It's not personal

My 16 year old daughter achieved a career milestone this week – she lost her first job. As I reassured her that it wasn’t personal I realised that was exactly the problem.

A change in franchisee and management arrangements mean that my daughter and a number of her co-workers won’t be needed to fill casual shifts. No argument with that – managers can arrange their casual staffing however they choose. But - and it’s a big but - those who will lose their casual roles weren’t told. After attending an (unpaid) staff meeting, being reassured that they would likely remain employed, and in any case that no decisions would be made until everyone who wanted to stay on was interviewed, nothing… until she asked her current manager (who is leaving) what was going on.

My daughter and her friends will graduate from casual jobs- a couple of shifts a week for pocket money- to “real” work. Work where they will be much more responsible to their customers, employers, managers, co-workers, and, in time, those they supervise. We who are older and wiser will no doubt bemoan the work skills of generation new. We will criticise their self-centeredness, lack of communication and empathy, and poor professional skills. But how will they learn if these skills aren’t modelled to them in their very first experiences of employment? It should be personal!

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