Generation What Now…

03 Jun 2014 | Naomi Marshall

I recently read, with great interest an article in the Sunday morning paper titled ‘Generation Why?’

Basically it talked about the stresses young people are facing now due to the budget changes. Quoting the authors words “Generation Y are struggling to cope with the transition to adulthood as they face rising education costs, unaffordable housing & a lack lustre job market”.

Yep, that’s the truth – It’s tough now and the prediction is that there will be more tough times ahead. Education and rental prices are topics I know a little about, I can’t claim be an expert. However the lack lustre job market, is something I can talk about. ALL day!

I’m not here to say that the market isn’t terrible. It’s slow – and competition is rising – fast. After 20 years I’ve seen plenty of highs and lows however, what I do know after interviewing and interacting with hundreds of Generation Y (and younger) candidates, is this…..

“They don’t want it badly enough”

And by ‘it’ I mean success. I notice in interviews that they DON’T push themselves out of their comfort zone. They DON’T want to do the hard yards, and DON’T tend to know what it means to be on the edge and have to find the strength in themselves to stop from tipping over the edge.

I say this because I see it every single day. I hear them say “I’ve applied to hundreds of jobs, no-one responds.” and “I can’t get an interview”.

So I ask:

“Did you call the company/recruitment agency directly to introduce yourself and follow up? (Did you use an engaging voice, following a script or written notes in front of you, ready to answer any questions – remembering you only have one chance to make a great impression in that call, you HAVE to be ready to speak about yourself and ‘sell’ yourself).”


“Have you done any research regarding companies you would like to work for and contacted them directly, first sending your CV, then following up with a phone call 24 hours later, or even a handwritten card outlining a few points as to what they have to offer an employer”?


“Checked on LinkedIn as to who is hiring? Sent off an email or message introducing yourself, acknowledging that you are young and don’t have years of experience, however, what you do have is the most amazing attitude towards being successful, starting from the bottom, hard working etc etc.”


“Or have you set up a LinkedIn account”? – I advertised a junior role last week, ideally 1-2 years experience, 189 applications, I just looked up the first 8 applications and not one of the candidates had a LinkedIn account.


“Have you offered your time up for free in a short-term internship in order to gain experience, prove that you truly back yourself and are prepared to work for free to show an employer how determined you are”?


What many candidates have done is set up a Seek profile, flicked off a couple of emails and are hoping for the universe to align and everything to fall into place – chances are, in this market, that’s not going to happen without a fight.

Competition is FIERCE out there at the moment. Responses to jobs are very large, clients want the absolute best of the best and if you want the job, you have to stand out from the crowd. So we are asking candidates, “What are you doing today to drive your career and get the job? Are you sitting at home reading this waiting for someone to call”?

In this market a job does not come knocking on your door, YOU have to make things happen. You have to pick up the phone. You have to sell yourself. You might feel out of your comfort zone, but what other options do you have?

Naomi Marshall – Director
P: (02) 9271 0011
M: 0422 139 910

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