Legal Law

How well are we preparing the next generation?

“There’s only one problem with common sense; it’s not very common.”
– Bryce’s Law

We have some very bright and ambitious young people joining the workforce now, but they do so at a very different time in the business world. Thanks to technology, we now live and work in a society that is advancing much faster than the one I joined just three decades ago. It is also a much more competitive environment due to changing economic conditions. It’s true that the Greatest Generation has basically moved on, but the Baby Boomers are still firmly in place and not about to retire anytime soon. This means that the class of 2007 will be competing not only with people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, but also with people in their 50s and 60s who can’t afford to retire.

This got me thinking about how well we are preparing the next generation of workers. Are we really training them to succeed or are we setting them up to fail? Sure, they may be well educated in their professional area of ​​expertise, but I’m finding a notable number who lack basic street knowledge. Somewhere between the safety of home and school and the bitter realities of the real world, there is a void in preparing our youth for adulthood. In a way, it’s like being a skydiver for the first time, except you get pushed out the door with no instructions on what to do. This can be very traumatic for young people who tend to feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of adult life.

At school, students only cared about attending class, absorbing the material, eating, and socializing. But now as adults, they suddenly have to deal with things like insurance, taxes, housing, transportation, banking, investing, retirement accounts, health care, nutrition, paying bills, corporate culture, etiquette, dress, career development, ethics. commercial, office. politics, networking, employment, management, etc. Oh yeah, and I work. They may have been adequately trained for their profession, but no one is preparing them to make the transition to adulthood.

The parents have not prepared them. If anything, they have shielded their youth from reality for far too long. For example, many children today have not had to mow the lawn, wash the dishes, push a broom, or hold a part-time job. Instead, they were free to focus on their homework and video games. In other words, parents have failed to instill the concept of simple responsibility and the value of a dollar. Many parents today are “hands off,” meaning they are happy to let others raise their children for them, whether it be a relative, a babysitter, a coach, or a teacher, thus giving them some time off to rest. and relax. .

Teachers haven’t prepared them either, but in their defense this shouldn’t be in their job description. Instead, they should be concerned with teaching academic subjects, such as math, literature, languages, science, etc. However, as many parents have dropped the ball, teachers have been forced to become surrogate parents, something they are not necessarily trained or suited to do.

Ultimately, this means that today’s corporate managers inherit a generation of naïve young people with unbridled enthusiasm who have a hard time adjusting to the corporate world. Many of this generation seem to believe that they are uniquely different, that the old set rules of today’s corporate culture no longer apply to them; that corporations must adapt to them, not the other way around. Such naivety can be dangerous and lead to your demise as reality sets in.

To overcome this problem, perhaps we can help our youth by devising a new kind of curriculum that teaches things like:

  • Personal organization: for example, managing finances, insurance, housing, transportation, etc.
  • Adaptation to Corporate Culture – how to understand the culture and adapt to it. This would include discussions of business ethics and the study of change.
  • Professional Development: Teaching craft concepts, continuous improvement, and basic business skills.
  • Social skills: how to communicate and socialize effectively in an office environment.
  • Do’s and Don’ts in the Workplace: Discussion of the realities of employment, company policy manuals, and other legal issues.
  • Management 101: teaching basic management concepts and rules to help “newbies” adapt to corporate culture.

Actually, none of this is new. We’ve all had to learn it through the School of Hard Knocks. However, if the next generation is ever going to have a chance in today’s fast-paced world, we have to drive this process forward for them. Otherwise, they will have a hard time surviving. Basically, what is needed is a simple advice from the parents.

If you’d like to discuss this with me in more depth, feel free to send me an email. Email.

Keep faith.

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