Those of us who work with young people have an important role in helping them to find work that they enjoy and that will help to develop their potential. Helping young people to find fulfilling work, whether they are already in a job or are about to move into the world of work is an important aspect of helping them to become self sustaining.
People enjoy their jobs when they feel respected, when they know they are doing it well and when they have opportunities for development. Whilst we hear a lot about young people’s attention being on making money, many young people recognise the importance of doing something that they feel passionately about, having work-life balance and being intellectually challenged.
Sadly not all young people find themselves in satisfying careers and need help to make their work more fulfilling. Sit down and talk to young people about work, ask them about:
- What they enjoy most at work, most jobs are not all bad?
- What issues they need to address e.g. it could be a bullying superior?
- Do they lack confidence?
- What would they like to change?
- Are they bored because they do not have the opportunity to use all of their skills?
You can then help the young person by:
- focusing on their strengths and recognising what they do well
- suggesting they spend time with people who give them positive feedback
- encouraging them to be proactive and positive about making changes
- helping them to identify their dream job by exploring their values, listing their personal characteristics and discover their purpose
- stressing the importance of being prepared to work hard
Being happy at work has huge benefits for young people. It will reduce stress levels, help them to feel more positive and more creative, they will get on better with other people and they will work better.