The container shipping industry has a profound effect on marine life.
Millennials are the most educated, technologically savvy and culturally diverse of any generation before them.
But, we millennials seem to have gained a bad ‘rep’ when it comes to job hopping. Research by Bentley University in Boston found 80% feel they’ll work for 4 or more companies in their career. Some people have speculated that millennials are more ‘entitled’ than previous generations. However, as a millennial myself, I believe that my generation is less focused on just earning a living and perhaps feel more ‘entitled’ to work in a career we truly love.
Being part of a generation that has grown up with technology; the internet and mobile phones has meant that jobs and job opportunities have changed dramatically. The internet has literally made anything possible:
- Model. Platform: Instagram.
- Platform: Etsy.
- Platform: Soundcloud.
- Fashion Designer. Platform: Shopify.
- Antique Dealer. Platform: Ebay.
- Platform: Wattpad.
- Platform: WordPress, Tumblr, Squarespace.
- Film Maker. Platform: Youtube.
- Platform: LinkedIn.
- Platform: Instagram.
- World Traveller. Platform: Blogger/Tumblr/Wordpress.
- PhD or Master degrees online.
- Graphic Designer. Platform: Adobe Creative Suite, then advertising yourself through social media.
- Platform: Youtube/Hubspot/Digital Garage.
- Platform: IndieGoGo.
By 2020, millennials will be nearly half of all workers. With a generation more inclined to create their own business, the above jobs have become common.
But, where does this leave international trade jobs? The work that keeps the world running. People in my generation are flocking to tech companies and their own start-ups, looking for meaning and purpose. It has been said that there is a new generational snobbery, “I have a degree – that job is beneath me”; “I can aspire to more”. But what will happen if industries such as the one I’m in, Maritime or Oil and Gas, Construction, Engineering don’t entice the next generation to work for them? How can they interest Millennials?
Curious and worried about how I may get my Amazon shipments in years to come, I decided to dig a bit deeper than ‘millennials must except how an industry works’ and look at how industry could start working for the new generation.
I started with myself. I am 24, so I’m included in the millennial generation. I have an Art Degree but have found myself after countless bar jobs, with my first ‘job job’ as a PR/Communications and Digital Marketer for a Freight Forwarder. This is a job I would never have even considered I could use my skills in.
Anyone that has worked in hospitality or retail will know the desperation of wanting a ‘normal’ life. I set about applying for anything I thought I could at least get an interview for, then hoped my willingness to learn would shine through. Neel Ratti, the General Manager here at Tuscor Lloyds, saw something in me and offered me the job, despite me having no experience and no idea how logistics, supply chains or even what the difference between containers was. After 9 months, these have started to become my norm. I have been lucky enough to be hired by a company that wants me to grow and develop my role and will nurture and support me along my journey. This is something that has always been a motivation for me, along with the ability to travel. 6 months in, I was able to experience being part of the team to go to the Breakbulk Europe trade show held in Belgium, one of the largest trade shows in our industry. Next May I will be able to go again, where the show will be held in Germany. My company also have an office in Mexico me being able to go at some point is hopefully on the cards too.
I looked at articles about millennials and how to motivate them, seeing if this matched up with how I felt. The more I read about my generation, the needier we seemed. I decided to interview a friend, I selected 3 key questions:
- What attracted you to your current job?
- What is making you stay?
- What would make you consider a career in international industry/traditional industry?
The job itself is something I love doing, I’ve been able to turn a hobby into a career and not many people can say they do that! The interaction with large groups of people and getting to be outdoors are a huge part of what keeps me there. Every day is different and I never know what will happen, each day is an adventure. I’ve found my dream so unfortunately nothing would interest me in a career in a trade industry. That said, our generation I think has lost touch with these industries. I think everyone still has a very prehistoric view of what working in traditional industry is actually like now.Tom Key
He raised a very good point. Some traditional industry jobs have amazing benefits and a better than average salary, but young people don’t know this. Like I once did, I also feel my generation has a warped view of these type of traditional industries. Shipping doesn’t just include people working on board the ship or in a docking yard. It encompasses a whole range of skills and qualifications that are needed to get the job done: logistics professionals, captains, import/export clerks, graphic designers, website engineers, the list goes on. There are countless technological advances happening in international industry as well, but do Millennials know? How can companies get them to pay attention?
This summer we have had the pleasure of having Rhys Rodriguez be part of our creative team as a summer intern. While being with us he has written 9 articles for our company blog and even had one published by Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. As a final piece hes has written about his ‘Summer Fling with the Shipping Industry‘ outlining how his view of the shipping industry has changed over his time with us. Maybe if more Millennials looked at internships with companies like ours, they could see all the opportunities they could utilize!
I believe a good starting point could be focusing more on the futuristic technology industry is striving to integrate. Maersk teaming up with IBM to introduce Blockchain technology to their company and the autonomous electric ship that is being built in the Port of Larvik in Norway, to name a few. Industries need to push this idea to help excite interest in the next generation. Automating the mundane routine jobs but utilising and focusing human skill on the challenging task where creativity is needed. Millennials need to realise how difficult yet personal the job can be.
However, it’s not a one-sided challenge. Millennials must join the conversation on trade. A Pew Poll conducted last year found that millennial knowledge on global industry issues ranks the worst among all age categories. There should be a constructive dialogue to encourage young voters to see the benefits of trade and how it is related to their daily lives.
Our love for technology and social liberalism beg for more understanding of opportunities in traditional trade, not less.
Also published by: Great Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Read here.
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