The perfect job doesn’t exist, so focus on this instead

February 23, 2015, 7:00 PM UTC
Photograph by Sergio Villareal

MPW Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: What is one piece of advice all millennials should take before entering the workforce? is written by Erin Ganju, co-Founder and CEO of Room to Read.

For decades, each new generation has zealously entered the workforce contending with their peers for coveted positions and seeking to impress prospective employers. However, when it comes to millennials, it’s the employers that are looking to “wow” the candidates. Millennials have the advantage of being judicious—a luxury previous generations have not had. For this reason, I encourage millennials to be discerning and deliberate in seeking out organizations that align with their career values and provide opportunities for personal enrichment. In other words, don’t wait for the perfect job, but do look for the perfect company.

First and foremost, millennials need to identify the environment they would thrive best in, whether that be an established corporate office with structure, a start-up with lots of creative energy and casual policies, or one of the many options in between. More than any other generation before them, millennials see less of a distinction between their chosen career and their personal values. They are looking for companies that they can grow professionally in, but that also offer the intangible benefits of a career—meaningful work, a sense of accomplishment, flexibility, and inspiring peers.

The resume of a millennial not only contains educational and professional experience, it also highlights passions and interests with the implication that their 9 to 5 is not bifurcated with the rest of their existence. These personal profiles help and are extremely useful when job searching, helping both the candidate and employer identify traits and values in one another that will encourage a successful relationship. I encourage all millennials to figure out the change they seek to be in the world and then pursue employers that are already acting on those same aspirations.

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