These are hard times for all of us. Here in marketing land, the job situation is becoming increasingly uneasy for many marketers. Some have already been let go, and others are floundering to keep their brands relevant in a sensitive climate. 

But we will bounce back. Be it a month or year from now, things will start looking normal again. And we’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing our social distancing and working from home paid off in saving as many lives as possible.

We have the foundation of our skills and networks; and economic markets are ecosystems designed to trend toward normalcy. This too shall pass. For us.

Who I’m worried about are those who never had a foundation to begin with. Those already in precarious positions, who fell through the moth holes in our social safety nets far before the COVID19 madness began.

They are in peril now. They’re living with their parents – if they’re lucky – and haven’t had much in the way of opportunities. They don’t have anyone to guide them, and traditional structures have always failed them. They’ve been told that in the grand tower of our society, they belong at the bottom. And with the world scrambling, a lot of them really have nowhere to go.

That’s why I’m working with a non-profit called Social Engine, led by former WhiteLion CEO Mark Watt, who’s helping disadvantaged youths set on the right path by providing them with real work. Because real work is the only thing that makes you feel like you matter, and lets you dream of what you could achieve next.

Social Engine takes kids in need of a hand – those with tough socioeconomic status, suffering from depression and feelings of helplessness, with nowhere else to turn – and nurtures them in a controlled work environment. It gives them structure and routine; a reason to get out of bed, somewhere to be by 9am, and consequences for their actions.

There are three arms to Social Engine: coffee, packing and workwear and site services. You can learn more about each of these offerings on the here

Each of these arms trains kids to learn to enjoy work, and helps them break their own cycle of disengagement. They genuinely come out of the program with a new lease on life, and a real confidence to back themselves going forward.

All it takes is for one person to believe in them.

If you know a business that could use some help with warehouse packing and distribution, a worksite in need of vending machines or an event that needs catering, I highly encourage you to get in touch with Social Engine and use it as a chance to fulfil a young person with some work. 

Perhaps not now (as with many businesses, we’re temporarily closed), but when we’re all back on our feet. It’s important we remember to look back to the stragglers of the group and make sure they recover with us.

Social Engine also runs a cafe in the Melbourne Docklands Library called Pouring For A Purpose – which is shut for the moment due to COVID19. But when it reopens, be sure to grab a cuppa from our eager expert baristas. I know I’ll need several coffees once this is all over.

Josh Loh

Marketing and Communications, Social Engine