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Work and the youngest generation; What's going on?

Nowadays, supermarket shelves are overflowing with an enormous diversity of items. Most of us have a shopping list and head straight for our goal. The other products are sometimes less noticeable.



Study choices

With the choice of studies, a choice can also be made from a huge range of studies. There are no 'shopping lists' for this because many have no idea what they want to do for further education or study. There are secondary schools that therefore leave information about study choices to a computer program. Personal advice from a teacher or mentor is often no longer available. Sometimes, due to the enormous range of study options, schools no longer have a clear overview of which study would best suit their needs. At a very young age, a range of subjects must be chosen, which in many cases determines which studies can or cannot be followed later. Ultimately, the choice of a study is a confluence of impressions, knowledge and experience from family, friends and what appears in the media. And the numbers still determine everything.

The various courses and studies are fighting hard to attract attention to new students because this brings in the necessary subsidy money for each new student. Everything is presented as to what can be achieved with certain completed studies. This fits in with the times in which social media plays a dominant role. Everyone wants to meet the 'ideal picture'. First going through an 'offline' development to discover personal interests and qualities is becoming increasingly difficult. The following news item recently received worldwide attention regarding the influence of the smartphone;



The influence of the smartphone


In Greystones, just below Dublin on the east coast of Ireland, eight primary schools, sports clubs and parents have joined forces. Together they have agreed that primary school children are not allowed to have a mobile phone, not even at home or in their free time. The children have to wait until high school.

The reason for the experiment, which has received worldwide attention, is concerns about the mental health of children. Mobile phones allow children to see images and information that are inappropriate for their age, keep them from exercising and playing outside, and online bullying is a growing problem.

And above all: the mobile phone is considered a status symbol. Children from poorer families who cannot afford a mobile phone often feel left out. The idea is that by treating everyone equally, you take away that pressure.' Source: Arjen van der Horst, NOS news Monday, December 4, 2023. https://nos.nl/artikelen/2500376-iers-experiment-geen- mobile-phone-for-kids


Studies and the bridge to practice


It is striking that it is difficult to find internships for further vocational training and studies. Many companies are looking for talent, but preferably talent with experience. Of course, there are many promotional advertisements showing interest in young talents. But if these young talents cannot land well in an organization in which they are hardly trained for a specific position, either the employer or the young talent will drop out prematurely. Unfortunately, this is more regular than exceptional. Ultimately, it really depends on consciously planning an induction program of at least six to twelve months.


Habituation


After high school, many students have to learn to deal with the new learning environment of further education or study. This takes the necessary time and energy and, just like in the first years of life, involves trial and error. It is strange that after completing a study, in many cases, little attention is paid to guidance and support in the guidance and support in their first job for those recently started scarce employees. It just happens that the brilliant Summa Cum Laude, very promising recent graduate student ends up on the 'bench' of a consultancy firm that has no project for them at the moment. A frequently heard complaint is that the youngest influx belongs to the 'snowflakes' or 'curling parents' generation. Or in other words, at the slightest thing they get stressed and give up. But is this all correct? And isn't it too easy to blame this on the supposedly spoiled youngest generation? Perhaps this is too easy to explain; It takes two to tango.


'On the job' Coaching of starting talents


People are creatures of habit; This includes working people. A lot of work is done in an 'auto pilot' setting. The days have a fixed schedule and much of the work has a fixed structure, including consultation with colleagues. This has arisen over the years and mutual colleagues often need half a word to 'keep their train running'. Compare it to a team sports competition. Discussions in the middle of the field during a match simply don't work. There is some guidance from the sidelines every now and then. But what if you want to turn that train into a TGV train to get to your destination faster?

Unrest can arise in a well-functioning department if it is initially 'overthrown' by the arrival of, for example, a new ERP system. Consider the rails, overhead lines and platforms that need to be adapted for the new fast TGV train.

The same happens with the arrival of a new, sometimes inexperienced, talented employee who comes up with new, fresh 'ideas'. Due to the fixed 'auto pilot' structure, everyone remains busy from the familiar setting and there is little or no attention for the newcomer.

This newcomer also comes with far too many new ideas that are difficult to understand. In addition, it disrupts the current peace and regularity of the work in which everyone is well attuned to each other. It is understandable that this happens because the newcomer has been hired to implement innovations and wants to score in this regard. This is also promised to young starters from their training; With the diploma in hand, the sky was the limit, it was said. Compare it to transferring to that TGV train or getting into a Ferrari on a forest path; That's not really going to work either. First, asphalt has to be laid for that Ferrari before you can enjoy it. And what's wrong with that forest path? If there is no clarity, no plan or strategy, then it will remain difficult.



Education and the bridge to practice

In education, the link to practice is often hard to find. That Ferrari again; At school you can learn how to control it in theory; Even with perhaps a simulator. Then it is important to be able to practice with it on the road; That is the practice. See this also between theoretical education and practice-oriented internships; That is already a good first practical start.

Despite the fact that the parents of pupils and students often come from the area where they often work at companies and institutions where there are staff shortages. How easy would it be to ask parents during a ten-minute conversation at school if they would like to come and tell 'their story' about what they once learned about the job they have now. And about what is going on there and what you need in terms of study and interests. In this way, companies from the area can be more actively involved in drawing up internship assignments; An internship is already a good first step. Education already has to meet (too) many administrative obligations; Perhaps initiatives can be started from the parent councils to bring theory and practice closer together. This also applies to the study advice. In addition, companies can also make more efforts to set up partnerships with training courses from the area. It sounds cliché, but shared interests, interests and efforts make that train go faster and that Ferrari can be tested somewhere without having to plow a forest path.


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