Thrive, Young Employees!
Written by Queentries Regar
Entering into the employment arena as a rookie is challenging. The professional arena offers both encouragement and discouragement, hence careful consideration is crucial. This post will speak about the stumbling blocks youth faced in the workplace and strategies to tackle such issue.
Barriers for young employees arise since the beginning of the journey. Complicated and sometimes discriminative requirements are set on job vacancies which makes them unattainable for young applicants. For instance, the age and minimum working experience restrictions. I experienced firsthand the struggle to pass the 2-year minimum related working experience as prerequisite for a project assistant post (one of the bottommost entry-level positions). How is it possible for a 22 years old fresh graduate be already equipped with multi-year professional experiences? The high youth unemployment rate in Indonesia aggravates the job-hunting competition. At the end, desperate young applicants are forced to choose the better evil albeit knowing that the job is not fulfilling the minimum work regulations.
When in the workplace, other barriers followed. Youth employees are prone to get stigmatized as inexperienced, naïve, unstable and considered with incomplete ideas. The dilemma of exploration versus exploitation happens as well. Employees in their twenties are hungry for exploration and positive affirmation, thus always ready to stretch hands whenever asked. This is where the potential poisoned chalice can occur. At first, the feeling of proudness might blossomed when the boss or a senior co-worker give additional tasks. The juniors believes additional tasks signals positive confirmation toward their great competence and hard-work. But soon, more and more additional work is handed, which have no correlation with our job descriptions. As young employees with little to no bargaining power and incentive, they are defenseless to resist their boss’ orders. They end up working in longer hours to complete the additional tasks. That is exploitation.
There are some ways to tackle the aforementioned problems as follows.