• Jessica Quek

Job Title: Influencer

Why are the younger generation switching career choices? And moving towards becoming Influencers to challenge the intergenerational effect of traditional career choices.

It's safe to say that we are now living in a fully digital world, all thanks to the pandemic. The digital transformation was necessary for everyone, including our uncles and aunties who swore that they would never make the switch. The younger generation, however, was already extremely familiar with the landscape and had little to no issues moving their lives online. Since the first lockdown in 2020, We could see communities moving online to create content, conduct virtual events, or share information with each other to stay connected. Even So, you can only do so much from the comfort of your own home. Being forced to stay locked in has caused a great deal of mental and emotional exhaustion that has been translated into a rage every time a new lockdown extension is introduced. Our country is experiencing a recession and what sucks the most is that we cannot do anything about it.

While the under-employment rate among our youths has gradually increased, and our labor market remains under pressure due to the uncertainties of the pandemic, we are also witnessing an ever-increasing cost of living in Malaysia.

Nonetheless, our youngins are continuously inventing new jobs for themselves through creativity and design. For more and more Millennials and Gen Z's, the traditional '9 to 5 work' is becoming a requirement of the past. They are taking matters into their own hands by dabbling in other personas and start-ups, resulting in the creation of new businesses in the digital sector.

This has even led the new generation into a new era of Influencer Marketing, where the main motivation is to make ends meet, and achieve success through their passion and creativity.

In Nuffnang, our main focus is our ever-growing community of Influencers. Every day, we have seen an increased number of Influencers who gain fame overnight through platforms such as TikTok and Instagram Reels. These short-form content has opened up a platform that requires little to no effort in content creation, hence going viral on social media is easier than what it used to be.

Among budding Influencers, the growth from a commoner to an internet celebrity/sensation has always been a recurring practice, especially back when a social media platform such as Vine, YouTube, or even Instagram was gaining popularity among online users. However, back then, gaining popularity was not as quick and easy as it is now.

With the rise of short-form content in the past year, such as TikTok, Instagram Reels, and even YouTube shorts, video content has been a constant demand. And it has become apparent why so many people are interested in becoming an Influencer; mainly because they no longer have to commit to a '9 to 5' work schedule, the money generated from creating content online is good, and creative content is always in demand. From the eyes of an unemployed youth who learned that they are easily dispensable in the traditional workforce, this is another source of financial income.

Since Millennials and Gen Z's have a natural tendency for technology, resulted from their coming of age knowledge in a world where technical concepts have been produced at an almost symmetric rate, it is no surprise that this generation of youth is the driving force behind IoT's (Internet of Things) increase in quality and effortless technology. Their passion and interest in creating content for an online audience have allowed this generation to be their own boss whereby through hard work, they can also achieve success.

It is a fresh outlook and rather encouraging to see that our youths are paving a different path for themselves, especially through these trying times that we are in. They have proven themselves to be trendsetters who have full control over what content interests the public while constantly altering the social media realm. Other creative industries such as the music industry have also been heavily affected by social media Influencers on TikTok. What's to say that their influence will not affect other areas of consumption as well.

Becoming a social media Influencer is growing to be a popular career choice, as well as a viable source of income, that children are striving to become TikTok famous as a means to kickstart their career. In Nuffnang's personal opinion, a growing community of Influencers is always a positive outcome, albeit the growth stems from our current state during the pandemic. Nonetheless, we choose to remain hopeful that this growth will bring about only good things in the world of marketing. They are, after all, a critical element to Influencer Marketing.