Colette Mason Personal Branding Trainer

It’s Time To Help Our Unemployed Youth

Written by Colette Mason

Topics: Marketing Tips, Mindset Tips, Personal Branding Tips

Youth Unemployment Makes My Blood Boil!I’ve just been watching the news and seen the latest UK Youth Unemployment figures.  I can’t speak for you, but the situation young people currently face has got my blood boiling!

Something has to be done. 

It was 21.3% in October 2011 and it’s gone up again!

UK youth unemployment rate: 22.3%, up 1%: 1.04 million unemployed 16 to 24 year olds.

Now your mileage may vary, but I think young people being shown that a “permanent job” is the best option to aim for is doing them a massive dis-service. It limits their options and promotes a way of working that is on its knees.

There’s just not enough traditional “jobs” for the people looking for opportunities.

It’s time to face the facts. Jobs for life have gone. Young people (and the older ones who are made redundant and find themselves also stuck on the scrap heap) need to be shown how to be flexible and significantly more entrepreneurial in the way they view the world of work.

The Old “Jobs For Life” Model Is Dead! Stop Promoting It As The Best Solution!

When I look at the US Bureau of Labour Statistics as an example, the figures from a Sept 2011 study state the average worker will now have a whopping 10 to 15 jobs each lasting around 3 years at a time. So the idea of you joining a firm, being there for 20 or 30 years and getting a gold watch when you leave, well I’m afraid that’s long gone and whether you’re freelance or employed, not only will you be changing jobs types, you’ll also be changing career. This study also estimated you will change career 5-7 times during your whole working lifetime.

And I strongly believe this is a global phenomenon, not just a US thing. So why is this still peddled (can I say peddled) as the silver bullet and what young people should be aiming for? It really does amaze me.

Young People Need More Entrepreneurial Help

What job-seekers need to be able to do more than anything else is adapt and showcase why they are the perfect choice for a specific opportunity or project. They need to be able to go from opportunity to opportunity, to be flexible and to follow what the market needs to have these really, great career chances given to them. If people are not flexible,  not dynamic, not motivated, not proactive then it’s very, very easy to get stuck in a rut and get nothing but low-paid, dull work – or worse still nothing at all.

I’ve been lucky enough to be able to adapt. I’ve only ever had 1 permanent job, which I did for 11 months, back in 1994 – after that I’ve always created my own opportunities. I could have plodded going from 1 two year job to another (so I didn’t look like an unreliable “jumper”), but that just wasn’t for me.

I started playing around with computer at the age of 12 and had my first computer job at 15 – a job I created for myself by showing I could solve a problem (stock control and customer lists) for a local business.

And that’s what I think is missing – that ability to assess personal strengths and expertise and use those as a basis for an adaptable, successful professional career.

Unemployed? Interested In Trying A New Strategy? I Genuinely Want To Help!

So, what I want to do is reach out to motivated, entrepreneurial young people and mentor and coach them to follow a strategy like mine. (You can see what I’ve been up to here: Press. Events. )

I just want to be clear – this isn’t about me – it’s about people who know how to create opportunities to pass that knowledge onto our young people.  I’m more than happy to share how I’ve created these opportunities. It’s time to step up and do something.

This is completely free for the candidates. I have sufficient time to work with 5 people for now via email and skype 30 minutes a week.  I want to share my system with you. All I ask in return is we keep in touch and you let me know how you are progressing after we’ve finished working together. I reckon we would need 2-3 weeks to share what I know and for you to apply it to your situation – and we can do everything online – so it really doesn’t matter where you’re based.

If you’re a young person struggling to get started in your professional career, contact me via my contact form NOW and let me know about how you would like me to help you kickstart your worklife.  I’ll choose 5 people at random by Wednesday 1st February.

What’s you’re opinion?

Are you a student who is affected? Are you a business owner who could offer some advice and support? Post your thoughts below. Thanks.

8 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Colette Mason says:

    Here’s some tips for using Social Media to boost your chances and open up some doors.

    Let me know if I can help you – something has to be done.

  2. Colette Mason says:

    Thanks to David Cassar (a Facebook Friend)

    who is also offering free entrepreneurial advice via his website:

    Tell him I sent you.

  3. Scrapheap Sid says:

    Thanks for this. It feels like no-one is listening.

  4. Colette Mason says:

    No problem, “Sid”.

    It’s time to take action and stand up and be counted!

  5. Sarah says:

    Very true. We’re not really shown how to create our own opportunities.

    Watching the Young Apprentice last year was more helpful to me than traditional career advice!

    I am interested in finding out more, so I’ve sent you an email.



  6. Colette Mason says:

    Hi Sarah – thanks for the message :) and the comment :)

    I’m off to a local school to talk to young people about creating opportunities for themselves – perhaps I should create a leaflet for the careers advisers as a summary!

    Onwards and upwards – looking forward to helping you! :)



  7. Colette Mason says:

    I’ve had a contact from another friend Nicholas Robus who runs his own business – he started at 12 – (beat me by 3 years)!

    He’s also keen to mentor young people to start up their own businesses.

    If you would like help – let me know. It’s all free. No strings attached. It just an opportunity for a chat and a new perspective, and some guidance if you do want to try something different.

    My friends and I all think it’s time for a different, more relevant message to be shared!



  8. Tim Hunter says:

    You can’t start at the top. Try to get some experience. Behind every supposedly mundane job is, in reality, an opportunity to gain experience at the sharp end of a highly complex world that you could easily end up being involved in. An active and intelligent mind will often start to question things and identify new ideas. Don’t sneer at these jobs.

    Suppose you stack shelves, consider the logistics and ordering systems that go into delivering those products to that store. Consider the branding and marketing that goes into a product’s packaging, look at the special offers and other in store marketing materials – what makes a product sell? Look at how products are positioned in a store. It’s all fascinating, really.

    Help out people by showing them to the correct part of the store and mention special offers.

    You won’t want to spend your whole life stacking shelves, but a few months doing a supposedly mundane job like that can open your mind to many ideas. Maybe you’ll end up creating your own website analysing all the types of baked beans available in the country or something like that.

    Believe you me, no American would ever sniff at starting at the bottom. Over there, millionaires all start out like that. I think they almost enjoy proving you can succeed against the odds. In the UK, on the other hand, there’s something peculiar that seems to lead to people having unrealistic expectations about the kind of jobs they can get after graduation.