Or, the economy is booming?
Several years ago, I wrote the press release read around the world. Carried by 420 media outlets. It got me on CNBC, CBS, Investors Business Daily, San Francisco Chronicle and smaller outlets like Pakistan Today.
The headline was: If You Can Tweet, the Job Market is Sweet.
It was the early years of social media.
CEOs were clueless, even the hardware manufacturers. And, I don’t mean new cabinet knobs.
The New York Times reported that Cisco CEO John Chambers was pressured by his interns to learn how to put 144 characters together. Remember back in the day, we didn’t realize 122 is better, because it saves space for RT.
There was a rumor that companies should have a “two way dialogue!” with ACTUAL consumers.
Investors understood social media even less than management. Investors were lots of middle class folks (yes, there was a middle class!!!) who were learning how to email stale jokes to one another. Facebook was for college kids.
But, “new media” turned out not to be Miss American Pie. It did not die.
At that magical moment: if you could tweet, boy (or girl) was the job market sweet!
Interns became social media managers, and were actually PAID! They were PROMOTED!
This famously includes Eric Kuhn, who as an intern led CNN into social media. He quickly ascended to Vice President of United Talent, and I spoke to the Screen Actors Guild Foundation members; warning them that the so-so actor with 300 followers was more likely to be cast than a more talented actor with 30.
Of course, those days are gone. Your sixth grade cousin has 3,000 followers (if he’s not popular).
The current boom in the economy is largely about the recording breaking Dow Jones and NASDAQ.
But for whom does this economy toll?
Investors are no longer middle age or middle class. They aren’t young families tucking money into mutual funds to pay for their kids’ college or their own retirement.
Investors are the uber wealthy.
Millennials would be driving for Uber, if they could afford to buy a car.
Boomers who hung on can’t afford to retire.
Gen Y is getting the stink-eye or flat out laid off.
Tweeting is no longer the ticket to a big deal job. It’s a job requirement. Lots of companies consider the number of your connections, friends, fans and followers in their hiring decisions.
And we join together to celebrate the minimum wage, in those cities where it soars. That means you can pay for weekly groceries and a bus pass to get to work since you can’t afford to live nearby.
I rarely write anything that is not PRO-business, because business is my not-at-all secret crush.
So this is not an anti-business rant.
It’s just that I spent this entire weekend leading the Personal Branding Boot Camp on the UCLA campus. For two solid sunny Southern California Spring days: a phalanx of amazing, intelligent, innovative, kind, resourceful people came to up their game. They worked for it. They killed it.
All we are saying is give Millennials a chance.