They are dubbed everything from Influencers to mini CEOs of their own personal brand, but not every young person is achieving success overnight and that is causing serious emotional pressure, says guest blogger Efe Ezekiel
While the generation that went before us were concerned with a job for life and a pension scheme, Gen Z are the first generation to come of age with technology and see how the digital world can help them shape their personal brand and future careers.
Taking that idea and running with it, many young people all over the world are becoming very successful moguls, entrepreneurs and brands relatively quickly compared to their predecessors.
They are known as the Influencers and are making such a great impact on society and their peers who believe that they can acquire prominence, status and prosperity overnight. However, we need to look at the detrimental effects it is having on our young people who are not achieving their success quickly, the ones who aren’t becoming ‘CEO IN A DAY’.
In my work as a youth mentor, I hear a lot of the same names being floated around by the young people I work with. The same way I obsessed over Aaliyah, and Mariah Carey, they get excited about online stars such as Jamal Edwards MBE, 22-years-old, Founder of SBTV which rivals MTV, or Zoella the beauty/fashion vlogger who is 25-years-old with over 10 million Youtube subscribers and Gamer/Comedian called KSI (Olajide Olatunji) aged just 22. KSI is one of the greats with over 12 million subscribers and 2.1 billion views. They are known globally and are re-writing popular culture by the second.
They have such a strong fanbase and are courted by the advertisers, sponsors and publishers. They are being integrated into the mainstream media and becoming multi-millionaires just by being themselves and talking about their passions on screen, all shot at home and on a phone or portable camera. Easy…
Or so their peers think, these Influencers enable other young people to dream of making it, just by following their own path. Plus, they make success look quick and easy. Many young people have seen how hard their parents and adults have worked without much to show with regards to economics, status and power. Therefore, they are using the creativity and accessibility of the digital/technology to create opportunities for themselves to change their lives and become like their Influencers online.
However, the fallout of this for many of the young people that I work with is that they are feeling like failures and gathering such low-self esteem. Especially, if they have not started their careers, achieved great success and in my terms become ‘CEO in a day’. They are seeing that their peers are making this happen constantly and relatively easily from just an idea, channel and visual images on the various platforms. But, they are feeling that they have been left behind.
It has to be made clear to young people that most of these young overnight successes (as the media would have you believe) did not happen overnight. It took years and consistent work to build the brand, fanbase and endurance.
Most importantly, you also need life, people and financial skills to sustain a growing brand and business. Yes, we live in a world where we are all a click, website or YouTube video away from being as successful as our stars but this is rarely the case for the most young people. We know that they are the masters and gurus of this new digital communication, advanced and confident in their knowledge and conviction. However, the desire for speed in their careers and all areas in life may be a downfall.
Therefore, we have a huge responsibility to our young people to help them realise that they need to take full advantage of the amazing opportunity that lies before them. They are the creators of the our Tomorrow’s world…
However, they must remember that it might take time, patience, passion and consistency for all dreams to come true…so Dream big, build and enjoy the journey.
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