THE NEXT ECONOMY

Q&A: Oates On Millennials’ Job Outlook

The administration’s point person on job training says young workers must adapt to a fluid market.

National Journal
John Maggs
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
John Maggs
May 7, 2010, 8 p.m.

As as­sist­ant Labor sec­ret­ary for em­ploy­ment and train­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion, Jane Oates is re­spons­ible for work­ing with the states to hand out un­em­ploy­ment be­ne­fits and for over­see­ing the fed­er­al pro­grams that re­train the un­em­ployed and help them find work. But Oates has a still more im­me­di­ate con­nec­tion to the chal­lenges fa­cing laid-off or oth­er­wise un­der­em­ployed Mil­len­ni­als: This spring, her 25-year-old col­lege-edu­cated son be­came one.

Oates: What hap­pens when you get your dream job at 24? He was a writer for Rot­ten To­ma­toes (the on­line movie re­view ag­greg­at­or). He star­ted in Feb­ru­ary of 2009, and there were 162 people on staff. There are 53 on staff now.

So he is really strug­gling with, “What’s the next good job?” It’s not go­ing to be a 10-year job, and that is the tie-in. The Mil­len­ni­als are go­ing to be very dif­fer­ent from you or me as a young per­son. I star­ted teach­ing in 1975, and I got a job right out of col­lege, and I thought I was go­ing to be a teach­er un­til I was 65 years old. If I hadn’t taken a turn on the path to go more in­to policy, I’d still be teach­ing. I would nev­er have been without a job. But I don’t think that is go­ing to hap­pen for many Mil­len­ni­als.

What can your of­fice do to re­spond to the needs of Mil­len­ni­als?

Oates: I think our work­force sys­tem is not very re­spons­ive to Mil­len­ni­als. We’re square; we’re old. So what we did this year is, we put out the Job Seekers Chal­lenge, where we in­vited people, known and un­known, to put for­ward their job-ag­greg­at­or tools. We wanted to know what ways there were out there to ad­vert­ise jobs. So we had, I think, 600 tools, from the Mon­ster.com and Ca­reer­Build­er.com guys all the way down to the moms and pops that were think­ing things up in their gar­ages. (You can find the res­ults of the chal­lenge, in­clud­ing the top-rated job-search sites in each of six cat­egor­ies, at www.ca­reer­on­estop.org/job­seeker­tools/.)

We’re [also] really look­ing at cre­den­tials. What are the cre­den­tials that help people get jobs? What are the cre­den­tials that help people make more money? Right now, we have a mil­lion cre­den­tials out there, and five smart people couldn’t agree on what the best ones were…. When we talk about high-tech man­u­fac­tur­ing, when we talk about green jobs, what are the cre­den­tials that will get some­body moved up at an ac­cel­er­ated pace in that in­dustry?

What are Mil­len­ni­als go­ing to need to do dif­fer­ently to suc­ceed in the work­force?

Oates: They are go­ing to need to be mas­ters of de­tail on their résumés, be­cause old folks are go­ing to look at someone job-hop­ping and think there is something wrong with the em­ploy­ee. [Mil­len­ni­als] are go­ing to have to doc­u­ment on their résumés, “Why was it be­ne­fi­cial to have these ex­per­i­ences rather than to stay in one job longer?”

I think they are go­ing to have to be much bet­ter com­mu­nic­at­ors than we ever were. They are go­ing to have to be able to sell them­selves, and con­vince an em­ploy­er that they are the one to take a risk on.

And I think they are go­ing to have to be al­ways look­ing for their next job, something that I nev­er did. They are much more vul­ner­able to lay­offs, much more vul­ner­able to col­lapses with new busi­nesses, much more vul­ner­able to hav­ing to move around.

They are go­ing to have to take joy in re­lo­ca­tion. But they are a gen­er­a­tion that is much more glob­al in their think­ing. They are col­or-blind, they are gender-blind, they really don’t have the bi­ases many of us grew up with. So if any gen­er­a­tion can with­stand the pres­sures com­ing out of this re­ces­sion, they are built to do it.

The au­thor is a staff cor­res­pond­ent for Na­tion­al Journ­al.

What We're Following See More »
SAVE THOSE PERTAINING TO EXEC BRANCH
Sessions: DOJ Will No Longer Issue Guidance Documents
23 minutes ago
WHY WE CARE

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Friday the Justice Department will revamp its policy for issuing guidance documents. Speaking at the Federalist Society’s annual conference in Washington Friday, Sessions said the Justice Department will no longer issue guidance that 'purports to impose new obligations on any party outside the executive branch.' He said DOJ will review and repeal any documents that could violate this policy." Sessions said: “Too often, rather than going through the long, slow, regulatory process provided in statute, agencies make new rules through guidance documents—by simply sending a letter. This cuts off the public from the regulatory process by skipping the required public hearings and comment periods—and it is simply not what these documents are for. Guidance documents should be used to explain existing law—not to change it.”

Source:
STARTS LEGAL FUND FOR WH STAFF
Trump to Begin Covering His Own Legal Bills
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS
DISCUSSED THE MATTER FOR A NEW BOOK
Steele Says Follow the Money
3 hours ago
STAFF PICKS

"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."

Source:
BRITISH PUBLICIST CONNECTED TO TRUMP TOWER MEETING
Goldstone Ready to Meet with Mueller’s Team
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter. Rob Goldstone has been living in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been communicating with Mueller's office through his lawyer, said a source close to Goldstone."

Source:
SPEAKING ON RUSSIAN STATE TV
Kislyak Says Trump Campaign Contacts Too Numerous to List
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak said on Wednesday that it would take him more than 20 minutes to name all of the Trump officials he's met with or spoken to on the phone. ... Kislyak made the remarks in a sprawling interview with Russia-1, a popular state-owned Russian television channel."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login