Spoiled and entitled, you say? According to a Forbes.com article, millennials earn some 20 percent less than baby boomers did at the same stage of life. And the same can be said when it comes to their net worth and level of wealth. Factor in inflation and the global recession and you have a generation that never really stood a chance.
But if there’s one thing you’ve got to hand to millennials, it’s their knack for finding opportunities at the most inopportune of times. Even more so if they live in a third world country like ours. We talked to five twenty-somethings who hustled their way to a P50,000 or above salary and gathered insights on how to, well, do the same.
When I first started, I was only making P15,000 a month. I was a junior copywriter for a big advertising agency and was more than happy with my salary.
Before landing this job, I was a copywriter for a small events company. I was making less compared to my first job, but I felt more at home in a close-knit setting.
Unlike most people my age, I don’t own a credit card. I don’t splurge on anything—I’m just as much a kuripot now than I was at 20. I knew very early on that I was never going to become an entrepreneur, so I had to rely on my salary. Having financial security gives me peace of mind.
The one thing I did differently was show up. Everyone gets an opportunity at some point; you just have to be present when it comes.
I believe I got here faster because I rallied long enough for the company to see that I’m someone they can invest on.
With the money I’m making, I was able to invest in my own car and condo unit.
I usually spend my money on food and movies—two things I don’t deprive myself of.
But I usually get to save a few thousand every month. I’m not very good at keeping my savings, but I make up for it by never touching my bonuses. That’s how I grow my savings.
I credit all my success to the people who appreciate what I do and continue to vouch for me. Of course, talent and hard work are both a given.
My goal in 10 years is to have enough money to never have to worry about my family or myself ever again. I would also like to travel more—something I can’t really afford right now.
My career/financial advice is to work on growing your savings early on. It’s much easier to do a good job when you don’t have a chip on your shoulder. If you’re not worried about making money or getting a promotion, there’s less pressure involved.
When I first started, I was only making 25,000 a month.
Before landing this job, I was a junior programmer for a consulting firm here in Manila.
Unlike most people my age, I can say that I’m more introverted than others. I deliberately avoid small talk.
The one thing I do differently is that I never, not even for once, set my office messenger to 'busy' status. What I lack in social skills, I try to make up for by trying to be approachable and being always committed to help.
I believe I got here faster because I was never patient.
I usually spend my money on food. I dine out every day.
But I usually get to save 30 percent of my net pay. I’ve only just begun saving.
I credit all my success to God and my parents. Without them, I know I would still be in computer shops wasting my years.
My goal in 10 years is to retire from working 9-5s and do full-time trading.
My career/financial advice is to always make it a point to excel at what you do. It’s hard to be successful at something you’re not really good at. It’s that simple.
When I first started, I was only making around P16,000 a month.
Before landing this job, I was a junior designer at an advertising agency in Ortigas. Then a junior designer under my current employer and worked my way up to become a manager. I’ve been with them for the past eight years.
Unlike most people my age, I’m secure with my work. I love what I do and my job becomes easier as I learn. Don’t get me wrong: I still make mistakes from time to time. But as long as you're focused on your goals, you will always succeed.
The one thing I did differently was learn the business and not just the craft. I learned not to get too fixated on perfecting your product or honing your skills in the applications you use. Learning is important. Understand the process, learn the ins and outs of the business, and appreciate what each individual in your team is doing to deliver a good product.
I believe I got here faster because I was able to get a hold of the opportunities that came with the work. You have to be open to change and advancements.
With the money I’m making, I was able to pay for a real estate investment, some gadgets and accessories, and provide support for my family.
I usually spend my money on food and bills.
But I usually get to save about 20 percent of my monthly income.
I credit all my success to my mentors, who never hesitated to show me the ropes. I’m also proud of everything I’ve learned through research or experience.
My goal in 10 years is to have my own business or become a life coach. I would also like to work for the government.
My career/financial advice is to keep planning. Every personal goal requires a plan on how to achieve it. Work on that.
When I first started, I was only making less than P10,000 a month. I was shooting and doing same-day edits for weddings. Before that, naging taga-deliverdin ako ng yelo.
Before landing this job, I was a videographer at a publishing company. The job didn’t pay much, but it introduced me to a lot of important people, some of whom helped me get to where I am today. They’re my clients now.
Unlike most people my age, I take more risks than most professionals dahilhindi ako takot mawalan ng pera. I literally started from the bottom. I didn’t even get to finish high school. I was able to make my way up the corporate ladder because of the people I met along the way.
The one thing I did differently was keep in touch with the people I’ve worked with in the past. In my industry, it’s all about networking—if your work is commendable and you maintain a good relationship with your contacts, they will recommend you to other clients.
I believe I got here faster because I created my own opportunities.
With the money I’m making, I was able to pay for my own car, invest in quality equipment, and start my own production house.
I usually spend my money on equipment and electricity. My electricity bill is off the charts.
But I usually get to save a small amount. I would rather invest my money on something.
I credit all my success to hard work and the people who brought me into this industry.
My goal in 10 years is to grow my production house. I would also like to dabble in filmmaking someday.
My career/financial advice is to keep producing good work. You never know who’s going to take notice.
When I first started, I was only making P10,000 to P15,000 a month.
Before landing this job, I was working for a relative as a graphic artist.
Unlike most people my age, I am actually interested in the stock market. I genuinely wanted to know how it works.
The one thing I did differently was I didn’t mind switching jobs in order to become good at what I do. It takes time to analyze the stock market and make money out of it.
I believe I got here faster because I’m not afraid to admit my mistakes. That’s how I learn.
With the money I’m making, I was able to invest in a property in Taguig and Laguna. I was also able to buy an SUV.
I usually spend my money on my toy collection.
But I usually get to save by getting an insurance policy and investing some of my funds in the stock market and commercial bonds.
I credit all my success to God, my family, and the people who helped me when I was starting out.
My goal in 10 years is to have a passive income of P100,000 a month.
My career/financial advice is to save as much as you can. Time will never be enough.
This story originally appeared on Fhm.com.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.