A lack of fundamental skills and lack of work experience is holding many wealthy millennials back in the workplace, writes Sandy Loder
I have now been working with Millennials and Generation X for over 20 years, and in that time over 500 of them have attended various programmes of mine or have come to me for remedial or performance one-to-one coaching and mentoring sessions.
Sadly, one of the characteristics that I see quite regularly nowadays in the 20 – 30 age bracket of wealthy families is their children’s lack of fundamental work skills and lack of work experience.
What do I mean by that? Take 30-year-old, Charlie, who is has been receiving a substantial allowance from his parents (this can range from £1,500 – £10,000 per month) since his days at university and probably before. University was great…for the partying, and he did not bother too much to apply himself with his work, but he managed to scrape through with a low second class degree (after some last minute tutoring).
He still lives at home in the countryside or in his parent’s London house rent-free and has very little need to get out of bed in the morning. However, he is now 30-years old and has not really done a proper days work for the last five to six years.
He is quite bored and would like to do something, as all his friends are busy working. His parents are on to him the whole time about getting some work.
Why does this happen? In short, too much money and no consequence! When I meet the likes of Charlie and his parents; I am keen to peel away the ‘layers of lies, falsehoods and fabrications’. It is rather like peeling away layers of an onion. The young are masking the real truths and the parents have not realised that they are causing some of the problems.
In most cases, it is because the ‘Charlies’ of this world are receiving too much money and there are no consequences in their lives.
Why would Charlie want to get up early, travel into work, do a boring job all day and not get paid very much when the allowance he receives each month far outweighs his salary?
Why does this matter? The issue that Charlie has is that he is now aged 30, but he has about as much experience as a 20-year old undergraduate doing their first internship or work experience in the summer holidays.
But, from Charlie’s point of view, he wants to be paid what his friends and peer group are being paid, and he thinks he is pretty damn good. However, from the employer’s point of view, he is inexperienced and his CV/Resume looks very weak compared to a 20-year old intern who’s CV shows much greater potential.
So how does Charlie get on the first rung of the ladder when he is up against the situation above? He next turns to his parents for some nepotistic help. This tactic might work if his parents are well connected, but it does not get away from the fact that Charlie still lacks a considerable number of work and life skills as well as real business experience ‘at the coal-face’, with a work ethic that the employer can rely on to deliver.
How do you solve Charlie’s problems?
Firstly, Charlie’s parents have to change their behaviour with him. Take back control. Charlie might not like it at first, because he is probably quite a powerful figure in the home and controlled everybody around him – potential narcissism and fear. A simple step is to reduce his weekly/monthly allowance and bring in some consequences, (for example, making him pay some rent or make him move out of home and rent a place). Money does not motivate people to succeed.
Secondly, get Charlie on various courses to build up his skill base. Qualifications mean something.
Next, find out what it is Charlie is passionate about. There is more chance that he will stick at the thing he is excited about for longer. Then he needs to get as much experience in that sector/business/genre as possible. For many wealthy young, they might not have a career as such but move from job to job. What we call Flitting. Careers, these days, are more like stepping stones. Each stepping stone is either about learning a skill or a work experience. Very few careers these days follow the old linear hierarchical model.
Also, find a coach or mentor. Parents cannot be a parent, a bank, a coach and a mentor. Parents should parent, and coaches should coach. Finally, tough love is required. Success does not come by sitting in bed all day or meeting up for coffee with friends.
Sandy Loder is the founder of AH Loder Advisers
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