Being a young person is harder than ever, especially in the workplace. We talk a lot about the rising cost of living and low wages, but what other challenges do young people face in the workplace?
Removing negative stereotypes in the workplace is so important, and we are making strides in certain areas. We are having more open conversations about discrimination based on race and gender, but we talk less about the negative stereotypes surrounding young people. There is a common misconception that young people are generally lazy and don’t want to work hard, which has a big impact on the way that they are treated in the workplace. They are often less likely to be given more responsibility and opportunities to progress because people don’t see them as hard workers. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because they are not given opportunities to prove that they can work hard, and this then perpetuates the stereotype.
There are also a lot of ideas about people being too young for certain jobs, which creates a lot of barriers to entry. People like Mike Kahoe, for example, have faced barriers in their political career simply because of their age. There are many careers that are incredibly difficult for young people to get into because it is assumed that they don’t have what it takes to do the job.
Lack of Experience
Many people in their 20s grew up in the midst of a global financial crisis, so when they were old enough to start looking for work, it was very difficult to find anything. This means that when they finish college and start looking for full-time work, they are often met with criticism about their lack of real-world experience. When going up against older candidates with more experience, it is tough to sell themselves. Trying to find part-time work as a student can help to alleviate this issue but for many young people, it’s already too late.
Even those that do have experience find that there are fewer opportunities to apply for, making every job a lot more competitive. There are a couple of reasons for this but the aging population has a big role to play. The average age of the population is increasing, which means that the retirement age is also increasing. Older people are staying in their jobs for longer, which causes a blockage in the job market and reduces the number of new positions opening up for young, newly qualified candidates.
Automation is also a big reason for the lack of job opportunities right now. New software applications are capable of taking over entire roles. So, when somebody retires from their job, companies are often replacing them with a piece of software instead of opening the position up to young candidates.
This is creating a serious barrier for many young people that are entering the job market for the very first time.
If you are a young person and you are trying to get your career off the ground, it’s important to be aware of these big hurdles that you are likely to face.