Teens entering the workforce today face one of the worst recessions in decades but remain optimistic about their future careers. In fact, 90 percent of teens are confident they will one day have their ideal job, according to a recent national poll by Junior Achievement and ING Foundation. Additionally, an overwhelming majority of teen – 84 percent – said they’d forego getting that perfect job for the opportunity to make a difference in the world.
A Positive Impact
When asked to identify which factors would motivate them to sacrifice getting the ideal job, more teens chose “having a positive impact on society” than “being well paid,” “having decision-making responsibilities,” having a job that was “extremely challenging,” and a job that provided “publicity and recognition.” But the teens aren’t wearing rose-colored glasses. Although the economic climate has improved over the past year, nearly three-quarters – 74 percent – of teens responding to the JA-ING survey are more worried, or as worried, now about their future job prospects compared to a year ago. Of those teens who said they were more worried now about their job prospects, 64 percent said they were anxious about the economy, and 55 percent cited the unemployment rate as the most troubling issue.
Optimism and Energy
When asked about the most important factors in getting a good job, nearly all teens polled ranked “believing in yourself” (93 percent) and “getting good grades” (93 percent). “Teens’ optimism and energy are inspiring,” said Jack E. Kosakowski, president of Junior Achievement USA. “As they look toward career paths, positive attitudes ultimately could help to end this economic slump.”