Is your son or daughter struggling with what to do next; not clear of their next steps? Are you wavering from exasperation to a genuine concern as your children are either struggling to get their first job, don’t know what to do or are stuck in a job they don’t like and can’t quite see the way out of?
Getting that all important first job or landing one that ignites the fire within one’s heart seems increasingly difficult and there are many who are frustrated and disillusioned. The excitement as one looked towards the future when at school or university has been dampened by the difficulties caused by a competitive employment market and the reality of still living at home while one makes those applications, when independence was the dream.
It can be a difficult time for parents. One is as encouraging as possible but too often talk around the dinner table turns to either: have you decided what to do yet? What have you applied for today? Any news from last week’s applications? Isn’t any job better than none? As well-meaning as those questions are, and no matter how much support is given implicitly and explicitly, they can have a negative effect on everyone and relationships can suffer.
I have spoken to parents who feel that they have ‘lost their son’, as their self-esteem and confidence have dwindled away. Parents have spoken of the pressure that their child feels when their siblings are roaring ahead and of the pressure they themselves often feel, though mostly never meant, by questions from their friends asking how Tom is doing; or throw-away lines at dinner parties about how well their Peter is since his new job; that Catherine is now earning and at last realised that sometimes you can’t always do what you want or that which puts a fire in your belly; about how a cloud has lifted in the whole family since Jane started working.
Youngbow exists to help young adults with their next steps. Whether they have been to university or not, or are actively thinking about maximising their chances of securing their ideal job whilst still in education, we prepare them to address the challenges that they may face through our individual, one-to-one coaching, and group programmes. The Youngbow team comprises experienced business people, published authors and education professionals with children at university or recently graduated. Our advice is pragmatic, up to date and anchored in what employers are looking for. We build confidence, self-awareness, communication, resilience and emotional intelligence – all of which are crucial for ensuring the best possible job application – and the practical skills for successful next steps.
Tim (not his real name) had left school, went on a gap year and returned not wanting to go to university but he did not know what to do. He was passionate about horse racing and his dream was to race. His parents were happy to support him up to a point but were worried about him drifting and a growing sense that he was not being very realistic. He took part-time jobs in pubs and restaurants when he could get them but was himself becoming frustrated that he did not have the money to follow his passion and did not know what to do –after a period of months disillusionment was in danger of settling in. Over five one-to-one sessions with one of the Youngbow coaches his confidence returned. As he understood what he wanted and what he could do he actively explored different jobs. Within a couple of months he had found a job and had begun to fund his hobby. One year on he is working happily, learning new skills, building an independent life and relationships are positive. He has even secured some racing for the next few months.
There are many stories like this but my favorite and the one which almost brought a tear to my eye involves Patrick. He had been struggling since he left university. He had applied for several jobs but nothing had worked out for him. He had survived on part time jobs for a few years. He then spoke to one of the Youngbow coaches. His engagement with us was successful and following it his mother said ‘I have got my son back’. At Youngbow our guiding principal is helping people be the best versions of themselves that they can be – on this occasion it was good to see Patrick restored to that best version.