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date: 07 October 2022

Work and Organizational Issues Affecting Young Workerslocked

Work and Organizational Issues Affecting Young Workerslocked

  • Belgin Okay-Somerville, Belgin Okay-SomervilleUniversity of Glasgow
  • Eva SelenkoEva SelenkoLoughborough University
  •  and Rosalind H. SearleRosalind H. SearleUniversity of Glasgow


Young people (between ages 15 and 24 years) experience unique difficulties in access to work, compared to the rest of the working population. Young people are in the process of developing career competencies and therefore lack the necessary know-how, know-why and know-whom relevant for securing jobs and developing sustainable careers. Social disadvantage creates a major obstacle in the way of young people’s career competency development. Lifespan career development theories, with a focus on career competency development, explain young people’s struggle for access to work.

When we are younger, we tend to have high growth needs relevant for achieving educational and occupational aspirations and becoming independent adults. These motives may be explained by lifespan theories of aging. Yet, there is a tendency to attribute young people’s work-related motives and behavior to generational differences. Generational perspectives are conceptually and operationally muddled and may serve to heighten age-related stereotypes at work.

Psychological science can make further impactful contributions to improving youth employment, especially by taking the socioeconomic context into account.


  • Organizational and Institutional Psychology

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