3 tips for youth to break into the job market

The job market is in the middle of a revolutionary transformation, and it's only going to keep changing in the future. The biggest challenge is that it's becoming more and more difficult to get a job straight out of school.

This is the new reality, according to researchers and analysts in Canada and around the world. When RBC Economics looked into job skills and the workplace in our country, for example, they found that more than one in four Canadian jobs will be “heavily disrupted by technology” over the next 10 years, and twice that many will require different skills to succeed.

This is only a continuation of what experts call “the quiet crisis,” which will continue to affect young people looking for jobs.

Fortunately, there are ways young people can prepare for the future of work:

1. Rethink your skills. Along with focusing on so-called “hard” skills that define a job (like technical knowledge), your “soft” skills will be integral for the way the job will likely change in the future. These include things like collaboration, problem solving, leadership and communication.

2. Meet new people. Research shows that more than 80 per cent of jobs aren't posted publicly. Networking is vitally important in the search for work, and the more people you know, the better.

3. Learn on the job. Paid internships and co-ops are priceless. Look for educational programs that offer on-the-job opportunities, or seek out jobs that give you the opportunity to learn as you go.

These are changes that have to happen from within organizations as well. That's why companies like RBC are aiming to start a national conversation about youth employment, and recently issued a challenge to Canadian businesses to revolutionize their employment practices to make the job search easier on youth both now and in the future.