As a youthworker, or even a manager in a youthwork organisation, I still get this question. From a few responses on facebook to a previous blog it sounds like the age question of a youthworker hasn’t gone away either. Often in faith-based youthwork the question relates to the deemed process of a youthworker becoming a member of the clergy, but what would be suitable responses to the question. Albeit probably not to parents as they’ll be less up for the irony…
So, getting on a bit person who is a youth worker, when are you going to get a proper job?
1. When the young people start to run out in the world and their problems all disappear.
2. Why would I want a different job when I can be paid to (accentuate prejudice) play table tennis and have fun with young people.
3 . Tell me why my job is less proper. Go on.
4.Is my job less proper than someone who does the same kind of work but with people who have been alive a bit longer..?
5. Are you saying that being a minister, pastor, support and encourager to young people is inferior to that of adults and ministry?
6. If people like us didn’t exist would you be up for volunteering to work with young people instead?
7. So, how old do you have to be to be a youthworker then?
8. If you’re feeling particularly grouchy, what about- ‘I’m letting all the boring people do the proper jobs..’
9. You, want me, to get a proper job.. its only young people who can cope with me. The rest of the world wouldn’t be safe…
10. Just sigh, and walk on, knowing that you are doing a worthwhile job, having significant moments to educate, support and empower young people. A proper job…