This is in response to a blog off call by Modenus and others. Links to their blogs are at the end. I want you to read my ramblings first.

Graduates in the UK leave college with an average of £25K debt, around $40,000. That’s how we fund them through college; we give them a loan and teach them about owing money. They mostly get part-time work as well. So by the time they start knocking on doors looking to start their careers most of them have the work discipline and social skills you need to thrive in the workplace. The ones who don’t probably never will.

You  find graduates with very good degrees applying for just about every job going. What happens to kids who find themselves looking for jobs without a degree is worrying.

Not only do graduates apply for every job going, they are increasingly willing to work for free. Every magazine I know well enough to ask tells me that Interns now happily churn out the rewritten press releases that I started my career with. This is a vicious cycle that  troubles me. Less paid work means less people spending money. And that means less money to pay people for working. This is fine if we really are talking about  extra jobs with a good element of training,  but in my experience it’s a simple market and when bright people are willing to work for free no one is going to pay much more.

So yes, the kids are ready, very much so. I once employed a young graduate as an internal communications manager who challenged everything I thought I knew about the subject and she was right just about every time. What she taught me was that most people have now grown up with different ways of communicating and collaborating. The old tools and structures with their command and control, top down ethos just don’t cut it for people who are used to sharing ideas on forums and twitter.

When the English local authority (council) I was working with was confronted with the idea of colleagues setting up intranet based communities of interest with members instant messaging each other asking for help and inspiration they held a meeting. Holding a meeting was a popular response to most things.

At the meeting my colleague was able to tell them about the Ning groups that already existed and which were improving their productivity, all under their slow, outdated corporate radar. Predictably there was immediate concern about risk and control rather than delight about intuitive and innovation. When a goon from the IT department mused about banning the sites, and twitter, from the corporate network my colleague simply waved her I-phone at him and smiled. It gives me great joy to know that said colleague now works for the UK Parliament. There is hope!

The kids are ready for us. Are we ready for them?

Here’s the other bloggers that we know about so far. You will find an updated  list at Let’s Blog Off

Veronika Miller @modenus
Paul Anater @paul_anater
Rufus Dogg @dogwalkblog DogWalkBlog
Becky Shankle @ecomod
Bob Borson @bobborson
Bonnie Harris @waxgirl333 Wax Marketing
Tim Elmore @TimElmore
Nick Lovelady @cupboards
Tamara Dalton @tammyjdalton
Sean Lintow, Sr. @SLSconstruction

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