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From Playstation® to Workstation

A career guide for generation text surviving in a baby boomer world. By Theresa

Who among us has teenagers? Who among us has teenagers who don’t seem to have the work ethic you did? Who among us has told their teenager that they need to show some initiative and be willing to do whatever it takes to get some work experience? And finally, who among us has a teenager or a young adult (15-24 yrs of age) who has struggled with finding employment when they were ready to pursue and actively look for employment?
I know that if we were in a parenting conference, we would see lots of hands up with these questions. As a parent of four with two boys (13 and 15) still at home, and two kids fighting their way through their own career stages, I can say without hesitation that I have caught myself (and my spouse) wondering why the “Text Generation” is not willing to put the controller down when paying work is offered, and why they are demonstrating such little indication of personal perseverance.

In fairness to my boys, and I say this in my quiet inside voice, if I had the distractions of Facebook®, Internet and video games, and if I was constantly stimulated (or should I say over-stimulated) by entertainment, I am not so sure my work ethic would have been so effervescent.
While we’re not faced with the egregious 50% youth unemployment rates of countries like Greece, it’s no secret that the past few years have been tough on the young and jobless. In the summer of 2009, the unemployment rate among students aged 15 to 24 surpassed 20 per cent; two years later, it has edged down only slightly to 17 per cent. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for all youth aged 15 to 24 remains at more than 14 per cent, nearly double that of the general population. The employment environment we had as youth is quite simply not the same environment our teens and young adults are facing.

The book From Playstation® to Workstation by Suzanne Kleinberg, provides a very comprehensive and well thought-out workbook which covers all aspects of the job search when moving a teen or young adult from recreation to production. Written in first person, this journal and collection of worksheets is written with the youth in mind, and speaks to them in their language and with their technological prowess and social media habits in mind. Besides the common areas of resume writing, interview preparation and the like, Suzanne Kleinberg’s workbook navigates youth through the unconventional reality of job searching, points out the pitfalls, warns about job scams and the permanency of online and social media faux-pas.
This workbook introduces and expands on areas that we as parents try to influence when helping our youth, cognizant of the fact that our youth wouldn’t really listen to our points regardless. The Canadian content and relevancy of the workbook makes it a winner for youth across Canada, in rural or urban settings.

So, how does one employ this workbook? Good question. While the content is very beneficial and relevant, it would not be a solid read for a single sitting. We know that our youth, and in fact many of us as adults, would be hard pressed to dedicate the amount of time and focus to get through all 235 pages of this large format workbook. Written in paragraph format makes for long reads making it difficult to skim over the text without the due diligence it deserves. However, it can be a valuable tool for the mature young adult who is serious about taking that next step into the workplace. It is laid out in a manner which makes it easy for the reader to skim over areas and focus on the chapters which are most significant to them at the time.

From Playstation® to Workstation would be an excellent compliment to career curriculum in a high school setting. With its structured format, the reader can be led through the content in smaller and more manageable pieces followed by discussion and application. As a stand alone workbook, it would make a valuable addition to the resource libraries of school guidance counselors, university and college registrars, and employment support organizations.

With youth unemployment in Canada at a rate of 14 per cent, From Playstation® to Workstation provides one more very valuable tool in the toolbox for parents, educators and youth alike.

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