In work as in life – you reap what you sow.

During my years of working with various companies on projects big and small, I encountered many high skilled, well-educated young professionals. It might be a final year student, a PhD student or a recent graduate that has just started out in their career.

Whenever I have conversations with these high-potential newcomers, I seem to notice a trend. They speak of long hours, overtime, sparse payment and little appreciation for the work they do.
Often times, this ends with them leaving the company, resulting in a high fluctuation of young talent.

Now, of course, for young professionals it’s to be expected to not receive the same or similar pay as their more experienced and seasoned colleagues. Usually, this discrepancy in salary and appreciation is justified with less responsibility and liability within the company.

To a certain degree, this phenomenon is completely understandable. At the same time, two people performing the same job with similar output should receive equal pay or at least equal appreciation for the work they do. Especially when their performance is no different from their more experienced peers.
Losing such high-potential young employees due to the high expectations towards them not only creates negative feedback for the employee, but also for the company in question: No new inspirations, no new perspectives and ideas, just a constant stream of fresh brain capacity to use up and toss out.

In my impression, many CEOs and superiors either do not care or do not realize the loss of potential that comes along with this “burning” of their most skilled, most recently trained and most motivated recruits.
Over the past 30 years, I’ve witnessed some of the most talented and dedicated workers leaving their first job. After putting in countless extra hours, weekends working, blood, sweat and tears, all in the hopes that their efforts won’t go unnoticed. Only to go unnoticed and unappreciated. Just thank you, next!

It’s time to start treating trainees and young recruits based on their performance, not just their experience or lack thereof. They are the seeds of a company’s future and they are needed to ensure healthy growth for the years to come.

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