Born in 1980, I don’t really consider myself a millennial. Not that I have anything against them, its more the stereotypical and “commercial” view of them is usually why I say I’m not a millennial.
After reading many pf blogs written by those definitely of this generation (Erin and Erin, Kali, Michelle, Jordann, Melanie - you ladies are kicking ass!) my view on millennial are quite different than how society tends to view them (superficial, spoiled, entitled, etc).
Anyways, what I was going to say is one way I’m proud to be a millennial is that I didn’t settle in my career.
In our parents generation they typically picked a career in high school (or younger), found a job upon graduating (if they did graduate) and stayed in one company for the rest of their working lives.
My Mom used to give me all kinds of sh*t when I was younger because it seemed like I “just couldn’t hold down a job” (her words, not mine). In truth, I was not satisfied with the low paying job I first got out of University just because I had no real world job experience (not 100% true) so I quit 8 months in to find a better paying job. I did but didn’t stay at this next job long (3 months) because it was really stressful (involved a lot of cold calling) but since it was a call centre position it opened up the door to my next job that I kept for the next year.
Then I decided that I would like to get more involved in the financial industry (my first low paying job out of University was a bank teller at a credit union – it sparked my interest in finances but there was no upwards momentum available). So, I got a role at a major bank in their telephone banking department (OMG the most stressful job of my career!) and started taking financial courses. These courses then landed me a contract role at a bank in their investment advisory call centre (gave stock quotes, answered customer service type inquiries). When the contract was over, I was going to be renewed but I decided that I didn’t want another call centre job so I looked for something different.
I was in the next role for almost 2 years. It was at a small boutique investment firm (9 “employees” total) and I was the “Back Office Administrator” basically I processed all the trades for the advisors (mutual funds only) and was the general gopher girl for the office (file, make coffee, wash dishes, take out the garbage, etc) This job didn’t pay great either but they were paying for me to take courses to further my career so I didn’t complain too much … UNTIL after I finished taking these courses and started brining in clients of my own and I felt I deserved to be paid more inline with a financial advisor assistant ($40K as opposed to the $35K I was being paid because I didn’t have all the qualifications at the time I got the job). Every time I brought up the possibility of a raise I was denied because the company “didn’t have enough money” (meanwhile the owner was driving a Porche, drinking Starbucks everyday, eating out lunch, taking clients everywhere under the sun, etc). So, I decided to start looking elsewhere.
I got a maternity leave contract at the investment arm of a major bank as an Investment Advisor Assistant. Finally I was making what I thought was a decent salary ($40K) but also came with monthly and semi-annual bonuses (monthly bonuses were based on how much the advisor I was assisting made in commissions and the semi-annual were across all assistants). I was able to pay down a lot of debt during this time thanks to these bonuses. I tried really hard to stay on in the company when the mat leave was over but they were actually in a reduction phase (where I was only assisting 1 advisor for the majority of my time there, when the girl I was replacing came back she was going to be assisting 3 advisors) so they had to let me go.
I was unemployed for just under a month (and believe me I started looking way before the contract ended) when I got a temp position for my current employer. I still looked for other opportunities but it was good pay for a temp position. Then a contract position opened up, I took it. Then renewal and renewal and renewal. I started a contract for a new position a year ago then became full time in October. And here we are today, $53K with full benefits and a maternity leave top-up.
To make a (very) long story short, it doesn’t pay to settle in your career. No matter what your parents might think or say, you gotta do what’s best for you. Job hopping may not look great on your resume but be ambitious and look for (and take!) those opportunities that will increase your knowledge and hopefully salary
How many jobs/companies did you work for before your current one?
Until next time,
P.S. I thought this might be helpful:
- Job during University – city-run parking lots: $16/hr part-time (government job) – 4 years
- Bank teller at credit union: $22,000 salary – 8 months
- Shareholder services rep (call centre): $15/hr full-time – 3 months
- Customer service rep (call centre): $18/hr full-time (was laid off) – 6 months
- Telephone banking rep (call centre): $15/hr full-time – 3 months
- Customer service for investments (call centre): $16/hr full-time (contract) – 6 months
- Back Office Administrator: $33K first year then $35K salary plus commissions (on my own clients) - 1 year and 10 months
- Investment Advisor Assistant: $40K plus bonuses – 1 year
- Pension Analyst then Service Support Associate (don’t ask) then Pension Analyst: $18/hr (temp) then $46K (contract) then $53K – 3 years and ongoing