Support young people in transition to the workplace

The work stress faced by young lawyers and accountants is not confined to these two professions (Law and accounting firms taking steps to tackle stress; Sept 10).

Most young professionals face this stress, and the managers of companies must be cognisant of this.

The workload is just one factor. The corporate culture and a gap between their expectations and reality also add to the stress the young workers face.

These young workers grew up in a positive and encouraging environment. They were continuously supported and encouraged by their parents in whatever they wished to pursue, whether in their academic lives or in non-academic pursuits, such as sports.

But when they start to work, this support system disappears, and the young person is on his own to face the realities of the work environment.

These young people grew up with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and are used to seeking immediate validation from their followers.

This does not happen in most workplaces. Youngsters have to exercise more patience and understand that rewards and recognition are not instantaneous.

These young workers grew up in a positive and encouraging environment... But when they start to work, this support system disappears, and the young person is on his own to face the realities of the work environment.

Building real working relationships with colleagues can also be a challenge for young people, whose social relationships and interactions may be mostly online.

In an office environment, they have to learn to work with real colleagues and bosses, and develop social skills.

Young people will thrive in a more trusting work environment and when their work goal is aligned with the company's.

It is the role of the supervising managers to understand the unique circumstances these young workers grew up in and provide support to help alleviate the stress they face.

This would play a part in encouraging young workers to stay with a job for a reasonable time, professionally develop themselves and, eventually, make an impact on the organisation.

Jude Ang Hock Guan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2017, with the headline 'Support young people in transition to the workplace'. Print Edition | Subscribe