As post secondary and secondary schools begin to wind down for the summer break, students are eager to start working.
While some are earning funds for the upcoming school year, others will be headed into the workforce for the very first time.
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Can you recall your entry into the workforce, that exciting, scary, daunting experience that shaped where you are now?
If you’re anything like me you fell into your career path. I was volunteering and someone suggested that I would be well suited for a career in communications — point taken, career path pursued.
If the conversation had been different, I suspect I’d also be in a different place. I’m sure that my story is not unique, that a suggestion about a career that you’d be good at was made somewhere in the formative years, and was sought out. I think about my experience each year when new eager grads and summer interns start in the office.
One of the most important things we can do to develop a vibrant and supportive community, is to empower our youth.
Regardless of if you’re the hiring manager, or someone that works in a neighbouring office, you can make a difference. How?
Give Them Something To Do That is Real. We all hate filing, and so do our summer students.
While I understand that often these are the types of tasks one hopes to accomplish with extra person power in their office, make sure you balance these types of brain numbing tasks with opportunities to get to really understand, and try out, what the potential profession can offer them.
Ask Their Opinions. Ask them about areas that you simply have no idea about (social media, the green movement, what’s fun to do in Halifax). Or something that you want to know more about (does the Halifax sewage dilemma make them queasy too?) The conversation will be enlightening for both of you.
Be A True Mentor. Be more than someone that they can ask questions of. Take it one step further and be someone that can point out to them areas they are really good at, and give them some suggestions of career paths or people they should meet or talk to.
Make a point this year when you walk by the freshly hired new person in your office to be inclusive, empower them and engage them. Make it a priority to be the first to make a difference in your office for them.
Christina Carew is a member of FUSION Halifax. Visit FUSIONHalifax.ca to find out how you can get involved to help make Halifax a better place to live, work and play.