Another day, another reason for the world to feel bad for millennials. According to a Stanford economics study, our generation is looking to be the first to make less money than the one that came before us. This finding applies to income, savings, and net worth.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise—today’s job market is way more competitive, the value of money is at an all-time low, and very few people are finding work in high-paying fields. Whether millennials should take the blame for it is anyone’s guess.
We may never reach the same standard of living as our parents, but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying altogether. After all, creating opportunities for themselves is what kids today do best. Take your cue from these hardworking millennials, whose six-figure salaries show that hope is not lost—as far as our generation is concerned.
The one thing you should know about what I do is that you earn as much as you work. Writing is by no means a lucrative profession. I make a lot because I write a lot. Everything is output-based. It helps that I am able to find my niche. I write scripts for brands, which means I get to charge more than usual.
Before all of this, I was a staff writer for a website that has since ceased publication. I remember working on a lot of press releases—the ones my bosses didn’t want to take on. I guess you could say that that was my introduction to advertising work.
With the money I’m making, I am able to afford myself the basics. Right now, I’m paying for my own car and property. Actually, I’m paying my mom because she’s the one who took care of them back when I couldn’t.
Most of my earnings go to food and gadgets. I have a tendency to abuse laptops, which is ironic, since they’re basically my bread and butter.
I can tell you that this is not a walk in the park because my clients have a way of butchering a perfectly good script. I don’t get to have a lot of creative freedom, but this is what I signed up for. I know plenty of writers who would never agree to this kind of setup. Not even with the money involved. Good for them.
My career/financial advice is to find your niche. No one is irreplaceable—there are people out there who can do the same things. Some of them can even do it better. Some will do it for free. But clients prioritize the suppliers they trust. If what they’re looking for is what you’re offering, the project is yours.
The one thing you should know about what I do is that there’s plenty of socializing involved. I mostly cover media and corporate events—sa bawat shoot you get to make around P5,000 to P7,000. I attend events four to five times a week; minsan dalawa sa isang gabi. This profession is not for introverts.
Before all of this, I was a graphic designer for an established website. I wasn’t earning much, but since the hours were flexible, I had time to moonlight as a photographer. I had exhausted all of my leaves, though.
With the money I’m making, I get to invest in good equipment. Photography is sort of an investment—kailangan mong gumastos para malaki rin ang balik sa’yo someday.
Most of my earnings go to food and airfare. I enjoy going out of the country—whether it’s with my family or my fiancee. I’m constantly on the lookout for airfare promos.
I can tell you that this is not a walk in the park because what I do requires a lot of hustling. Most people use their phones to take photos, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to be a professional, you have to learn the culture. You have to learn the practices and etiquettes. Makibagay at makisama ka.
My career/financial advice is to take care of your body, especially if you’re a freelancer. Don’t take your mind and body for granted. If you feel like you need to take it easy, don’t feel bad about turning a project down. Kung nanghihinayang ka sa income, recommend someone from your circle instead. That person will do the same for you.
Occupation: Business Development Manager
Salary: P115,000 (includes commission)
The one thing you should know about what I do is that it involves a huge amount of people skills. Kailangan makapal ang balat mo because you will encounter colleagues and clients who will really test your patience.
Before all of this, I was a Directory Assistant. I was taking more or less 800 calls a day for North America. The funny part is, I’m not even exaggerating. But I was pretty good at it; ginawa ko siya for years.
With the money I’m making, I get to live comfortably. It allows me to be independent. When you get to a certain salary, you learn to live and relax a little.
Most of my earnings go to copious amounts of food and trips. The basic necessities are there, but I live and work to eat and travel.
I can tell you that this is not a walk in the park because the pressure is always on and the struggle is definitely real. Not everyone has the stomach for it. You need to believe in yourself and your ability to sell. Know your product. Be proactive. Never fear rejection. Build a relationship with your customer and listen—the best salespeople listen more than they talk, because they can easily identify their needs. Anyone who’s ever been involved in sales will tell you the same thing.
My career/financial advice is to find what motivates you and multiply it by a hundred. That’s the only way you can get to where you want to be. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Alec Baldwin’s Glengarry Glen Ross speech on YouTube just to remind myself why I am in this field. Put in the work, and your efforts will be repaid.
Occupation: Graphic Designer
The one thing you should know about what I do is that it’s as good or bad as advertised. It depends on whom you ask. There are a lot of late nights and persistent clients. But then again, ang sarap kapag lumabas na yung gawa mo for everyone to see.
Before all of this, I was a designer for an events company. I was in charge of the stage design and the collaterals needed for the event, like the invitation and the souvenir. We used to pitch to clients almost every day. It was stressful but it was all good.
With the money I’m making, I am able to care for my family, basically. I get to enroll my son in a good school. I get to invest in other things. More importantly, I get to feel secure.
Most of my earnings go to food and bills. My girlfriend also tells me that I spend way too much on clothes.
I can tell you that this is not a walk in the park because the hours are ungodly. Sometimes, there are not enough hours in a day. I have a drawer full of clothes in the office because I never know when I’m going to have to do an all-nighter. But it comes with the territory.
My career/financial advice is to keep honing your skills. Develop that skill or quality that made you valuable in the first place. Also, learn to manage your expectations. You’re not always going to get the salary or position that you asked for, but the next best thing isn’t so bad either.