Recently, I came across an article in the Harvard Business Review entitled “The Health Effects of Youth Unemployment,” and it really got me thinking. (Side note: If you have the time, you should definitely read the article. I am a firm believer that the health-wealth-wellness balance is one of the keys to life.)
As a millennial, I wholeheartedly relate to many of the pains people my age feel regarding “adulting.” Am I doing it right? Perhaps 25 years ago, someone my age might own their car outright or be getting ready to purchase a home. Nowadays, we stay with our parents as long as we can to save money on things like rent and food and laundry — and that’s okay, but the competitive nature of today’s market coupled with the ever-increasing cost of higher education can make job hunting and life-starting a truly daunting endeavor.
Many youths are un- and under-employed. It probably comes as no surprise that this population is at an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, and depression, among a myriad of other health complications. It becomes a cycle. You cannot find a job, so you are unhappy. You are unhappy, and it is harder to find a job.
Luckily, there are resources. I would strongly encourage anyone who is currently in college to take advantage of their University’s career center, résumé workshops, mock interviews, and job fairs. Start looking for internships and opportunities before you graduate. Build relationships with people in your alumni network and then leverage those conversations and learnings to get your foot in the door — it works! I sit here typing this for your consumption at my desk in the LinkedIn NYC office. I dreamed of working for this company for almost 2 years. I applied once I felt I had enough relevant experience to contribute to the organization in a meaningful way, but I only did so after reaching out to people who had gone to my alma mater and now work at LinkedIn. They were more than happy to talk to me about the culture, mission, and day-to day operations. Not only did they agree to speak with me, they wanted to help.
Part of what attracted me to LinkedIn is its LinkedIn for Good mission: to connect 1 million youths with opportunity. If you are feeling down about work or where you are in life at the present moment, keep on keeping on! Remember to be kind to yourself. Remember to make use of your resources. Remember that relationships matter.