Overcoming obstacles in the earliest stages of a career often requires significant mental resolve. You have never encountered certain situations and you feel that so much is riding on how you cope.
Many will sink before they swim, but they won’t want to show it.
Much as younger professionals might be seen to possess boundless enthusiasm and limitless potential, under the surface they sometimes need more help than they might admit. The seeds of mental health issues are sown during this vulnerable period.
Alternatively, with the right level of understanding, vital lessons can be learnt, if you have an employer by your side to support you through the mental stress.
In the UK, one in four people will experience a mental health issue in any given year, but you can be sure that for younger professionals is a far higher percentage. It is not that employers don’t care about them, but many wear a suit of impenetrable mental armour so thick that you couldn’t possibly guess that problems might be brewing. Sadly, too many think that there is something “wrong” with them, and for weeks and months on end they crumble inside.
It doesn’t have to be this way. During Mental Health Awareness Week, it is important to send this message out to every young professional:
Mental health matters. Your employers are there for you. They care about you. Share your troubles and you will be surprised at just how supportive they will be.
Alongside the wonderful work done by www.mentalhealth.org.uk, PWC are currently championing a “Green Light to Talk” initiative in the financial services industry, where this week 300,000 financial services professionals will be wearing green ribbons to promote a more supportive attitude towards mental health conditions.
Buildings across London will be lit up in green and the whole country will come together in recognising one of the most damaging threats to our society.
This article is our way of sharing that we at Next Ventures care too and that it’s important to talk about it.
We want our large intake of “Next Step Academy” grads (and all our other younger employees) to know that there are always people around to listen and understand. We might not have an in-house professional resource to help, but we are currently evaluating options and adjustments. It is important to start with the right attitude – we know that mental health matters, so what can we do to make a difference to our people?
Every member of our wider team who interacts with our young talent is acutely aware of just how hard it is in those early years. They have all been through it and they are all willing to lend a sympathetic ear to help them take that “Next Step.”
It is easier to open up when you know that you will be understood rather than judged.
A mental health condition is like any other medical condition – if you talk to people about it, you can find your own way of managing it. Happily, many younger people are comfortable talking, and increasingly the older generations are understanding just how important it is to listen. The more we spread the word, the more normalised these conversations will become.
If you are a grad or an industry veteran, when your mental health takes a dip, you will be surprised about just how many people will be ready to assist. Mental health conditions affect everyone at various stages in their career.
For many, the “Next Step” is sometimes simply about asking for help.
It is the duty of all of us to give it when we see it is needed.