Supporting young professionals in your workplace

Posted in : Blog
Posted on : July 9, 2024

by the CCDI Research Team

Entering the workforce during the pandemic was not easy for me. All the advice I had been given by older professionals suddenly did not apply to me because the workforce had completely changed. Unfortunately, this experience was not unique to me and applied to many other young professionals. During the pandemic, people under the age of 30, especially those under the age of 25, were the most likely to lose hours of work as a result of the economic shutdowns. This challenge was even worse for young adults who identify as Indigenous, Black young adults, young adults with a disability, young adults without a post-secondary education, and recent post-secondary graduates (Future Skills Centre, 2021).

As more and more young professionals enter the workforce, the lasting impacts of the pandemic are more likely to be seen. By considering the unique challenges this new generation has faced, organizations can tailor their services to support the growth, development, and well-being of young professionals in their workplace.

Here are some ideas to support your younger employees.

  1. Encourage work-life balance. Work-life balance is becoming increasingly more important to younger people, so aim to promote a culture that respects boundaries and encourages employees to prioritize their well-being outside of work. This can be done through role modelling. It can be intimidating for newer employees to set boundaries at work if they see others are not, especially when this generation is often called “lazy” or “entitled”. Set an example for your team and demonstrate what it means to have work-life balance.
  2. Support career advancement. Many young professionals may be labelled as “job hoppers” as they switch roles more often than older generations. They are often taking advantage of opportunities to advance their careers. For example, I had a friend who found a better opportunity after about a year at their job. When they handed in their resignation, their team became quite hostile towards them. This made their last few weeks miserable and negatively impacted my friend’s mental health. It can be hard to lose employees, especially if they were a high performer or if your team is understaffed, but young professionals should be free to explore their opportunities. Do what you can to support their needs, even if that means leaving your team.
  3. Mentor your young professionals. It is an overwhelming process for someone to start their professional journey. Mentors, whether formal or informal, can make this process easier for younger employees by providing guidance, facilitating networking opportunities, and helping them develop essential skills.

CCDI has recently launched our new mentorship program to cultivate a workplace where every individual is not only valued but celebrated for the richness of their diverse dimensions. The core mentor-mentee relationship will last four months, and participants must dedicate at least two hours per month during work hours for mentorship activities. This is a great opportunity for more senior employees to guide and connect with their newer colleagues. Although any new employee can join this program, younger employees, specifically, can develop positive relationships with more senior employees that can help set a strong foundation as they continue to grow in their career.

  1. 4. Develop diversity, inclusion, and equity (DEI) initiatives. DEI is very popular among younger generations and an organization’s commitment may be the reason for an applicant’s interest. A friend of mine worked at a company that claimed to be committed to DEI on their website. However, after a few months at that job, they realized that the company wasn’t upholding their statements and is one of the reasons they ultimately left.

DEI is nothing without action and goes beyond just hiring diverse candidates, it's also about retaining them. This means that initiatives must go beyond the surface level so invest in initiatives that aim to create equitable opportunities for career advancement and foster a sense of belonging among young professionals from diverse backgrounds.

If you would like to learn more, we recently updated our educational resource guide, entitled “Recruiting and retaining young professionals”.

  1. Provide opportunities for leadership. Leadership skills can be valuable to help young people advance in their careers, but it can be difficult to gain experience. Provide opportunities for young professionals to lead projects and contribute to decision-making processes within your organization.

As a student at CCDI, I have been given a lot of opportunities to contribute to projects of interest like working on the DreamMakers Summit or updating toolkits. These tasks have allowed me to develop personally and professionally and helped me get a job at a place I’ve always wanted to work. I know that working at CCDI has set me up with a solid foundation for my career growth.

If your team has not done any of the things mentioned above, that’s okay! Start today and move forward with these ideas in mind. By providing young people with opportunities to explore, engage, and learn, we can help young professionals overcome any hurdles the pandemic has put in place.

References (click here to review the sources)

As a young professional, it’s a unique time to grow your career, LinkedIn, 2022,

Making up time: The impact of the pandemic on young adults in Canada, Future Skills Centre, 2021,,but%20to%20education%20as%20well.

Why Having a Mentor is Crucial for Young Professionals: The Benefits of Guided Career Growth, LinkedIn, 2023,

Young adults have been hit hard by the pandemic. The recovery must not leave them behind, Environics Institute, 2022,


Tags CCDI diversity CDNdiversity DEI Workplace D&I Professional Professional Development

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