Comment 106292

By Michelle Martin (registered) - website | Posted November 19, 2014 at 08:55:16

A couple of observations on a more personal note - I've watched our six oldest, now, enter the working world for part-time jobs, summer jobs and then jobs in their chosen field. What I have noticed about the part time and summer jobs is that they are much harder to find than they were for me and my friends in the 70s and 80s - you don't get to knock on doors and introduce yourself any more to begin the application process, you apply and in some cases are pre-screened online with questionnaires. etc. Then once they get a job, they are willing to put up with a lot of things that I would have left a job over because they are so worried about losing a reference - indeed I did a couple of times, and found another job easily without losing a day's pay.

Nowadays, high school kids are getting part-time jobs during the school year in order to ensure that they will be working during the summer months. Many university students also work part time - ours have/do. Unless they are campus jobs, employers don't typically give a lot of consideration to the needs of students around exams, etc. Even if they've booked a shift off weeks in advance, I've seen our own kids have to go in to work anyway due to a scheduling error when they couldn't get anyone to trade. And part-time jobs in retail are not what they once were - megastores (the ones that hire the most) are open seven days a week past 9 pm, MacDonald's is open 24/7. But this goes on because employers know that a position can easily be filled with the next application on the pile.

When we graduated and married in our early 20s, we were a little on the young side, sure, but not out of the ordinary - many of our classmates also did. And we were able to set up housekeeping and begin to establish ourselves right away. Yes, it was tight and difficult, but do-able. Our oldest three have left the nest, and are treading water. They pay ridiculous rent for tight or shared living quarters, as do their friends - no trips to Europe or voluntourism projects for them. As much as none of us wants it (yes it is the nature of things that young adults drive their parents bananas as much as the reverse), if they had to come back home, they could (they'd be sharing a bedroom with siblings, though). I don't know what young people do who don't have that option in their back pocket. It must be so bloody discouraging.

Comment edited by Michelle Martin on 2014-11-19 08:56:26

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