Hi My name is Jake Richings and I am an expert in GenZ engagement, an influencer for young people and careers organisations, a workshop leader and motivational speaker in schools. I work with Ethos to support young people to help them reach their potential.
My WhyWhen I left school I did not know what to do with my life: My first job was in a cafe where my supervisor was three years younger than me - I felt like such an idiot! I tried sales and ended up in customer service. I did make progress, but I got stressed out because I was working in a job that I didn’t want to do. How could I work out what to do with my life? There was loads of stuff online but it didn’t help. I just had to find my own path - trying different things: I managed an e-sport team, designed a video game and an app, volunteered for a school and a sports team. When I shared my experiences with friends they said they found it helpful - many of them had left uni not knowing what they wanted either - except they didn’t want to work in the area they had studied! So I kept sharing because it made me less alone. I see so many young people the same way as me - struggling to find their path and I’m motivated to help them reach their potential in work and education.
The Social ValueAll my work is for GenZ: I go to schools and I work with careers companies on TikTok - advising and influencing - pointing to the stuff that’s useful so young people can stumble across it without having to look for it: that’s why I love TikTok. I started working with Ethos helping their young people who come from all walks of life. They all have one thing in common: they need opportunities to try different work, start their own thing or find sustainable careers. So I am mentoring, running internal workshops, coaching on business networking and building connections to help this group of people who are similar to where I was just a few years ago.
How I feel privileged to do what I doI feel lucky because a lot of people that left school like me, as a “NEET” - Not in Education, Employment or Training, have ended up involved with the justice system, or on minimum wage or as a single parent. Something has happened to help me reach my potential and it is an opportunity that I can pass onto young people. At Ethos I am working with people similar to me - in terms of mindset and attitude to problem-solving and that is very important. I don’t have the financial capital to do much but working with others in Ethos I can actually make those changes by working with people like me who are ambitious for social impact. Working here makes me believe we can all be more successful if we change our economy so young people can do social good and flourish; get a good job and support a family and not have to wait to win the lottery or retire and then do social good.