learning job skills

Learning Job Skills Helps Young Adults Become More Independent

Unemployment is one of the biggest reasons many young adults struggle with failure to launch. Sometimes, individuals need a little extra push or help finding their own path. Once they enter young adulthood, they learn that they have more control over their choices, which can feel overwhelming if they feel disconnected from their goals and values. Independent living programs, like Journey Home Young Adult, help young adults learn and practice life skills in a variety of areas. Learning job skills help young adults become more independent and responsible. 

Why do some young adults struggle with independence?

Independence is something that most young adults crave, but it can also be intimidating as well. There are many reasons why young adults may struggle to take the next step in their journey to adulthood, but one reason could be untreated learning/attention problems or other mental health issues. Untreated issues can lead an individual to be less independent and have low self-esteem. They may believe that they are not capable of succeeding on their own. The thought of going to college can be daunting because they’re leaving home–their safe place. So, if they don’t have a bit of confidence in themselves and their abilities to do it, it can feel impossible.

Another (which is quite popular) is linked to the high-stakes game college admissions have become. Some parents are so afraid of their child not getting into a good college that they coddle their teens throughout school and refuse to allow them to fail–but the issue with that is that failure is essential for growth.

Teens need to make mistakes and understand the consequences of their actions. Without those important lessons, they’re unable to become truly independent. Just because your child hasn’t jumped headfirst into adulthood doesn’t mean they’re incapable. Some individuals just need a bit of extra support that will show them their own abilities and potential for success.

Young adults that have found themselves in a consistent pattern of these types of behaviors can find hope and success in a residential program. An ideal candidate is someone who is hoping to shift from dependency to independence from others, especially their parents, and want help creating and implementing a successful life plan. With a comprehensive approach, we combine personal responsibility, healthy relationships, college integration, and life skills into our independent living program. Journey Home Young Adult also emphasizes emotional and physical health, providing ample time in the schedule to address both via mentoring and coaching.

How do young adults benefit from having a job?

A first job often means so much more than a paycheck. It can mean a connection to a lifelong mentor, the ability to envision a career path, a boost in self-confidence, an appreciation for the value of education, and a belief that you can be something. While finding a job in high school or college may not sound like the most fun thing to some young adults, the truth is that a first job can teach them important life skills that they can carry with them through adulthood.

  • Communication Skills. Communicating is more than just talking. It’s about connecting with people. Through a job, young adults are given the opportunity to learn to communicate with co-workers, managers, and customers. They learn to effectively express their ideas or concerns with others. 
  • Time Management. Time management is a crucial skill for any adult. From learning how to create and follow a schedule to being accountable and showing up for work on time, a job can teach young adults how to successfully manage their time. 
  • Self Esteem. A first job usually comes with challenges, but as a young adult faces these challenges and overcomes them, their self-esteem begins to grow. These experiences build confidence as young adults learn that they can problem-solve. 
  • Connection. Many young adults struggle with making new friends as they leave childhood and gain more independence. A job gives them opportunities to connect with others who have similar interests or goals. Seeing the same people every day at work can help them build relationships without the stress of trying to find a new group of friends. 
  • Moving Outside of Their Comfort Zone. Sometimes young adults can feel stuck. They may fear going out on their own or believe that if they apply for a job and are not hired, they are a failure. It is important for young adults to be able to step outside of their comfort zone, into a place of growth. 
  • Goal Setting. In most workplaces, employees have goals or metrics by which they can measure their success. Sometimes these goals are set by their employer, and other times they set them themselves. Learning how to set measurable and attainable goals helps young adults keep forward momentum as they decide where they would like to go in their careers. 

A good experience in their first job can help create a positive association for young adults and work. Parents can help young adults have a positive first work experience by talking with them about their interests and strengths. A young adult who has social anxiety may feel overwhelmed and stressed working as a restaurant server where they have to interact with strangers for their whole shift. A young adult who loves animals and excels at following a schedule may do well working in a shelter or a veterinary clinic. A young adult who understands their strengths can then find a job that will complement their abilities. 

Vocational Support at Journey Home Young Adult

One of the benefits of attending a transitional program like Journey Home Young Adult is that our team works with each resident to build skills that they can use when they return home and begin looking for a job. Some of the ways that we work with our residents include:

  • Exploring interests. We encourage teens to be open to new experiences and to pursue healthy hobbies, like reading, exercising, or making art. We conduct recreation assessments with each student to help them decide what activities may be aligned with their values.
  • Outlining personal goals. These assessments help young adults who struggle with finding a sense of direction consider what they want to work towards. We empower young adults to create their own schedules, integrating education, work, and recreation.
  • Looking for jobs. The Salt Lake City area is a bustling area for teens with a wide variety of opportunities. Staff help connect students to resources in the community based on their interests and skills. 
  • Writing resumes. Many young adults have trouble deciding what might be relevant on a resume if they have had limited work experience. Mentors work closely with clients to brainstorm relevant experiences related to extracurriculars or volunteer positions that are aligned with job descriptions they are interested in.
  • Interview etiquette. Mentors roleplay mock interviews with students to help them prepare for potential questions and how to advocate for themselves.
  • Resolving conflict. The community offers emotional support for young adults who have experienced interpersonal conflict at work. Young adults learn and practice effective communication strategies in individual and group therapy.
  • Budgeting. Independent living programs emphasize helping clietns develop personal responsibility by managing their finances, often for the first time. They learn how to balance a checkbook, budget for different activities, and save for things that are important to them. 

With a diverse variety of employment and volunteer opportunities, Salt Lake City has also been named one of the best cities for young professionals. The volunteering options are countless: our clients work with animals at the humane society, support the local arts community, and mentor children facing adversity. These opportunities help our clients explore areas of interest while learning and demonstrating new skills. Our home-like setting provides a place for these teens to develop independence while still receiving therapeutic support.

Journey Home Young Adult Can Help 

Journey Home Young Adult is a transitional living program for teens ages 18-23 struggling with emotional, behavioral, and mental health disorders that have affected their academic and career goals. Journey Home creates an environment conducive to healing where teens can learn healthy coping skills while becoming more well-equipped to launch into adulthood. Students are encouraged to take college classes and receive additional academic support from mentors to help them stay on track and manage their stress.

Your treatment plan will be individualized and customized to meet your needs, advance your goals, and help you lead a happier, more productive life. With all of these services, we focus on our Five Core Principles to guide our whole-person approach to growth and development. These provide the foundation for the rest of the work while at Journey Home Young Adult. The Five Core Principles include specific skills and goals for each student to strive toward, with bi-weekly treatment team meetings to assess progress and provide feedback. This comprehensive approach provides the structure, support, and mentoring for teens to move on from Journey Home Young Adult as empowered young women, ready to successfully launch into their lives.

To learn more about how we teach young adults independent living skills, contact us at 801-444-0794.

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