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3 Things Millennial Women Need to Land Their Dream Job

3 Things Millennial Women Need to Land Their Dream Job

One of my favorite things about being a career coach is having the opportunity to work with some exceptional young women. We’re talking about brilliant, personable, driven young professionals. However, they all have the same challenge. Mastering the job search is becoming increasingly important for young professional women and unfortunately, most aren’t equipped to make the most of their opportunities.

According to PayScale, wages for women stop growing at age 39. The typical wage at that point is $60,000. For men, research shows that their wages continue to grow until age 48 and typically cap out around $95,000.

Can you believe that?

It’s time to wake up. For millennial women, it is now necessary to take your job search seriously in your 20s and 30s so that it doesn’t negatively affect you later in your career. The truth is that it takes more than a killer resume or great job experience to kickstart your career. In other words, sometimes being the best candidate isn’t enough.

There are three things that you need, no matter your circumstances, to get you on the path to greatness, where you belong:

A Dream Job

You would be surprised at the number of times I see blank stares when I ask my clients about their passions. I think young professionals are often so focused on landing somewhere in the job market that they lose track of finding work that is fulfilling and meaningful to them. Many buy into the myths that “they need to get their foot in the door” or “no one enjoys their first job.” The problem is that one year turns into five years which turns into an entire career.

Take some time leading up to your job search to really focus on how you want to spend your 8, 9, or 10 hour day over the next few years. What are you passionate about? How do you want to give back? What do you enjoy doing most? With my clients, establishing this clarity through a forward-thinking resume exercise lays the groundwork for how we structure the rest of the job search strategy. While it’s tempting to jump right into applications, resumes, and interviews, don’t do so at the expense of your vision.

Unapologetic Confidence

It’s a fact. Women apologize. Women apologize so much that there are articles, TV ads, and Google Chrome plugins dedicated to helping women break the habit of apologizing unnecessarily. During your job search, you’re competing with the best, brightest, and possibly “most related to the CEO,” so it’s critical to be unapologetically confident. Stand for something. Tell your stories.

One of the things that typically shocks clients that I work with is that I coach them to not try to be the perfect candidate for every job. Be yourself. Own your experiences, strengths, weaknesses, and personality traits. Identify 3-4 stories in your experience that you want to make sure are conveyed throughout the interview process and prepare them well. This could include your greatest success, biggest failure, or favorite project. How do you want people to describe you after your interview?

A Mentor or Coach

I’m going to give it to you straight. Men are conditioned throughout their lives to be successful in the job market. They are naturally confident, competitive, and more direct. Women, less so. I’m not saying that we’re any less qualified, powerful, or even less confident. We do, however, show it in more subtle ways. That’s why it’s important to find a coach, someone who has the wisdom and experience to develop these skills in you before you approach the job search. A mentor can help you identify your true strengths and marketability, allowing you to kickstart your career and land the type of job you deserve.

As women, we’re often our own biggest critics. Invest in yourself by working with a coach or mentor to provide clarity, confidence, and connections to fuel your job search. You’re worth it.

It comes down to this.

According to PWC, more than 63% of executives will be ready to retire in the next five years. Are you poised to take advantage of this leadership gap? In today’s competitive environment, there is little time to waste. Be strategic about the jobs that you’re seeking, how you position yourself, and the people you affiliate with to build a career that is both meaningful and fruitful.

No excuses, ladies. Opportunity is endless. You just need to create it for yourself.

Brette Rowley is a career coach who helps millennials build their dream careers. Sign up for her Ace the Interview Guide and free training at and connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @BretteRowley.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.