Navigating the Millennial Job Market

gen copyThough I can hardly believe it, I’ll soon have two children who are legal adults, and another is not far behind them.

Back when they were all small, sticky, stinky and screaming all day every day I thought they’d never grow up, but it does happen in a blink of eye just like the old ladies at church tell you it will.

Because my children are growing up and entering the workforce, I have an interest in the 21st century job market so I’ve been doing some research. I mean, if one of my kids grows up to become a professional “Viner” I probably better know what that means.

Actually, I found out you don’t have to grow up to become a Viner. Many of the pros dominating this social media boom are tweens and teens. Yep, a kid can make a six-figure income even before his voice changes and not be part of the Jackson 5.

In case you’re ignorant, like I was, to what a Viner is I’ll enlighten you—not that it will make any more sense once I’ve described it. “Vine” is a social network video-sharing application where people create and post six-second looping videos. If your six-second clips are really, really interesting you gain followers, which attracts advertisers who pay commission.

Yeah, I don’t get it either.

I watched some of the supposed “best of the best” of these six-second opuses and still didn’t get it.

Beyond Vining, the millennial generation could also become professional YouTubers, gamers, dubstep or Instagram artists. I saw an interview on a talk show of a guy who makes his living scribbling goofy, simple, poorly-drawn caricatures on photos and posts them on Instagram.

It’s a living, I suppose, and apparently it can be a lucrative one.

We’ll have to change the lyrics to that poignant Waylon Jennings tune:
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
Don’t let ’em pick guitars or drive them old trucks.
Let ’em be Viners and YouTubers and such.

It’s not as catchy, but it’s more current.

Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, dropped out of Harvard and became a billionaire by age 23, so how am I supposed to convince my kids to spend years and thousands of dollars on college educations when they can turn a profit on YouTube posting video footage of themselves riding down the stairs on mattresses wearing underwear on their heads?

Speaking of YouTubers, the most popular ones are gamers who video themselves playing video games while doing humorous commentary (“humorous” is subjective).

No really, people watch other people play video games.

My own children do it sometimes even though I tell them it probably depletes brain cells even faster than watching SpongeBob. Another profitable YouTube trend is video footage of people unwrapping toys and playing with them. If YouTube had been around fifteen years ago, I could have made a killing with video footage of me playing Polly Pockets, Legos and My Pretty Pony with my kids.

Bummer, I was just doing it to be a good mom.

It’s a different world, that’s for sure. Honestly, I don’t care what my kids do to make a living, so long as it’s honorable—and takes them out of my house.

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