The Real Reason Young People Are Finding It Hard To Advance In Today’s Economy
I have often found myself thinking that it must be tough for young people these days. I know that there are many college educated people who have had a hard time finding employment and then advancing in their careers. Today, however I had a bit of an epiphany, it’s not the world or the economy, it just may be you.
I hate to be that “old” guy who has already made it ranting about the “kids today” and how much they don’t appreciate hard work. Let’s be perfectly honest, many of them do. It’s more than that though and until today I really couldn’t put my finger on it. I will tell you the story and let you be the judge. Maybe you can share it with some younger adults who you may think would benefit from it.
First of all let me be clear that the radio business as with any “show business” , is a really hard place to even get your foot in the door, and even when you do, the doors tend to shut swiftly. It is not a new thing it has always been that way. Today I had a very short conversation with a young person who is new and is struggling to make it in this business. He has told me in the past that radio is all he wants to do and it is very important to him. I believe that, from what I know of this guy he does do what he is asked to do, and he is not afraid to commit his time to the stations. Awesome right? Maybe this sounds like you and you just don’t understand what it is you are missing? Why don’t they see your passion up there in management?
This morning I had occasion to be out behind the building with this young man as we were both partaking in the filthy habit of smoking. I noticed that although there was a proper “receptacle” for people’s butts there were a great many of them on the ground making the area just look bad. I said to him, “You know what you should do? Grab a broom and sweep this area up a little bit.” He looked at me and said, “Why me?”.
I have to admit a second of disbelief went by before I said to him, “Why you? Why NOT you? I don’t ask why should I be doing it when I’m cleaning up other people’s messes in the break room. ” In truth there are probably a great many reasons for “Why you’. I think he thought I was kidding as I often feign being annoyed at people, sadly I was not. In fact I was angry. Still I thought, by the end of the morning I’d probably see him out there sweeping and I’d say, “Good job man”.
So as I was sweeping the parking lot at 10:30, I remembered that this is the same person who said to me a couple of years ago, “I know why you give me a hard time sometimes, it’s because I remind you of yourself when you were starting out in radio.” A comment that even at the time I must say made me actually laugh out loud. Up until today I actually felt bad about laughing. But now, I can say that I know for a fact that when I was young, if someone whom I respected, if for nothing else but their achievements, said something like that to me, I would have ran to get the broom.
So I can say, that whether it be for a lack of respect for those who came before you, for a lack of initiative or at the very least the inability to see an opportunity to make a good impression on someone who can give you a leg up or recommendation, I am quite sure that the problem is not the economy, it is you.
This is not in any way to hurt the person I am talking about , should he read this. He is a good kid, really. I would hope that he, and other young people see it for what it really is, one of many important keys to success.