Thursday, Apr 24, 2014
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The youth are not stealing your jobs

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I've been making the mistake of keeping up with my Facebook news feed. As a result, I'm mentally and emotionally exhausted from the endless number of posts with atrocious spelling and grammar errors, gripes about things beyond our control, gripes about things in our control we refuse to fix and, of late, the influx of posts about "the youth stealing our jobs."Sigh.Here's the thing: I know a lot of people of varying ages and educational backgrounds who have been laid off from jobs, including me. Some were beyond competent and were the victims of a bad economy and evolving industries; some probably didn't work hard enough to keep their jobs.But none of them had their job "stolen by the youth." Yes, we are generally paid less than our predecessors and do twice the amount of work. That doesn't mean, however, employers are rushing to fire experienced employees and substituting those of us fresh out of college who are fairly well educated but lacking defining life experiences.Anybody can memorize information out of a book or online, so there's definitely something to be said for life experience. It took me 10 months out of college to land a job in my field, despite having a pretty impressive amount of field experience under my belt for someone my age. Every job rejection came with an apology along the lines of, "Sorry, but why would we hire you when we have older journalists with 25-plus years of experience working in the field that we can hire instead?"That doesn't sound like youth stealing jobs to me.I think the key to keeping your job in a world constantly evolving because of new knowledge and technological advances is to be smart enough to keep up with the changes in your industry and to evolve accordingly. You don't just go to school for four or more years and then do little on-the-job training and think you're set for life. Education is a lifelong task, my friends. In just a few years I'll be competing against much younger versions of myself; people striving to learn what it takes to succeed in my industry that "the kids" have known since their tiny little fingers first started playing baby games on iPads. I, however, won't be complaining about them. They have just as much right to a place in the workforce as I do. I'll just have to keep evolving with the times and proving to my employers why both my education and my experience is an asset to them.

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