We are truly living in a changing world, to fast for some. I am now watching some of my younger grand kids graduate from high school. Have you considered, almost without exception none of the graduating class of 2019, ever set foot in the twentieth century. We judge today’s youth and we make generalizations, which suggest collectively we don’t know or understand them. Don’t kid yourself they know what we’re about. In so many cases they are smarter than we ever were. At the same time our life experience is the other half of the equation they need. I often hear older people say “They are not like us.” Well thank God for that.
Today the young care about the planet and they are health conscious, and they don’t seem to follow one or the other political vents. Kids today are prepared to start in level entry jobs but they are rejecting low entry level wages. People are in some quarters upset with the fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage. I have a belief that fifteen won’t excite the youth either.
Here is something society has not prepared itself for. The young are not going to work in the low wage sector, that is low with no incentive. So what do they want in the short term?
They want to be respected and earn a living wage to do entry level work. Look at the help wanted signs in store windows. Those that don’t start paying more and providing incentives won’t get the help they need. Now to be fair some companies are beginning to respond with perks and education investments in youth. It is a good start with a long way to go.
There are those who do nothing and do so at their peril in the long run. Their are enterprising young people creating their own niche in the marketplace, combine that with a changing age demographic and alternative job choices and there is going to be a crisis in the service industry. Someone asked if I would pay ten or twelve bucks for a burger. Answer, I used to pay ninety nine cents, then a buck and a half and now six to ten depending where I am. So yes if it is the going rate I am still going to eat burgers.
We need to change our thinking because we are somewhat like an outdated laptop. You know why these kids are smarter than we are? They don’t buy into the norms we imprisoned ourselves within.
I repeat, they care about our world and the future generations not even born yet. Interesting because they were born and we didn’t seem to care enough or we had the wrong priorities. Contrary to conventional thought the young people don’t need to change we do..
Here is a nagging thought for today’s business employers. While so many are cutting wages and staff to get a bigger slice of the pie, your prospective employees are buying on line and are cutting into retail brick and mortar. The big box and chain stores are already in decline. Retail alone without knowledgeable employee service, will mean business failures.
Today s kids know level entry jobs in service industries won’t be there as they are now. If the future is preparing for change why aren’t the retail operators?
Again to be fair many retailers are changing old habits.
Here is where life experience is so important to the future of opportunities and adaptations. I don’t think the young understand that some of the services offered now are from the past. Think about it, you can have someone do your shopping from an on line list, the customer says by text I’m in parking stall whatever and the groceries are brought to the car. Smaller operations are going back to home delivery. There are online food shippers that don’t include the store. Grub hub and other fast food deliveries are a remake of A&W waitresses on roller skate delivering food to the car except now its delivery to the door. These changes are not the pinnacle of innovation they are at the beginning. Today graduates are not just going to compete for what jobs there, they have to prepare for jobs that don’t even exist yet. Or they will create their own jobs.
Our place and relevance in the world will depend on how we adapt to lightning speed change.
The kids walking up to get their grad diploma are taking the first steps into adulthood while on the last step of childhood.
Personally I am proud of them. They are every bit as adaptable as we ever were. If you have someone graduating tell them how proud you are of them.