The same is true for venturing into the unknown or the unfamiliar, where some young people who when faced with a difficult set of circumstances decide to walk away from rather than persevere with tackling the situation. It is the case that young people are more likely to change their minds and their choices more frequently than adults, particularly where
this is related to career choice. This is partly a function of maturity; as the theories on character development indicate young people show a greater propensity for managing risk, planning, and decision-making as they get older. Hence, they are more likely to have assessed their options and understood the consequences of their choices.
Employers will often discriminate between employing older people in favour of young people and will cite the fact that young people are likely to be less reliable than adult employees. Employing adults with experience is associated with productivity as they are familiar with the workplace disciplines and character that is required to work effectively. Employers see “dependability” as critical in employees where the employer is more confident in their investment of time and resources for someone who will stay and grow with the organisation rather than see their investment dissipate as young people change their minds and leave. On the other hand, employing older workers can have downsides as they will normally expect a higher rate of pay than a young person just starting out and in training. Retention rates in apprenticeships for example are a cause for concern and more can be done to develop the resilience of apprentices by developing the way that they commit to the longer term, when the acquisition of skills and relevant qualification bring reward in salary levels, promotion, and advancement. In 2008–2009 the overall success rate for apprenticeship completion was
72.2 per cent12 and whilst that is an improvement on the 2005–2006 rate at 46.9 per cent there is still some way to go to achieve a level that could be considered to give maximum return on investment. Evidence points to non-completion occurring as a consequence of the apprentice first, leaving one employer to join another (either in the same occupation or a different one); second, returning to school, college, or university (depending upon qualification level); or third, dropping out of the education and training system to enter unskilled work, unemployment, or inactivity.13
When it comes to challenge people can react in very different ways. Some see challenge as an opportunity to grow and progress, whereas others see it as a threat and may recoil to a safer option. Challenge, as captured in the MTQ48, assesses how people react when they are faced with change. Therefore it will have a bearing on how people make career choices, with some preferring to “play it safe” and look for stability, with others being positively turned off by the safe option in the search for new and varied experiences. Using the MTQ48 therefore to
measure an individual's capacity to deal with challenge can inform their reaction to certain types of career. The use of the measure can also be used as a challenge to individuals, to show them that it is possible to develop appetite for dealing with new and changing situations, or at least to manage these eventualities better. Applying for a place in university, or applying for a job inevitably brings an element of competition into people's lives, a fact which will be repeated throughout one's working life. Therefore helping individuals to develop strategies and techniques designed to deal with challenge is a precursor to helping them to manage their careers. This can be done by getting people to identify success in others, from celebrities and cultural or sports icons to people in their own walk of life who they have know to be successful. By identifying what makes these people successful it is possible to design steps that can be translated into the life of the individual in question.