This is why I feel fortunate 

On average, it takes five years after university for Gen Y’s to find full time work
FIVE YEARS. This is insane! My thoughts are that it does not take a teacher quite as long (perhaps a year or two of relief teaching and short term contracts), but still it’s pretty terrible considering most people have to study an undergraduate and a postgraduate degree to be considered in the job market. 

I have many friends with masters, honours, incredible academic accolades – and they can’t find work. Either the work they find does not support their interests, it’s not full time, it’s casual, the pay is terrible, or its completely irrelevant to their career path. I always feel like the older generations like to have their say about Gen Y. “Oh they are the want all generation.”, “they see it, they want it straight away”. From their perspective perhaps this is the case, many gen Y’s have the latest iPhone, many have stylish clothing and a nice car. If they have been able to afford a house, they have a nice place. Yes. This might be the case. BUT. Do you know how hard Gen Y had to work to achieve these goals? Many of our parents didn’t have to attend university whilst working almost full time to support themselves. They went out there, looked for a job, gained work experience and practical work related knowledge whilst on the job. Can we do that? No. 

Now days, to become a nurse, a police man, a public servant, one must study a degree/ diploma that details the theory behind these professions. But does it detail the actual skills ? No, not really. We enter the work force feeling prepared as we have so much theoretical knowledge but minimal skills. However, we are not prepared – as we lack the practical skills which employers value. The smarter types of Gen Y-ers go and find work during their degree in the field they want to work to gain practical skills for when they apply for jobs when they graduate. Myself, for example, worked in preschools and in after school care for eight years in many different capacities to work towards this moment of graduation and job hunting. And I had to be a Director of a Childcare regulated service to actually be successful in the job hunt – I know many graduate teachers who had very admirable jobs during their study such as school/ OSHC assistants, OSHC coordinators, coaches, tutors etc., but they are not finding work easily albeit their skill set and practical experience. 

Perhaps there are other factors that come into play. Confidence. That’s a big factor. I was taking to one of my assistants about her job applications, and I asked if she was applying to teach at the school we work at. I’m currently employed at an independent Anglican school in Canberra. She said, “they never employ graduate teachers here”. I was sad to hear that she had resigned herself as unable to become employed at this school. I’m of the mindset that you have to try, or you’ll never know. For the record – I broke her rule. Perhaps that’s what more Gen Y’s need. Rather than a sense of entitlement, a real, genuine sense of confidence. 


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