We’re helping shine a light on youth unemployment. Could you change a young person’s future?

We’re really enjoying helping UKCES with their monthly campaigns to tackle youth unemployment. Mid-month we look forward to sitting down with a cuppa and a few biscuits to start throwing ideas around. Over the last few months, we’ve produced ridiculous videos and nostalgic illustrations to encourage businesses to take on young people.

We’ve been delighted with the response to the twitter campaign UKCES launched yesterday. #ToMyYoungerSelf encourages people to think back to the very beginning of their careers and tweet themselves some advice. The campaign has got us thinking about how our own careers are shaping up since Neo gave us our first breaks, and what advice we might give to other young people just starting out.

Rose: “I joined Neo at the beginning of last summer. I’d had a string of jobs in hospitality and events and although I’d enjoyed many of them I’d come to realise the industry wasn’t for me. I decided it was time to put my degree in English to good use and find a job to challenge and satisfy me.

Unfortunately, getting the kind of job I was after wasn’t so easy. I was determined not to settle for another job that wasn’t right for me but I didn’t have the right experience for most of the positions I was interested in.

I had a good feeling about Neo when I saw the job advert for a Studio Assistant. I was invited for an interview and left the studio with a spring in my step. I couldn’t believe it when I was offered the job. Since starting at Neo, I’ve been given every opportunity to learn and develop. I’ve been encouraged to get involved in all areas of the business to work out the career direction that’s right for me. Last month I was promoted to Account Executive. I’m learning new skills every day and gaining confidence in my own abilities.

I’m not sure what my job title will be this time next year, and that’s exciting for me. To anyone looking for a job right now: be brave, stay positive and reach outside your comfort zone.”

Sam: “I started at Neo in September. After graduating from my course in graphic design I was advised to look for an internship within the industry. Because of my location in Dorset it was near impossible to find an internship firstly at a company that were doing work I was really interested in and secondly which would work for me financially.

Because of this I worked in a number of jobs that had no connection to the design industry. These included a job working in property renovation and another in bronze casting. Although they didn’t directly relate to design I learnt invaluable skills and knowledge from these jobs which have carried through into my working life as a designer.

Since starting at Neo my acquisition of knowledge and skills hasn’t stopped and has continued to exceed any of my expectations. With the support of the existing team who possess a wide range of distinctive knowledge and ways of working I’ve learnt a huge amount about the industry in a short space of time.

My main advice to anyone seeking employment would be to be patient, don’t give up on what you want to do but see any type of job whatever industry it’s in as a valuable learning experience.”

Becky: “I really enjoyed Fine Art at school and had a great art teacher who believed in me, but at the time I didn’t think I could ever form a career from it. I didn’t really know much about graphic design. It wasn’t until I finished college that my dad suggested I looked into doing a Graphic Design course because this is where he saw my potential. At the open day for the Graphic Course at Falmouth I realised this is what I truly wanted to do and I have my old art teacher and my dad to thank for encouraging me and helping me get to where I am now.

I have been working at Neo for the past three and a half years since graduating and I enjoy what I do everyday more than ever. I have been lucky enough to not have to compromise my principles with my work. If I were to give advice to my younger self it would be don’t worry, listen to others and then you will find an opportunity in the most unlikely place.”

Neo has given us all a great start in our careers. Because our colleagues believe in us and take the time to help us learn and progress, we’re working harder than ever to make sure we do them proud. Today there are 917,000 young people who are unemployed. Right now, the future looks pretty bleak for them. But if every organisation decided it was time to take a chance on a young person that could all change.

What advice would you give your younger self? Could you help change another young person’s future?