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Be your own boss

One of the greatest hallmarks of millennials is their desire to shape their careers on their own terms.

Whereas in the past, it was all but accepted that a person would follow a “natural” progression of entering a company and working his or her way through the ranks until retirement, younger people prefer to be in control of their own destiny without having to answer to a superior.

For this free-spirited generation, a number of career paths are possible.

Freelancing

There are not specific jobs that are focused on freelancing. Indeed, there aren’t even specific skills that automatically make them immediately freelance material. As Mashable highlights, if we have some kind of education, chances are we probably have some skill that can be used to earn from freelancing.

“Just about everything can be outsourced these days. That's why there's a strong likelihood that the skills on your résumé contain one or more freelancing opportunities.

You may be required to think outside the box — we're not all graphic designers or programmers. However, you may find that your "secondary" skills can offer up freelancing opportunities. For instance, if you are a strong writer, then you have the potential to develop a freelance writing business.

Don't be paralysed by a preconception that you do not have the necessary skills or experience — you would be surprised how little experience you need in order to get started. A little faith in your abilities will take you a long way.”

You could also expand your skills. For example, many places require web sites, so exploring what web development courses can offer might improve your chances of obtaining some freelancing work.

Starting your own business

If you don’t want to be managed by a boss, you could always become one yourself. This, indeed, could be the precise motivation for someone who does not like to managed – going through the ranks and being the best in the business, such that she becomes the boss herself.

But, as Harvard Business Review notes:

“Executives are shaped irrevocably by their first management positions. Decades later, they recall those first months as transformational experiences that forged their leadership philosophies and styles in ways that may continue to haunt and hobble them throughout their careers. Organizations suffer considerable human and financial costs when a person who has been promoted because of strong individual performance and qualifications fails to adjust successfully to management responsibilities.”

Thus, it’s not good enough to simply be the best at your job – you also need the skills of a leader. Again, this is something you can learn – much like acquiring any other skill – via education and learning.

These are just two ways to make a career while trying to find ways to not be managed by higher-ups. Of course, there will always be someone higher-up and you are dependent on to some degree: whether a boss or client or editor. But we can manage all of them and negotiate our relationship to aid us in making our lives better.