Identity crisis and multi-tasking: is it a millennial thing?
For the post 90’s generation, living and paying the bills is simply not enough anymore, where an increasing number of millennials are taking on side gigs as creative outlets ending up juggling several careers at the same time.
Vogue America March issue 2017- empowering women
It’s funny I’m writing about this topic, as I just came back from coffee with a stylist friend in her mid 20’s saying to me ‘Yanie, I’m a stylist but I’m also a photographer, consultant as well as fashion content copywriter, I can even do some production! I feel people think I can do more or less of everything so this is what I’m doing I guess, a-bit of everything. I’m just scared that I don’t really have a strong positioning. Styling wasn’t like it was back in the days, now brands are cutting campaign budgets in order to emphasizing on increasingly going towards making shorter mini campaigns with fewer resources, where we need to find new ways of styling and monetizing’ she told me.
And it doesn’t go just for her, I think it’s really a wave and movement that our modern society has incentivized us to develop across time, especially (but not only) for the newer generation to be pushed in becoming doubly triply talented.
As the first generation native to technology, we millennials in general are notorious pros at multitasking —“splitting attention between devices and tasks up to 27 times / hour, compared to 17 times / hour for previous generations, according to the ‘Maximizing Millennials’ infographic” –Forbes.
For the post 90’s generation, living and paying the bills is simply not enough anymore, where an increasing number of millennials are taking on side gigs as creative outlets ending up juggling several careers at the same time. The millennial generation, recognized for being more ambitious look at their careers as a return on investment through multi-tasking. NY Times calls this the “slash” generation, where even the fact and notion of focusing on one thing for the rest of their adult lives as boring and antiquated.
Guess Jeans X ASAP shooting , Photo by DAQIU YOHO MAG
According to The Times, Millennials are the first generation to make the “forward slash career”. But it’s not just career advancement and reward that millennials want — it’s stability and a creative outlet, having their cake and eating it, too, with a decent pay check and a dream project all at the same time. We simply want it ALL.
Let’s look at it from a social media point of view, things are becoming much faster than what they used to be, where the need to only be a good stylist was enough at the time in order to adhere to the time frame of what traditional print required, a much slower pace, today just being/doing one thing might simply just not be enough in our modern reality because of the quicker demands were facing in general.
Kendall Jenner Photographs Cindy Crawford’s Daughter Kaia Gerber for LOVE
Moreover, global and influential role models are also entering this type of movement; with Kendall Jenner recently shooting the glossy covers for the British magazine LOVE becoming the latest model officially turning photographer, as well as the new trend of models turned actresses such as Cara Delevigne, Kate Upton, Suki Waterhouse, Karlie Kloss, Emily Ratajkowski etc. Asian role models for the new generation are also going toward the same trend, Kris Wu, model, actor and singer recently hitting his biggest international movie with Vin Diesel xXx: Return of Xander Cage. Luhan, also being actor/signer also recently landed an international film with Matt Damon on The Great Wall. Lucky Blue Smith and his sister Pyper America are also triply talented, being actors, models, and digital influencers with their own music band.
But it’s not only the millennials who are transitioning this type of phase, Karl Lagerfeld and Hedi Slimane are both renown designers turned photographers, iconic supermodel Kate Moss has founded her own talent agency in 2016 and Noemi Campbell is going into American soap opera entertainment such as Empire. People are diverging from being labeled as only one angle, and I think it’s needed not only to stand out but to continue prospering today.
On another view, traditional Print used to be a monthly or max bi-monthly paper issue, but now social media has created the opportunity for bloggers and digital influencers to jump on the pedestal and create their own self-media through vlogging, insta-posting, and more where posting becomes more intimate, raw, and immediate. Naturally this segment of people are more prone to having a diverse skills set; strong via creative direction, makeup, styling and photography in order to pierce and compete with traditional media.
Born in the 90’s, I guess I’m also facing this type of “identity crisis” that many of my friends can relate to as well; fashion blogger, content creator, as well as owner of a creative fashion agency, I struggle in order to achieve the ideal notion of work-life-balance, the same goes for many bloggers nowadays going from the east to the west, who are showcasing their identities in overwhelmingly different ways. For instance, usually in China, bloggers usually have their own e-shop (i.e Taobao), have created their own ‘fashion’ label, are stylists or editors turned blogger. In the west, many bloggers also end up creating their own brands like Chiara Ferragni , Alexandra Spencer, and Chiara Biasi (where the brand image usually goes on a much broader international scale), whilst others may have their own fashion agency and POS store such as Elenora Carisi or other being DJ’s and singers in the entertainment industry like Sita Abellan and Patricia Manfeild.
“Thriving, thriving, thriving, I think we need to redefine what it means to be successful in today’s world.”- Ariana Huffington
Indeed, entering a new digital era where immediacy and novelty is key, more of us are incentivized to become the “slash” generation, the tricky thing is how long, consistent and sustainable will our ‘slash’ careers be until we end up with a severe burnt out, even before arriving to our 30’s. Our we doing this for short term profits and indulgence at the expense of long term goals? What do you think?
Guess Originals X ASAP Rocky, targeted to the new millenial generation, photo by GAW SLAM-MILK MAG
Article created for MODERN LADY China, Print 2017