An overwhelming 96% of Millennials in the study define having a steady job as the primary marker of adulthood.
A recent survey of Canada’s Millennials, which focused on their social values, has provided fascinating insight into, and ousted tiresome stereotypes about, this diverse generation. Bruce Lawson, President of The Counselling Foundation of Canada, one of the groups involved in doing the survey, offers crucial information: “An overwhelming 96% of Millennials in the study define having a steady job as the primary marker of adulthood – far more than owning a home, getting married or having children, which were key markers for previous generations. This underscores the need for career development to ensure Millennials have the skills, confidence and adaptability to navigate an ever-shifting economy.” This is exactly the focus of my upcoming webinars for CERIC and BCCDA: the need for career development to ensure Millennials transition effectively into adulthood even in this ever-shifting economy that is daily if not hourly impacted by technological innovation. At present, almost half of university educated Millennials slip into unemployment or under-employment and thereby do not transform into “adults.” Those who are under-employed fill jobs that are needed by youth who do not have post-secondary education. The over-arching question I ask in my webinars is: how can we harness technology in order to change this failure to launch for half of our university-educated Millennials and thereby improve employment opportunities for young Canadians today?
I believe we are at a significant turning point in career development for youth, profoundly related to the way in which technology informs our understanding, and it is this juncture that I will focus on and unpack in my webinars. New ways to present and market oneself, such as the landing page company Unbounce or the professional job-hunting and recruiting grounds of Linkedin offer young people advantages over past methods which limited reach and possibility. The rapid fire world of social media also gives Millennials opportunities job-hunters could not have even dreamt of in the past. Instant access to company issues, events, even day to day unfolding via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are just seconds away on Google. You know longer need to stare up at a job board where openings have been pinned on with a tack, now you search and find positions on multiple employment platforms. With all this technological innovation at Millennials’ fingertips, how is it possible that any of them struggle to transition into career-launching positions and thereby becoming adults?! And this is where we gain startling insights from technology itself. Instead of using new advances to present the self, search the world of employment and transition from school to work, I am going to explore in my webinars what we discover about youth when we use technology like fMRI and MRI in order to know more about the developing brains of young people.
A crucial, new discovery has been made by neuroscientists: the adolescent brain does not mature into an adult brain until approximately 24 or 25 years. Therefore, Millennials who seek jobs after high-school and even those who seek positions after four years of university, do not have fully matured brains. I will argue therefore in my webinars that as much as Career Development professionals need to know about technological advances that impact our outer world, they also need to be up-to-date on what science tells us via technological advances about our young clients’ brains.