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Introducing Jake Richings – Gen Z Talks Speaker (Europe) – Gen Z Talks Global Event

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Introducing Jake Richings – Gen Z Talks Speaker (Europe) – Gen Z Talks Global Event

We recently caught up with Jake Richings from the UK, who is representing the Gen Z Europe voice at our upcoming global event, to take place on the 13th July at 8am UK time


You can book your ticket by clicking on this link – HERE


1) Tell us a bit about who you are and what your background is?


​I am Jake Richings and I am a relevant voice engaging young people with their futures. When I left school I had no idea what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. I was NEET and unemployed for a while because I didn’t know what job, training or education was right for me. From dishwashing at a restaurant, door to door sales and eventually an entry level position in customer service, I was still struggling to find a career that was right for me. I was fortunate to progress quickly at work and in my early twenties had opportunities to run my own team, travel around Europe with work, and speak to C-Suite executives about things like company values and culture. My friends started telling me I was successful, but I didn’t feel like it.


I was unhappy at work, struggling with anxiety and stress, and still uncertain of what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be. I left due to mental health reasons and picked up a similar role on contract to pay the bills. During this time I shifted from asking myself “What do I want to do?” instead asking “How can I work out what I want to do in my career” which led me to explore different interests and half-hobbies. I started sharing with friends and family what I’d learn and how much I had grown personally from these explorations and that grew into sharing these learnings with charities and more recently schools. I am now a professional school speaker & workshop facilitator, I influence and advice CEIAG companies on how to authentically use TikTok to engage young people with their futures, and I am also a social entrepreneur working in the employability space.


2) What are your biggest passions and interests when it comes to work ?


I love turning ideas into action. Whether it’s with my own work and ideas, or career and business ideas for young people. I believe that too many people keep their ideas in their heads and never get them started. I also read a lot of non-fiction around business, psychology and personal development.



3) What has been your biggest achievement to date?


​I’m fortunate to have create an enriched work-life harmony over the last few years. I have been able to speak around Europe, I’ve been able to help thousands of people directly pursue careers that they love. I’ve reached over half a million young people with career education and information on TikTok. However, [This may be a bit meta] the fact that I get paid to do work that I love that makes a genuine difference to young people around the world is, and possibly will always be, my greatest achievement.


4) What exciting projects/businesses are you currently working on?


​My work stretches across many different avenues engaging young people with their futures: I am currently speaking at schools and colleges around the UK helping students to take steps towards finding careers that they love; I am influencing on behalf of a large training company that are helping people skill up towards careers in data, tech and business; I am creating a podcast speaking to young people that do unconventional and aspirational careers to help young people work out what it takes to make it in those fields; and I’m also working with a social enterprise incubator to engage NEETs and young people at risk of crime with their future careers. Everything I do is aimed towards helping young people reach their potential through their work.


5) What would you like to have achieved by this time next year?


​By this time next year I’d love to grow my audience of young people so I can engage more young people with their future careers and businesses. It’s important to me because I believe that GenZ are naturally motivated when they find their ‘thing’, but too many young people don’t know what they are good at, what they enjoy, or worse still they don’t know how to find their ‘thing’. I believe that I can help them find work that they love.


6) Why is the Gen Z voice so important in the world of work today?


GenZ are now stakeholders for potentially every businesses, whether as employees, customers or even shareholders. Whilst young people may be unable to articular what they want and need, as business leaders we need to empower them to start the conversation so we can help each other become better managers, employees, customers, leaders etc.


7) What would you like to see companies do more of to help Gen Z today?


I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for people and companies taking a chance on me and giving me opportunities to grow, even before I knew what I wanted to do with my career. I would like to see more companies taking a chance on their young talent by giving GenZ opportunities. Counterintuitively, these may be opportunities that your young talent aren’t asking for, but really need in order to grow.


8) What do you want the Gen Z Talks event to achieve?


I would like the event to demystify preconceptions about GenZ in regards to employability. Helping young people with their future careers is viewed (by some) as an uphill battle. Even though the things that GenZ want and need can be different, I believe that with the right guidance, inspiration and engagement young people will motivate themselves towards finding careers that they love.


You can follow Jake by clicking here – Jake Richings

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