Having trouble getting your teenager to find employment?
(don’t talk about what job they want, talk about the problem they want to solve)
So, your teenager is approaching adulthood and showing few signs of getting a job. When you were their age, you knew the direction you were going in and were actively working towards it. Why doesn’t your child just ‘get it’?
The concept of a traditional ‘career’ route is not something that many millennials will consider. They often do not even have the strong desire to go to university, instead they want to try jobs and see what they like doing. The next generation expect immediacy, which committing to several years at university does not fit with, a year-long apprenticeship may be of more interest to them.
On top of that, the world is starting to see a massive threat to ‘jobs’ – technology. Robots are able to do many ‘jobs’ far more efficiently 24 hours a day. Factor in the ability to repair themselves, which is predicted in the next few years, then you’ve got a recipe that means if it can be done by a robot, then at some point it will.
Artificial Intelligence is fast becoming a viable alternative to employees too. A Japanese firm recently announced it was replacing some employees with IBM’s Artificial Intelligence, the first of many such moves predicted over the next few years.
Your teen will be seeking something that they enjoy and that will give them the cash to have the lifestyle they want. The average age for children moving out of home has increased to 28 years old and many millennials may have a completely different outlook on getting on the property ladder than has been traditional.
By asking them what problem they want to solve, you will force them to think differently, rather than be the nagging parent asking them what job they are going to get. You will open up an opportunity, a conversation to discuss the things that are different nowadays to your life when you were a teenager. Ask them about their views around work, because I have no doubt they will be different than the approach you want them to take.
Richard has co-written the book Boosting Positive Mental Health in Teens with children’s life coach Naomi Richards, and is author of the forthcoming book The Parent’s Guide to the Modern World.