Go and find a job! 年轻人应该找份正式的工作吗?

Vocabulary: trying for jobs 詞匯:嘗試工作

Image caption Would you do this job for a while?

Do you see yourself in your early 20s already wearing a smart suit and using a company phone? Recent trends have seen young people looking for internships rather than Saturday jobs. But should people be expected to do a 'proper job' at all while they're still young?

For many, weekend or evening work is a rite of passage that may involve cleaning toilets, milking cows or operating the machine that puts jam into a doughnut.

Holding down a part-time job as a teenager or student may not be glamorous. But it's a chance to dip one's toe into the world of work and take a crucial first step into adulthood.

But the number of young people doing a Saturday job has halved in 15 years, according to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. The economic downturn has made it tougher for young people to find any kind of job. For those seeking a career, there is now greater pressure to target their chosen profession and gain work experience.

Those who go on to successful careers often mention their days of waiting tables or picking fruit as formative experiences. Actor Sean Connery may have the 007 role as a highlight on his CV but he began working as a milkman when he was 14. George Clooney once tried his hand at selling women's shoes. Sir Terry Leahy ended up running the British supermarket giant Tesco after taking a holiday job stacking tea and coffee.

What is a 'proper job'? White collar work is aspirational and professionals in finance, advertising, journalism and the law often work extremely long hours. But there is a sense that sitting at a desk all one's life is not always 'real' work in the same way as some other jobs are.

Has a person who has never had to cope with physical or monotonous labour somehow missed out? It goes beyond career development to the idea of becoming a well-rounded person.

Dr Paul Sissons, senior researcher at the Work Foundation, argues that the best way to achieve career success could be getting good grades. "Formal qualifications are still the essential determinant of labour market outcomes," he says.