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Growing Leaders Blog

on Leading the Next Generation


Helping Youth Make Five Big Decisions


Over the last two days, I’ve blogged about an epidemic too few of us are aware of. It will hurt our national and global future if we fail to address it: youth unemployment.

During the last four years, I’ve introduced our readers to a German sociologist named Gunnar Heinsohn, who teaches at the University of Breman. His research tells us that whenever the youth population bulges over 30% in a nation, violence follows. It matters not if the society is impoverished or wealthy. It’s about young people wanting to find expression. They will find it with violence if they do not find it on a job. Today, 66 nations fit the criteria—a youth population over 30%. Of those 66 countries, 60 of them are in civil war or violent strife. It’s mostly young people. 27 of those nations are in the Muslim world.

Now here’s the catch. It’s worse when unemployment is high. Today’s youth unemployment is higher than at any point since World War II. This means they’re likely not getting the life skills they would at a job. Unemployment is just under 10% in the U.S. but among our kids who want to work—it is over 27%. They are the ones who suffer the most.

Five Big Career Decisions

Let me suggest some action steps that caring adults can take to help young people determine their five most important career decisions:

  1. Values: what are the core principles they hope to live by?
  2. Vision: what is the big picture goal they’d like to accomplish?
  3. Virtue: what is the primary strength or value they bring to a job?
  4. Venue: where is the most suitable place to use those strengths?
  5. Vehicle: what daily activities should they practice to reach the vision?

I describe each of these steps in my book, Generation iY—Our Last Chance to Save Their Future. Want to help a young person?  The game plan is in this book along with loads of free articles at:

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Helping Youth Make Five Big Decisions