Published: Jun 24, 2015
Kids these days, with their new-fangled gadgets and their lewd pop music and their scandalous fashion sense and internet memes, amirite?
The only thing that's worse: us "grownups," consumed with our bitter envy of their lifestyles and freedom and, well, general youth.
If you're looking for more fuel for your "things were better back in my day" fire, check out the chart below, which shows that summer employment rates among teenagers are perilously low. Which is a problem for those of us who came up the hard way, sitting by pools for endless hours or slinging golf bags or cold beverages in hot weather for tips. Why is it a problem, you ask? Well, how else are those youngsters supposed to prove to future "real" employers that they've got the kind of stick-to-it-iveness to hold down menial jobs while partying all summer long?
Over at Slate, where I found the chart, Alison Griswold offers several factors that might help to explain why teens aren't using the summer to fuel their savings/purchase "investment pieces" at Hot Topic the way they used to. Among them: entry-level jobs are on the decline in general, which has a knock-on effect on temporary employment, while the average school leaving age is also climbing. Griswold also notes that "Other teens are opting for volunteer work, unpaid internships, and other 'pre-college' sorts of programs during the summer over traditional jobs."
While the dropoff in youth employment in general is likely the major reason for the decline, those last two reasons underline a much more meaningful shift in the lives of that demographic over the past 10-20 years. More kids staying in school leads to greater competition for places in college, which it turn makes the those long, responsibility-lite summers much less appealing. In a world where being chosen to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an education at the college of your choice is increasingly resembling an arms race, it makes sense that teens would forego the meager amounts they could earn serving ice cream in favor of something that they'll be able to squeeze an applications essay or resume bullet out of.
The worst part about that chart, then, is that it doesn't demonstrate the feckless nature of teens today; it's that it underlines just how competitive their lives have become.
The Best Summer Job I Ever Had Was the Winter I Spent in the Italian Alps
Bad Jobs: What I've Learned From the Worst Jobs I've Held
Great Jobs: What I've Learned From the Best Jobs I've Held
Lifeguard image credit:
"Lori Wilson Park, Cocoa Beach FL - Flickr - Rusty Clark (149)" by Rusty Clark from merritt usland FLA - Lori Wilson Park, Cocoa Beach FL. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
In the past week, the New York Times published two articles on international internships. One about the rise of unpaid internships overseas that can cost students several thousand dollars and that seem to be very attractive to students who can afford them.
As a follow-up to my recent post on the lessons I learned from the best jobs I've had, I've been thinking about some of the worst—or least enjoyable—positions that I've held in my two-plus decades in the workforce. While there have certainly been plenty of periods in my career where I haven't enjoyed the work I've done, or taken much more from it than the paycheck at the end of the day, there are a handful of positions that stand out as having been particularly dispiriting and difficult to put up with.
I realized this year that, having found my first job while still in high school, I have now been in the workforce for more than two decades—and fortunate enough to have been able to find and hold employment for most of that period. Since those first forays into the world of work, I have held—as anyone who has looked at my profile page here at Vault will know—a variety of jobs in different industries, across three continents.
In today's fast-paced world where efficiency is key, automation has become the new reality. From robots to artificial intelligence, workplace automation is shaking up industries worldwide, leaving no job untouched and causing significant disruption on a global scale.