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An Open Letter To The People Who Don't Hire Millennials

A millennial who is fed up student loan burdens and hopelessly searching for jobs in her field speaks out.

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Dear potential employer,

I noticed on your job listing that you are looking for a candidate with 5-7 years of experience. However, I don't fit that description. The reason I don't fit the description is not because I don't care about the issues you are working for, don't have the drive, or don't want to work in the field. I don't have that many years of experience in a specific field because I did not get to be selective about my job when I graduated school. With only a temporary forbearance period and my parents pretty much telling me I was on my own, I had to find a job that would pay my bills (mainly my college loans).

I feel that it is unfair that myself and my peers are judged for this. There is nothing I wouldn't do, no amount of hours I wouldn't work or miles I would travel to work for a company or cause I care about. I would sacrifice sleep, wear on my car, and almost anything else, but I am never given the opportunity to show my full potential. I thought that maybe some years in a professional office setting would help, I was wrong. Now I'm being judged because I don't have direct experience working on the issue/cause/campaign you are hiring for even though I do have prior experience working on issues/campaigns.

Millennials want to lean in, but we are constantly being pulled back by our college loans and the need to make enough just to get by.

After all of this, I can't help but feel the deck is stacked against my generation. College tuition has soared to astronomical rates and the majority of students have to take out loans. Ideally we would be able to get a job in the field we spent at least 4 years of our lives studying to pay off our loans. However, this is no longer the case. We have to take whatever decent paying job comes along in order to be financially responsible. When we look for jobs that we actually want and are passionate about, we are then punished for not already having experience in the field we want to work in. I won't get into the issue that there is no hope of building a house, having kids, or even buying a new car until after I am 30 and have paid off my loans, again, financial responsibility.

I am not asking for a handout or asking for someone to throw me a bone. I am simply asking that you (the employer) evaluate me based on what I am capable of doing. I think that practical, hands-on interviews are underutilized. Give me a task and see how I tackle it, ask me to draft a speech, ask me to analyze data or develop a strategy for growth. Give me a chance to show you how I think. Please stop evaluating candidates strictly based on the current employer listed on our resumes. Not all of us have the privilege of being selective about the jobs we take and the financial situation we are in should not determine our potential or capabilities at your company.

Sincerely,

the candidate you didn't hire

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