A Way to Get Discovered
One of the big problems with being young and unemployed is that you don't have a foundation of contacts and experience that makes it easier to get a job. On top of that, many people are content to simply be unemployed. Entering a workplace is a big unknown, and people are afraid of the unknown. In the world of social media and instant access to the internet, young people are used to instant gratification. So the long and boring process of building a resume, setting up, and going to interviews is not a prospect they look forward to. So how exactly are young people going to be employed if they refuse to put in the effort to be discovered by employers?
Physical youth jobcenters are
my attempt at an infographic that explains the traditional process at being hired, the lure of the startup, and my solution.
As a young person, I have never even heard of a 'jobcenter'. I find it ironic that today's youth face so much pressure to get a job- the education system is centered around getting into a good university, in the hopes that if you go to a good uni, you will automatically get a job.
If companies were as good at tracking potential employees as universities are at targeting potential students, perhaps there wouldn't be such a deficit in youth unemployment.
I am a young person who doesn't know what I want to do when I get older. Whenever I get into a conversation with anyone significantly older than me, the topic of conversation always seems to drift to my future employment. However, the prospective has always scared me.
Even now, when I am doing an internship at the website building tool company
Moonfruit, thinking about working at a company is a scary concept. Many university kids about to graduate have no concrete plan about what they will do once they graduate. Although universities often have a job resource center, university life is often too hectic to leave time to think about the (not so) distant future.
And for those who don't go to university, job perspectives are even more limited (according to your parents).
However, in reality, although a university degree helps, real world experience is often much more important. This does NOT mean diving in and trying to start your own company. As I explained in my infographic, only 13% of startups are left standing after four years. Young people are much more likely to succeed if they start at an established company first, then after they gain experience and understanding in their preferred sector, they can try their hand at going solo.
The big problem comes when you find out the process of applying to a job.
First, you go to a job search engine like
Monster, and find a company or job opening that appeals to you.
Second, you apply to the job by sending in your CV or Resume, both of which have many rules and do's or don'ts that you wouldn't know unless you had someone with experience to guide you, even in today's world of the helpful internet.
Then, if your CV is accepted you go to an interview. This is usually a formal and scary meeting in which you are evaluated on many accounts, including first impressions and ability to ariculate.
In my opinion, this system is outdated and wrong. Everyone has skills, and one of the problems are that often times they don't realize that these skills can actually be translated into a job.
For instance, I didn't realize that there is a job called 'graphic designer', in which you basically make doodles for a living. Many youth feel trapped in a box their parents have placed them in- they must be a business person, or a doctor, or in finance. So they rebel, and end up not doing anything at all. If there were a tool as accessible as facebook, purely for showcasing the talents of individuals, whether they be in the arts, skateboarding, numbers, organizing, or anthing else. I don't know what I want to do, but I know what I like to do. And the rest should be left for employers to figure out.
I call it findYOU.