Recession really sucks. Help us get ahead.

Insight: In this tough economy, Millennials have really felt the impact of a scarce job market –  where skills are a premium, but seem ever harder to come by.

Recession really sucks. One way to find this out is to come of employable age during a recession. For Boomers and Gen Xers, the road of recession is not a new one (most will have already experienced 2 or 3 recessions, although not to the same extent as the most recent crash), but for Millennials, it all came as quite a surprise in 2008 when the economy started to fall apart. The jobs we had been expecting to get started to disappear and the post-graduate oppertunities we had been reliably informed would be there dried up. 6 in 10 Millennials on our panel said that they feel they have been personally affected by the recession.

According to our most recent survey, the 3rd most common status our Millennials have found themselves in is unemployed (16% internationally, but 29% in Italy, and 23% in Spain). Ask anyone aged between 16-25 about their experience of trying to get a job and they’ll probably noticeably shudder whilst lamenting those prospective employers who “couldn’t even be bothered to send me a rejection letter”. Millennials often get labelled as lazy and entitled, which is incredibly unfair, we grew up believing (partially because we were told) that we could achieve anything we want if we try – but recession has brought us down to earth with a bump, and it bloody hurts.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. We’ve proven ourselves to be savvy, adaptable and determined to succeed. 7 in 10 are positive they will get their dream career and 8 in 10 agree “I am always able to re-adjust my life plan to suit my circumstances”.

But the truth is, and this is the same for most generations, we need a little bit of help to get us on our way. In fact, 88% of Millennials we surveyed said that they need a little help getting a job. The three main categories millennials are looking for help in can be broken down into experience, soft skills and functional skills.

So, how can brands fit into this?

Companies which can offer real opportunities for Millennials to skill up, get experience and build the confidence they need to get ahead are on to a winner.  With more than a third (and the top response) of respondents saying they want to gain industry experience – companies are in a unique position to give young people the exact kinds of opportunities they need. With 27% of our panel currently at university or college – they’re thinking about their future and they know it wont be easy. We’ve heard it being said – your degree isn’t enough anymore – employers want people with experience.

The MTV Voices pop up event at Trou in Amsterdam took place during MTV Music Week. MTV offered opportunities for young people to: gain experience of being a MTV news presenter; meet and hear from an industry expert (Kerry Taylor, head of MTV brand); listen to a talk by Breaking Bad actor R J Mitte and an opportunity to have their music heard by prolific hip hop producer Swizz Beatz.

Brand take away: Millennials really get that the working world is tough, but they’re more than up for the challenge. They’re really struggling to get their foot in the door because practical experience and skills are essential, but are difficult to get. Millennials don’t want a hand out, they want to get the opportunity to show you how amazing they can be. Brands which give them opportunities to interact with the brand in a valuable way (not just photocopying and making coffee) can connect to Millennials in a powerful way. By giving them a helping hand (not a hand out) brands are simultaneously demonstrating that first and foremost they care about their audience whilst also showing they understand the tough situations they find themselves in.

By Georgina Palmer, 24, Editor & Research Analyst

Find out what blogger Mitchell thought of the pop-up event here

Check out the MTV Voices website here

Video courtesy of Daniel Griffiths.