Friday, April 9, 2010

Why Teens Today Face New Challenges in Employment

It goes without saying too much about jobless youth these days fearing the uncertainty of successful futures. How most of them pull a paycheck to cover gas and insurance most of us adults may never understand. The pressures of today are incomparable to those of twenty years ago. Now, many teens compete with adults who carry far more experience under their belts while youth struggle to enter the work force in the first place.

The 21st century seems to be a generation of youth with little work experience which will ultimately not be in a teen's favor when desiring employment. It is harder to find a job when you are older if you have not landed a few jobs as a youth. Those with college degrees and past work experience will be first among potential applicants called in for interviews.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate for 16-19 year old teens is 21.7%, showing an increase of 5.9% in the past year. One out of every six young people under 25 are unemployed reports the Department for Work and Pensions. These are alarming rates for teen unemployment and it doesn't look like it will get any better in the coming months with the national minimum wage limit increasing as well. More employers will be scouting for potential employees that just received a mandatory substantial pay increase to fill positions that teens with less experience had filled in the past. The choices will be selective and precise since the amount of job applicants compared to available positions is incredibly vast.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has allocated $1.2 billion to aid youth ages 14-24 in their employment searches. This funding will be directed towards lower-income and other disadvantaged teens so many will not see the positive effects of this stimulus help. Many teens will be competing fiercely with middle-aged folks whose extensive job histories adorn their resume's and have acquired more experience that hiring committees are going to warmly welcome.

What can you do as a teenager to increase the chances of your applications being actively reviewed from the top of the slush pile rather than tossed in a dumpster never to be seen?

Consider a summer internship or employment program. Internship/employment programs consist of job positions that often pay from nothing at all to a small wage. A smart teen understands that gaining work experience to add to a resume increases their chances of getting the thumbs up on a job application. On-hands training develops self-confidence and teamwork skills that often land the successful search to worthwhile employment.

Ask friends and neighbors to write a reference letter that can be turned in with an application and/or resume. The people that repeatedly hire someone are the one's who are satisfied with the services they have received. A letter of recommendation is always a feather in your cap. Have them include the qualities they see in you and what characteristics they most admired.

Volunteer at a local Y.M.C.A. and gain practical work experience through age-appropriate projects that are designed to help youth discover their greatest potential. Developing critical thinking skills, learning job ethics and being responsible are important assets to possess. Life skill including confidence, motivation, developing a positive self-esteem and learning to well as a team member will give you an advantage over those who have not invested in these vital elements in the work place.

Performing community service acts through local organizations such as the Boys and Girl Scouts, 4-H and church youth events teach humility, service and dependability that will earn you the much anticipated interview. Serving through volunteering has at its very core, the key elements to being satisfied as well as being sought out by others. Many volunteer positions turn into paid employment that yield far more than a healthy self-esteem or a valuable paid check. The inner gratification of knowing you made a difference in someone else's life just because elicits self-satisfaction that cannot be compared to any substantial amount of money earned in a lifetime.

So teens, check out the sites below and begin your new job skills today for a brighter future tomorrow.

For Internships/Employment Programs/Volunteer Opportunities:
Arizona Dream Builder Foundation
http://azdreambuilder.org/

Phoenix Workforce Connection
http://phoenix.gov/econdev/phxwc/index.html

Arizona Call-A-Teen
http://www.azcallateen.k12.az.us/WIA/Training%20Opportunities/Flier2010.pdf

Y.M.C.A.
http://phoenixymca.org/

Girl Scouts Arizona-
http://www.girlscoutsaz.org/

Boy Scouts Arizona-
http://www.aztroop747.com/

Arizona 4-H Youth Development
http://extension.arizona.edu/4h/

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