“Seventy-eight percent of millennials are worried about not having enough good paying job opportunity to pay off their student loans. Seventy-four percent can’t pay the health care if they get sick. Seventy-nine percent don’t have enough money to live when they retire. So, already, we’re having a whole generation that’s coming on, not only here but also in Europe, that isn’t able to get good-paying jobs.” Michael Hudson
I am exhausted, disappointed and I need to get this out of my chest, and I think that I am not the only one that should.
A few weeks ago I called my friend living in Amsterdam to ask if she is struggling to find millennials to work for her and what does she do when she find them and how hard is it to retain them. She told me that she was also struggling to find genuine, committed young people to work for her. I asked many leaders during the last few months, shared my experience and struggle as a black woman, and disappointment. The response has been unreal. People are struggling in silence without saying anything.
Over the last five years, I’ve given many young women and men opportunities to work with me through my events, iamtheCODE, and consultancy work. I tried to mentor them on the job, paid them, gave them a chance to attend major events, paid for their travels abroad, gave them reference and connected them with high level people, treated them with respect, showed empathy and compassion, listened to their concerns, opened doors and was there for their growth. But it seems I have been making lots of mistakes and I don’t know what to do anymore.
I’ve grown up with lots of challenges and defied the odds of my tumultuous childhood and finding a job was very difficult. I did not have the luxury to declined or play around. Nobody wanted to give me a chance. With my lack of formal education and my colour, I had to reinvent myself, learnt how to code at my local library in Surrey. I was determined to succeed, but I knew I had to work very hard, be disciplined. I experienced hardship, big time. This is not Joke.
I remember a recruitment agent putting my weak CV in the bin, asking me to go and find a baby seating job like my people. I wanted to work, money was not even the priority, but I wanted to gain multiple experiences and skills and update my weak CV. I worked four jobs at the time, from cleaning to making eighty beds a day before cooking for old people in their houses, to filing papers and sourcing envelopes in post offices at 5.30am. I used to make cold callings. On top of that, I wanted to have a mentor to help me believe in myself and teach me. I had no role models.
Today, I’m the CEO of a successful consultancy company but also a founder of a small Foundation making a huge impact worldwide. I can’t find the right people to work for us.
The Millennials I hire aren’t committed and disciplined enough. It seems they are not patient to work hard, despite claiming to be educated, they don’t have the right skills and are not interested in learning to improve themselves. I have had a series of let downs, and I can’t take it anymore.
Time and time again, I ‘ve given young women chances, the benefit of the doubt only to be let down at their lack of seriousness and commitment to the job. They fucking give up so easily and after we train them. It’s hard to progress when each time we invest in people and they don’t take the responsibility seriously. They take me for granted each time or take advantage of my generosity.
My friend told me to be patient and to hire a recruitment agency to help me hire people. Maybe this is the way to go. I am failing at finding the right people and I have no time to baby seat them anymore.
We want to get one million women and girls coders by 2030 and looking for program managers and community managers. If you are a young person who’s looking for a job, want to find your purpose, learn from the best, this is your chance to do good and make money. Please get in touch via our website or Email: Londonteam@iamthecode.org
Sometimes, I dream that millennials knows that to be successful, one needs to work hard, not to pretend and want fast track success.