As you are probably aware, the professional world keeps changing and so do its codes.
If we compared our grandparents’ working habits to our parents’ or those of the new generations, I’m pretty sure that we would find some similarities but, above all, many differences.
This evolution can be a bit disturbing for some people, especially for the younger generation, who often worry about the day their status will switch from student to working professional.
If we mean to reassure them and help them figure out what they want to do in life, it is essential to get them ready to enter the business world. But how?
Just like one does not simply learn to swim by jumping into a pool, young people should not enter the labour market without any training or coaching. Indeed, they must learn about what goes on in advance and what to expect.
Fortunately, there are several solutions to help young people understanding what the day-to-day corporate life looks like in a company. Allowing them to build their own professional network early in life is one of them. What about the others? Keep reading to find out about a few effective methods to help young people approach their future work environment smoothly.
INTRODUCE YOUNG PEOPLE TO THE ART OF NETWORKING
If generations X and Z are well-aware of the importance of being active and developing a community on social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok or Snapchat, they seem to have more difficulties understanding the interest of why building up a professional network is important.
However, in 2021, the usefulness of this practice should no longer have to be proven! Especially because there are very simple and effective methods to quickly and easily develop your professional network.
This issue raises several questions. Do young people consciously deprive themselves of all the advantages linked to having a professional network? Are they simply not aware of its importance? Do they fear the idea of talking to professionals?
In any case, it is in the interest of high education institutions, educational leaders and all other career guidance professionals to teach students about the networking.
If you think persuading young people of developing their own professional network is not an easy task, think again! Once you start mentioning its multiples advantages they will on your side: having access to the hidden job market, getting precious tips from experienced professionals, becoming more visible to recruiters, knowing about the latest trend in their preferred sectors, etc.
ENCOURAGE WORK/STUDY PROGRAMS AND INTERNSHIPS
After the implementation of the plan “1 jeune, 1 solution” in France, 2020 saw an amazing increase in the number of apprenticeship contracts reaching an all-time high with 495,000 signatures in the private sector: +40% compared to 2019!
A springboard for young people, work-study programs and internships are some of the most effective methods for allowing them to discover the reality of a profession and daily life in a company. Besides, they represent an opportunity for young individuals to improve their skills, apply all the theoretical knowledge gained during their studies, develop their professional network and receive a financial compensation while continuing with their education.
For all these reasons, we will never stop praising the merits of these contracts addressed to young people. However, there is always a negative point and in this case, it is the fact that these programs are not available in every school which created inequalities among the younger generation.
SET UP MEETINGS BETWEEN PROFESSIONALS AND STUDENTS
By now, I am sure that you get it: allowing students to get in touch with professional is essential. These encounters do not only benefit young people, but also career guidance professionals (like yourself).
Most career guidance experts have already understood this, especially in higher education, where it is common to come across different methods that promote meetings between young people and professionals. We are referring to business seminars, recruitment forums, business competitions with partner companies, business professionals that teach certain courses and, of course, work-study, and internship programs.
Nevertheless, these opportunities are not available for all students. We must therefore continue to democratise and facilitate the connection between professionals and young people, because the benefits are numerous for them. Indeed, in addition to building up a professional network, they will then be able to access much more details than the ones features in a classic job description.
They will also be able to easily imagine themselves (or not) in specific roles having received answers to questions such as what a typical day at the office involves, the advantages, and disadvantages of a job position, the skills required, the know-how and interpersonal skills to be favored, etc.