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Building confidence to work

WORLD According to Mark

By Mark Tobola

This last year has been “crazy” to say the least. All sorts of topics have been brought forward to me at the store and outside of the store, with all sorts of ideas and opinions to go along with those thoughts. One of the recurring discussions has been about the younger generation and how they don’t want to work.

In my own life and in my experience with the younger generation, it hasn’t been so much about “I don’t want to work.” Rather, it’s been about either “I do not know how to do the work” or “I’m not confident in my ability to do the work to your satisfac tion.” From there, a lot of people, including myself, simply back away from the work in question because of those two factors.

Personally, I’ve learned that I’m far more able to do different jobs than I had thought. And many of the young people I have encountered fall into the same category. Once taught how to do something, the work ethic is there, because you know what to do and how to do it. And by spending the time doing it, you gain the confidence and experience to continue. I hated growing up on a dairy farm. But now as I look back, I realize how much good it did to have done so. I may not have had the hands-on experience in doing various work, but I saw that my dad did plumbing, electrical, earth moving, concrete work, and a lot of other things while on the farm. And in my own world, I’ve done demolition, some minor landscaping, plumbing, electrical, minor construction, and a whole lot more. And each time, it makes me realize that “Hey, I can do this!”

So how do we help change this? I really have no “good” ideas, to be honest, because it can be like trying to lead a horse to water while the horse is fighting you the entire way. Some how, these younger people must have the opportunities to try more things out and see what they can do. They need chances to “stretch their wings” some and find out how much they are capable of. They need the chance to let themselves gain experiences, grow, and thrive.

And even as adults, we need those opportunities, too. The last few years I have realized that I’m capable of far more than I thought I was. Am I good enough to do it professionally? Well, no, of course not. But now when I see that I have something to do to repair my home, I’m not so concerned about doing it, because I’ve done enough already to learn that it’s not so hard to do. And as I’ve had my children help, they’ve become better at tackling new things, too. Now all we have to do is figure out how to help more people do the same…

January 4, 2023