In Finland, youth workshops support participants’ everyday management, social empowerment and employability skills, facilitating their access to education and work. In this study, we analysed conversations with ten participants about their experiences in non-formal learning workshops in Northern Finland. We explore how participants described personal transformation borne by workshop participation and how the prevalent discourses on youth (un)employment manifest in participants’ reasons for action. In the analysis, we identified (1) how participants assessed their situations; (2) their thoughts, feelings and actions in relation to their situations; and (3) their grounds for these thoughts, feelings and actions. The societal dimension of subjective experience is articulated by identifying the prevalent societal discourses featured in participants’ descriptions. The analysis showed that participants described themselves as vulnerable prior to the intervention and motivated after the intervention. Participants experienced tailored support as being significant in fostering the change. Individual descriptions of how the learning and training conditions were experienced constitute valuable knowledge about the possible ways of acting and experiencing in relation to common structures. With the help of these descriptions, it would be valuable for researchers and participants to continue the conversation about the discourses to enhance the participants’ conscious participation in maintaining and changing their living conditions.