Young people at work
The future belongs to young people. If the present birth rate continues to decline, in future there will be fewer young people in work life than today. That is why it is important for young people to get a positive but realistic picture of work life. It’s worth utilizing the input of young people as work trainees or substitutes, for instance during the summer. This is what many employers are already doing. It has also been seen that new ideas crop up when young people work together with more experienced employees.
Young people are motivated at work partly by different things than older people. Young people expect work to be meaningful, and the work community to be healthy and motivating. Supervisors must be able to explain to young people what their organization does and to justify why it is important. Young people also see the interface between work and private life as being more flexible than do more experienced employees. This also entails risks, as a young person does not necessarily realize early enough that he or she is pressing ahead too hard.
Today’s digital natives are used to reacting rapidly in the social media. This habit follows them automatically into work life. In practice this means, for example, that young people expect to get feedback on their work right away from their supervisors and colleagues. This state of affairs is evolving gradually, because before long supervisors and colleagues will also be part of the social media generation.
What then will remain the same in our dramatically changing work life? In my opinion, the significance of work guidance is of utmost importance also in the future. The importance of safety at work must be emphasized to young people as they enter work life – preferably even earlier. Supervisors will play a central role in this, as well as in preventing the burnout of young people. It’s unfortunate from everybody’s viewpoint if a 25–30-year-old person has burnt out at work.
Let’s join forces in ensuring that the innovativeness, enthusiasm, trying out new things, and team spirit that prevails among kindergarten children can be maintained also at the workplace.
And finally, thanks to all those who were kind enough to be interviewed and photographed for this issue of Telma. Your examples demonstrate that we can all develop and improve our work and workplaces to be better than ever.