Connecting young people with meaningful careers starts by empowering them to discover their passions.
Since the popularization of the “Millennial”, the world has devoted countless hours to explaining the generation’s role in the economy. Just search, “Millennials in the workplace”, and you will find a myriad of articles, charts, infographics, case studies and videos expounding the truth about who Millennials really are, what they want and how to understand them. You will find reasons why they are the worst, why they are the best, why they are entitled and lazy, and why they are determined and ambitious. Point being, I’m tired of hearing about Millennials.
So instead of focusing on the hyper-analyzed, often criticized, and terribly misunderstood Millennial generation, let’s focus on a different group today:
When I say “young people”, I’m not trying to simply repackage Millennials in a euphemistic box. I am talking about mental youth. Whether you are 23-years-old with a crispy diploma in hand or 43-years-old with decades of experience under your belt, it is your mentality that matters most. In this context, young people are essentially the group of people who haven’t given up on the world. They are enthusiastic about work. They are desperate to have their voice heard and create something beautiful. And most importantly, they are the future founders, owners and creators that will shape our economy. These are the young people we are focusing on today.
Also, eliminating all connotations associated with Millennials allows us to think more clearly about the role young people play in business. More precisely, how and why are young people essential to a successful business? How can we ensure they reach their potential? And how can we connect them with meaningful careers?
At Beckett Industries, we take pride in being a hybrid organization. That is a diverse collection of individuals whose passions and aspirations come together to design, innovate and grow. For us, results matter. Success matters. Building and growing the strongest team comes from valuing everybody on your roster, and understanding how young people fit into this hybrid team is paramount.
Below, we cover the steps Beckett Industries has taken to empower and develop the young people on their team.
Give them a reason to stay.
The day of the cubicle is over and the young, brave souls marching headfirst into the world have high expectations for their workplace. We’ve all seen pictures of insane offices complete with basketball courts, Dance Dance Revolution and their own music venues. These are companies like Google and Facebook and Airbnb that are fueled by young people; and although those are absurd examples, companies should be aiming to foster a comfortable, livable environment for their employees – especially the young ones. The young people of today are fully aware of their options, they are apt to seeking new employment and companies are missing out by not engaging them adequately.
At Beckett, we give them a reason to stay. We are a family and we want to feel at home when we’re working. That is why our work environment was designed to not only be functional, but also to provide a healthy, energizing space to maximize happiness and productivity. Ultimately, we know that young people are less engaged than ever in their work. Giving them a lively, relaxed environment to work and learn and grow is a huge benefit for them and for the company.
Instill a vision of success.
After answering the question of why they should stay, it is important to show young people what they can be within the company. In other words, what is their potential? How will they become successful? In order to connect young people with work they love to do, and are proud to do, you have to give them a vision of success.
Beckett is growing. Our vision is always expanding and we’ve realized that we need talented, driven young people to push the company where it needs to be. If you’re intelligent, hardworking and ambitious, Beckett will work with you to discover the best fit within the organization. The crucial aspect of this step, however, is being realistic. Joining our team means you’re prepared to get shit done. It means you’re ready to learn and grow and push yourself. We are a family and we like our fun, but we are here to kick ass. The young people in your organization will be excited and motivated to reach their potential if you show them what their future could look like if they are willing to take their career seriously.
Help them discover their passions.
Passion is an essential aspect of a meaningful career. It is also terribly misunderstood. When young people are asked what they want from their work life, “passion” comes up more often than not. There is a problem, however, with our definition of passion. The problem is laid bare in this common and misconceived phrase:
“If you find a job doing what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”.
While this is a lovely sentiment, it’s just not true. If you find a job doing something you love, a job that ignites your passions and satisfies your intellectual needs, congratulations! However, do not expect your passion to burn intensely every minute of every work day. Being passionate about your work does not eliminate the “work” part of your day. In fact, if you really love your job, you’ll probably work harder than you’ve ever worked before. To help young people develop meaningful careers and love their work, they have to understand the concept of passion.
Beckett takes passion seriously. It’s what drives us to create and pushes us to succeed. We are always striving to provide the young people on our team with opportunities to expand their skill set and discover their passions. With this effort, there is a certain degree of trust involved. There is trust in giving young people responsibility they’ve never experienced before. This trust can be difficult for employers, but if you’ve fostered a creative, healthy working environment and instilled a vision of success, this trust will lead to beautiful results.
Young people have energy, they have vision, and they want to win. What they need is an employer that is dedicated to their success. For both parties to get what they want, they need to cooperate. By following these steps and always working to better itself, we have developed a cohesive team of young people with a wide range of skills, hobbies, strengths and passions. Every day, millions of dollars are spent analyzing, projecting and predicting the future of business. While these endeavors may have merit, investing in young people – no matter what generation they belong – is always a smart step towards a successful future.