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Next Generation Optimism

I had the privilege of presenting to and working with a group of high school junior and senior students in my area this weekend. It was a nice reminder to me that we have a lot of potential coming out of our schools for the next group of workers.

It’s so easy to get bogged down in problems as an HR professional and focus on employees who create drama or seem to put more efforts into getting out of responsibilities than they do in simply performing their jobs. I’ve always done a pretty good job of reminding myself that those are the minority of workers--most really do want to do a good job and be successful in their endeavors. Often unclear policies or actions (or lack of ) from management gets in the way of that!

But I haven’t had the opportunity to work with the younger generation in a while and it was very uplifting to be around their eagerness to perform and desire to make a difference. Several of the students came up to me asking questions and I learned that many of them had either started or were in the process of starting non-profits that inspired their actions. The passion and excitement clearly showed in their words and actions.

I’ve encouraged companies to look to the middle and high school youth to encourage future generations of employees for their specific industries. After this weekend, I’d also encourage leaders to spend time with these individual to be reminded of the potential for wonderful things to come.

I’m going to hopefully take my own advice and try to spend more time interacting with this generation. It’s great to hear positivity and enthusiasm coming out of our schools!

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