Our research talks about young people and what the future of work will look like for them, but does it still resonate? Tate writes a response to our research and how it's impacted his approach to work.
FYA has done a tonne of research through their New Work Order research series, which details how work is going to radically change in the future. But how do young people feel about this new challenge? I’m here to give you a young person’s perspective on FYA’s New Work Order report series.
First, a little background on myself’. I’m a ‘95 baby, which puts me on the edge of Gen Y and Gen Z. In other words, as a kid I remember playing Snake on my dad’s Nokia (kids, ask your parents), and today, I scroll through TikTok while I wait for the next round of Apex Legends to load (parents, ask your kids). Recently, I graduated from uni and have become newly acquainted with the realities being a full-time member of the workforce.
To be honest, the findings of the New Work Order research series leave me feeling a little anxious. The data projects a future where work will be more insecure, increasingly outsourced, and heavily affected by the rise of automation. As a young person at the beginning of my full time work life, it makes for some pretty stark reading about my future.
The key part of the research I keep coming back to is the projection that young people today will have 17 jobs over five careers in their lifetimes. To understand just how much a shift this is from the norm of previous generations, there’s a little experiment we can all run.
Young people—ask your parents how many jobs and different careers they’ve had. If you’re a parent, or friends with parents of teenagers, just reflect on your own experience. Then, ask your grandparents the same question. More than likely, your parents and grandparents will only have had a handful of jobs over one, maybe two careers. We all need to recognise that work for young people is going to be very different than it has ever been for past generations.
To be in many roles over several careers should be recognised as an exciting prospect. I remember as a young(er) fella, seeing my dad receive a trophy recognising 20 years of work at one company. I thought, “I can’t wait to get one of those when I’m older!” Now, I couldn’t imagine anything worse than working for one company for that long!
It’s clear that in the future there will be constant movement between jobs and careers, as well as the demands of needing to reskill and upskill, sometimes at the same time as balancing jobs or looking for work. This will create a lot of insecurity for the workers of tomorrow.
But there is a silver lining to the negativity and anxiety. FYA’s research identifies solutions or ways for young people to be prepared for the changing world of work. The research series identifies four factors or elements that help young people land full-time work out of full-time education quicker. This includes getting relevant paid experience, building transferable enterprise skills, and even having an optimistic mindset!
Overall, whether we like it not, work is going to fundamentally change. Young people today are going to be the ones who will face the brunt of these changes as they enter the workforce. With change comes exciting opportunities, as well as new challenges. What’s important is that we all, young or otherwise, recognise the change to come and understand how we all can adapt to succeed in a new work reality.