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Building RESILIENCE in our young people

Often, we hear about generation X, Y etc and the challenges involved for these young men and women joining the workforce. I am concerned that our younger people have little resilience in dealing with the day to day challenges we all face to be gainfully employed.


Whilst I don’t profess to be an expert on human behaviour or psychology, I do believe the way in which our children are communicated with in many things they do does not help. Take sport as an example. We often hear coaches telling young boys and girls how amazing they are, what fantastic effort they have put in …. and that is when they have been soundly beaten and only a handful of players have demonstrated they want to be on the field or court. The messages being received are often positively exaggerated, and our young men and women keep getting told how great they are so often that they start believing that their effort or performance is fantastic, even when it may not have been.


As these young people mature and become more responsible it is a massive reality check when all of a sudden, they are provided with some constructive feedback on their performance and/or behaviour, or they are not continually told how awesome they are.

I firmly believe that our young men and women are generally losing the requisite resilience required in employment. I encourage positive and constructive feedback for adults and children. That said, we all need clarity and realism to understand what good performance and behaviour looks like and what requires improvement.


Positivity is great but if it comes at the expense of reality then that must be concerning for our youth, and us. Of course, my thoughts are generalised…not all educators such as parents, school teachers and sports coaches teach in such a way and not all young people lack in resilience however there is a general theme in my experience that young people are becoming less employable somewhat due to their being a significant gap between what they perceive their skills and attributes to be and the actual skills and attributes they can provide to employers.


We are all responsible for educating our young people, but I encourage a pragmatic approach, ensuring children and young adults gain constructive feedback, pragmatic advice and coaching which in turn will support them as they take their first steps into employment or tertiary study.


Dylan Adams

The HR Guy

M: 021 543 510

E: dylan@thehrguy.nz

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