After having worked with, managed and supervised youth for a few years now, and still being a young person myself, I’ve come across a number of preconceptions that, in my view, widen the intergenerational gap and can make the work place challenging for young workers and our older colleagues alike.
“There are two sorts of professionals in this field. The majority get some contracts and do their job, but the ones who get more work talk about what they do, put up their videos online and get talked about.”
Once hired, public servants have the potential for a secure job for life. They are paid good entry-level salaries and have the opportunity to steadily move up. Moreover, they can learn about and contribute to Canadian policy in a wide variety of fields.
I knew that in order to move up, I would eventually need a Master’s degree, but was unwilling to quit my job and go back to being a student. Not only did I love working, but I thought that work experience was just as important as extra education and couldn’t decide which to choose – so I did both.
When I moved up, I didn’t want to be cute anymore. I started wearing suit jackets and speaking out at meetings, occasionally shouting out “I disagree!” with great enthusiasm. I tried to seem serious and contribute meaningfully to decision-making. Most of my colleagues were excited for me, but not all.