It has never been easy to be a young person entering the working world, but the present economic state has made the hope of landing a career after school even more challenging. Research by a Washington university professor has found that 4 in 10 young Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 actually live below the poverty line. Cutbacks, advancement in technology and outsourcing are all current hurdles for anyone breaking into the work force, and when inexperience and limited professional networking are thrown into the mix, the challenge becomes gargantuan.
Often massive student loans are taken out in an attempt to increase employment opportunities, a gamble these days as a university diploma offers no guarantee for a job of any kind, let alone one that can actually pay off the loans or even modestly support a single person. It is understandable that graduates can feel overwhelmed with the prospect of landing a job at this time, but young people are being recruited everyday and the secret to their success could be remarkably simple.
Laying the blame...
Are employers to blame for failing to offer young people the opportunity to work? It seems that although graduates are often excellent in their field of study, their ability to succeed within a company is compromised by their lack of general work knowledge. A British study found that bright young employees lacked the ability to work in teams, communicate, and be punctual and determined. The study discussed the importance of a potential employee being ‘well rounded’; having the ability to problem solve and handle difficult situations. Graduate employers explained that without these well-rounded attributes, a potential recruit could lose out on a placement within their company.
So how can a young person hope to find employment?
An internship or apprenticeship, are suggested ways to get a ‘foot in the door’ and offer an opportunity to learn the ropes of the profession you will be entering. Admittedly, this may not be financially beneficial, so consider including the internship period when developing an education-financing plan.
Further education facilities often offer programs that teach the fundamentals of employer expectations, also volunteerism is an excellent way of practicing the skills required to become that ‘well-rounded’ applicant. Although you have worked hard to gain a degree and feel that you should hang on for THE job you deserve, it is much wiser to find employment anywhere you can; work experience of any kind will show future employers that you already know the importance of being on time, dealing with problems and communicating in a work environment.
When it comes to the job market today the secret is no secret. If an applicant has the education and can provide a resume that shows proven proficiency in communication, team work and problem solving, then an employer can feel comfortable that the applicant is indeed work ready..... just don't be late for the job interview.