Whilst I think this is happening in more than a few instances, I wonder why we have got to this position. Is it that there are not enough jobs in the current era? Maybe. Are we turning out lots of people qualified in the wrong subject areas? Maybe. Or is it simply that as a society we have raised a generation who assume that they can have what they want, and the best version of that too? Probably. Many children over the last few years have grown up in an environment where if they say 'I want...' then it will be provided. Now they have got to the stage of saying 'I want a good job' and are being disappointed and don't know how to deal with it. Coupled to the expectations that they have swallowed, their lack of previous disappointments and hardship has left them with an empty resilience tank as well. They now can't deal with the harsh realities of the adult world which they are expected to inhabit.
I lay the blame partly at the door of people like myself; coaches who have raised people's sights, expanded their goals and excited them with glowing visions of what might be. They have maybe been less than realistic and lifted expectations in some cases to impossibly high levels. We need to be careful that if and when we do this, it is also essential to look at the huge amount of work it takes to be successful, the many intermediate steps you may need to go through, and also the fact that sometimes your success will not be a goal completely within your control. Oftentimes the marketplace, the competition, the environment, even pure luck may play a part. We therefore have a responsibility to not merely set expectations but to walk with, and support, the young people of our society through hard times, to help them learn resilience and deal with the unpalatable. And when I say 'we' I am now talking about the collective responsibility we all share to see the next generation grow into their futures, leading, serving and governing our world.
So yes, let's inspire people (young and old) to aim for the stars but accept that you need to work really hard, taking small steps in the right direction, learning from each job that you do. Yes, today's job might not be ideal but, as well as paying you something, what benefits does it bring you that are transferable to the next rung up the career ladder? When I was hawking household products around the doors in Glasgow I could have reasoned that my Masters degree in Engineering was being wasted. Instead, it was paying me whilst I looked for a job in my field, taught me about customer relations, marketing and most of all perseverance and resilience. I can't say I enjoyed it, but I stuck it out until something better came along. Likewise, one of my friends has just gained a clutch of good exam results and is about to go to Uni to study psychology but is working cleaning toilets. She hates it but it pays money and is a means to an end. Will an employer recognise that she is willing to work hard and maybe get her hands dirty - definitely. Will they see her as job snob who might be difficult to handle - unlikely. Much easier to put a positive spin on that on her CV than a couple of months on the dole.