We are all FutureSurfers, surfing into the future with a backpack full of strengths and passions.

Young talent – let’s nurture it not waste it!

on February 19, 2013

I am feeling so proud of my 15 year old daughter this week. It is week 2 of the work experience organised by her school for her and five others at a social media agency in Dubai and she is so motivated and serious about what she is doing it is truly inspiring. Despite being told by her boss that she doesn’t need to worry about being in by 9 o’clock, she is anxious to get in on time to get her work done. The other night she even said, “no need to hurry to pick me up Mum, I’ve got lots of work to do” and this is at 6pm, from a girl who hates staying after school for anything!


Her working wardrobe

I am sure every company needs and would appreciate young workers like her. Young people are particularly talented in ‘new media’ and many high tech areas, but I’m not sure they’re getting enough opportunities like this to try out, and contribute their valuable ideas along the way. Of course not every work experience placement works out like a match made in heaven, but that’s the point. We learn just as much from doing jobs we hate, and the earlier we learn what we hate the better!

Given the choice, she’d happily ditch school and start work tomorrow. We both realise that’s not an option, but she’s more motivated, excited, engaged and productive these past two weeks than I think she’s ever been in school. Shouldn’t school be more like work experience? I think it should be a place where young people learn about their talents, interests and express their potential, but what I see in the vast majority of schools is so much focus on preparing for exams that there’s little time left for thinking about questions like:

  • What is most important to me in life?
  • What is my dream job? (Do I have a dream?)
  • What do I need to know about myself to find work that’s satisfying?
  • What gets me out of bed in the morning?
  • How important is money to me?

I’m passionate about this and developing FutureSurfing programs for teens. We are all surfing into the future, not knowing what it really holds, but with a backpack of talents and passions to draw on. I’d like this to become part of every school’s curriculum – and I see signs of it happening…check out Studio Schools in the UK.

Are you a parent or influencer of a teenager? What do you think would most help them grow their talents and contribute to tomorrow’s workplace?


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