Is It Me or are Most of the ‘Refugees’ Young Men?

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A couple of weeks ago, I chastised someone on social media for pointing out that the pictures coming from Europe seemed to show men, mostly young and able-bodied, as the bulk of the refugees coming over from the Middle East. I pointed out that what we see is through the eyes of the journalists, may of whom I assumed were promoting an agenda of some sort.

Then, I started looking at more. And more. And more. When my wife pointed out the same thing, it made me curious, so I started watching videos. And more videos. And more videos.

By golly, they may have a point.

Here’s an image from yesterday’s NY Times, a publication that is known for left-leanings and not known for promoting conspiracy theories.

Male Syrian Refugees

We’re not into conspiracy theories, either. I’m going to stick (loosely) to my original premise that there are plenty of women and children in the mix. To say otherwise would be erroneous even if we believe that there definitely seems to be a lot of men without wives or kids tagging along. It got me thinking, though. Would I leave? If America was ruled by an unpopular dictator (no need for jokes – I know what you’re thinking), had a rebel group fighting for freedom, and had an extremist army trying to muscle in, would I run? Would I try to fight my way across the border if I didn’t have a wife or kids?

It’s futile to try to compare situations. I’m not walking in their shoes and I’m living in a country that has taken great care of me over the years. However, I do know that I’d rather fight to secure the future of my family and country rather than opportunistically try to impose myself on others.

To clarify (before I’m called a bigot), I’m describing one very particular demographic and situation: young enough to fight, healthy, unmarried, and without children. I’m not saying this because I’m some macho man. It’s a matter of practicality. Knowing that there were women, children, elderly, and other more needy types of people fighting for limited space in countries that don’t really want us, I couldn’t imagine imposing myself or taking away someone else’s spot.

One can say that the current regime is bad, the rebels are bad, and the Islamic State is worst of all and therefore there’s no opportunity in Syria. Fine. There’s apparently very little patriotism in Syria and understandably so. However, I cannot imagine being in that situation and wanting to go to Europe where the majority is against my presence unless I wanted to change the status quo in their…

Ahhhh. I get it.

Soshable

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Young Adults Get A Leg Up With LinkedIn

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If your son or daughter is a high school or college student, let’s explore a summer project that probably isn’t on your or your child’s radar yet.

School has come to a close and while many of your kids are beginning to enjoy the heat of summer, as parents you may be feeling a bit anxious. I spoke to a few parents of students, and they all shared similar concerns: How will my son begin vetting which universities he is interested in attending? How do young adults make themselves marketable nowadays? How will my daughter find an internship or a job?

Welcome to one of your answers: LinkedIn.

As reported by LinkedIn, there are over 39 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn. Students and emerging professionals are LinkedIn’s fastest-growing demographic.

How can LinkedIn help my son find which college he wants to attend?

In his article “LinkedIn is creating a revolution in university rankings”, published in Financial Review, Tim Dodd reports that “drawing on the huge amount of data it has collected about professionals’ careers and their education background, LinkedIn tells you which universities lead to the best jobs in each major profession.”

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Between YOUniversity, University Finder, Decision Boards, a personalized dashboard and University Rankings, LinkedIn has no shortage of entry points for your student to begin his or her college search.

How can my daughter build a LinkedIn profile if she doesn’t have work experience yet?

In 2013, LinkedIn lowered its member age limit to 14 years old in the United States. While some people immediately admonished LinkedIn’s decision upon first hearing this, others see it as a great opportunity. I can tell you that if LinkedIn was around when I was in high school, you better believe I would have become a member, so that I could have begun building my business experience versus the alternative of working at a local pizza parlor.

With that said, the impression you make online is just as important as the one you make in person. Your footprint works around the clock and is accessible to anyone at any time. When your student creates a LinkedIn profile, it is critical to make sure they are positioning themselves in the most professional light. This includes using a recent headshot as their LinkedIn profile picture; selfies, pictures with other people and anything less than interview attire are not appropriate.

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So, they don’t have “real-world” experience at this point? No problem.

Within the LinkedIn profile there are many sections that are applicable to students, such as: Education, Courses, Test Scores, Honors & Awards, Projects and Volunteer Experience – and the list goes on. Do not forget that they should mention in their Profile if they are looking for an internship or job. Remember there is no spell-check, no formatting and no draft version of the LinkedIn profile; use a Word document to draft, then copy and paste it into LinkedIn.

How will my son find an internship through LinkedIn?

Once the LinkedIn profile is looking good, it’s time for them to begin Connecting with key professionals. Let your friends and colleagues know your student just joined LinkedIn and ask them to Connect. Encourage your student to Connect with business owners of companies they are interested in and professionals whom they respect. And not to overlook the obvious, but make sure you Connect with them as well. By growing their network of Connections they can start conversations and even apply for jobs.

As of the date this article was published, more than 1.1 million entry-level jobs and 55,000 internships are posted on LinkedIn. The door is open, but it is up to your student to take the next step. Here is just one resource of many to get started: students.linkedin.com.

By tapping into LinkedIn, your forward-thinking young adult will have more visibility into university and career options than ever before. Ease your concerns by sharing this knowledge with your student and encourage them to take action.

As LinkedIn puts it: “It’s not just for top executives, it’s not just for old people with heavy briefcases, it’s for you. And it’s the perfect place for you to start your professional story.”

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