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Read This Post If You're A Young Canadian Looking For Work

If you're feeling at all pessimistic about work, these might help.

We asked 10 young Canadians how they feel about the future of work at an event hosted by RBC Future Launch, and tbh their responses are pretty life-changing.

Prepare to learn a bunch about skills, networking, work-integrated learning, and mental well-being.

On work-integrated learning:

1. Work-integrated learning is a great opportunity to try new things and figure out who you are.

"I personally never felt like failure in the classroom was a viable option...whereas work-integrated learning, doing things on the job, volunteering, there was failure. And that taught me a lot about myself and who I am in those situations."

Alyssa Bertram, founder of Easy Period, a subscription service for organic-cotton tampons.

2. And more people will choose work that contributes something meaningful to the world.

"I think there’s a lot more motivation when you realize that the work that you’re doing could actually benefit and help other people."

Ann Makosinski, inventor of Hollow Flashlight, which she created at only 15 years old.

On skills:

3. We’re coming to learn that failure at work is OK and actually an important part of the learning process.

"I think I’m really good at failure. And by that I mean I’ve developed the skills to cope with failure and say, 'Okay, this failed. Let’s look at how it failed and why it failed, and let’s figure how to make it not fail the next time.'"

Elamin Abdelmahmoud, a social media guru you've probably seen on Twitter. He also works at BuzzFeed.

4. You're not always going to have everything figured out, and that's okay!

"Find your passion, and if you haven’t found it, that’s okay. Challenge yourself and do the things that make you afraid."

Lauren Howe, Industrial Engineering graduate, Miss Universe Canada 2017, sports host, and advocate for a number of different causes.

5. There are a few gaps in education...but that might be OK.

"I see the initiatives that are being put in place to equip students with 21st-century skills...and then I see the gap in what our policies say versus what we actually do to prepare our kids. And at the same time, I see a blessing in these gaps, because it pushes every person on their own to say, 'If I want to really follow my dreams or my passion, then I will have to learn these things on my own.'"

Najwa Zebian, author, speaker, and educator.

On networking:

6. We're recognizing the value of learning new skills, and surrounding ourselves with people who can enable that.

"I think thank-yous go a really long way. For folks who have gone out of their way to give me some knowledge, help me get a job or help me make the connection I need, 'thank you' is always the first thing on my list."

Cylita Guy, PhD Candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto.

7. Having a core network is a matter of finding the right people.

"To have a network where you can call someone up, and you can explain yourself and they say, ‘I totally empathize with that; I’ve gone through something very similar,’ is the best feeling in the world."

Swish (Manu) Goswami, CEO and founder of Trufan.

8. Don't think of networking as networking, and you might be more comfortable with it.

"I like going to events and meeting people. I don’t like calling it networking; I just call it making friends. I don’t want to project that I’m trying to get something from you. And if some sort of symbiotic relationship results — I’m getting something, you get something — great."

Sam Effah, two-time Canadian champion in track and field.

On mental well-being:

9. It's all about balance. ⚖️

"I think, for me, mental well-being is 100% in line with mind, body, spirit. Everything affects each other. I’m always trying to work on being healthy and balanced as an entire human and not focused so much on one or the other."

Molly Burke, YouTuber and motivational speaker.

10. Don't be scared to be vulnerable.

"I think the most important thing to always remember is that we’re not alone in anything that we’re going through. We may not be going through the exact same things as other people, but being honest with yourself and being vulnerable and [remembering] that vulnerability is strength."

Donté Colley, dancer and content creator.

View this video on YouTube

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How are you feeling about the future of work? Scared? Excited? Nervous? Let us know in the comments below.👇

Some quotes have been edited for length and clarity.

All images via RBC unless otherwise noted.