There is a small but really important article in the Globe and Mail this morning. It talks about how difficult it is for kids to get their start in the job market.
A federal government panel has released its interim report and it is focused on employers’ reliance on the digital application process. We know as adults how frustrating it can be to spend 30 minutes filling in an online application that feels less and less relevant as we click through each window.
We get around this by networking. We talk to friends and former colleagues and the guys we sit next to at hockey practice.
We thought that internships would solve this problem. Kids would get an introduction into the work environment and then either get hired or get recognized by others in the field. This is only true in some cases. Free labour, energy and enthusiasm does not always turn into paid work. At 20, this can be pretty disheartening.
Kids need our social connections to workplaces and industries. It’s a tough road for them and we need to help. I am not talking about just our own kids. I am talking about the kid next door, the nieces and nephews, the kid who walks your dog when you are away.
You will likely see a lot of young people over the next week. Stop for a moment to chat with them. Ask about their studies and their plans. It will seem like they are rolling their eyes. Ignore this. It’s just habit. Think for a moment about whether you know someone or something that might be helpful and offer it up.
At the very least, ask if they are on LinkedIn and offer to connect.
Getting young people into good work situations should be on all of our minds. Let’s do as much as we can.