Just as changing times has made certain jobs and industries obsolete, it has also spawned new professions that only the younger generation of millennials who grew up with the Internet will understand and see as perfectly viable and legitimate careers.
Hollywood, or in Singapore’s case, Mediacorp, is no longer the only place where stars hone their craft. These days, a whole generation of online video celebrities command audiences that would make folks in traditional broadcast media green with envy. Online video has an additional benefit of fostering a high level of audience engagement with fans. With the help of interactive features like comments, YouTubers have the opportunity to put out content that is more authentic and less scripted.
Make no mistake though, this is a challenging career. YouTube personalities depend on the continued support of their viewers to earn advertising revenue from YouTube and attract sponsors. The expectations viewers have for the production quality on YouTube is ever on the rise, which forces YouTubers to continually up their game when it comes to conceptualising, shooting and editing their videos.
Since their income is subject to the evolving tastes of viewers and the whims of YouTube, content creators have to be shrewd entrepreneurs and new media marketers. It is common for them to open alternative income streams like affiliate marketing, selling merchandise, or allowing fans regularly contribute a token sum of money in exchange for additional content and other perks.
#2 e-Sports Gamer
“Stop playing video games!” is a phrase that is definitely uttered with much more frequency in households compared to “Stop practising your tennis backhand!” It is unfortunate that video games have such a bad reputation among parents as a waste of time.
Part of the multi-billion dollar video games industry is a growing segment known as e-Sports. Much like physical sports, regional, national and global tournaments pit competitive e-Sports athletes against each other in matches that are viewed by millions around the world. These e-Athletes also rake in prize money and brand endorsements that are befitting their idol status among millions of e-Sports fans.
Its also not all a bed of roses, though. Professional e-Sports gamers have coaches who yell at them and train with team mates for hours each day. Unfortunately, the nature of competition mean that there can only one winner, with scores of other teams and gamers not making it. With such high stakes, conflicts and pressure can sometimes take a toil on these young e-Sports athletes.
#3 Social Media Influencer
Each of us utilise social media in our own, different ways. Some use it exclusively to keep in touch with family and friends. Others, network with like-minded people or peers in the industry. Then there are those who seek to grow their social network with the aim of monetising and reaping other benefits from it in future. Enter the social media influencer.
Influencer marketing is now a category within the online media marketing mix that companies can put money into to spread their message among the followers of influencers. As such, influencers are “mini content marketing publishers” unto themselves. They have to study creative briefs given to them by their clients, draft and pitch content ideas for review, be the ones to produce the content, and then monitor how well the piece does. In other words, they do not simply take a photo, cobble together a caption, hit post and collect money.
In addition, the skills influencers honed over the years running their own social media empires make them extremely valuable to companies, adding to the longevity and resilience of their careers as influencers. These include writing, search engine optimisation, photography, Facebook marketing, and business development.
Legit As Careers?
Just as we should not belittle the sport of soccer as “22 grown men running after a ball”, we should not dismiss these millennial careers as trivial or even frivolous. As with any profession, being truly successful takes lots of hard work, continuous improvement and true passion for the craft. This is even more true when the barriers to entry to these careers are so low.
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