focus on your mental health during these times!
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