Are young creatives unhappy?


One evening I was wasting my time on social media, and I saw an article from Wait But Why appear in my newsfeed called ‘Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy’.

As a part of Generation Y, I was curious to know why I was unhappy. The article said so many Ys have been told they’re special by their parents, the Baby Boomers, and that they can get any career they want by putting in hard work like their parents did.

Sounds nice, but the problem with this is that some Ys have quite particular ambitions for their career, and the Baby Boomers haven’t considered the changes in the economic and job situations between their time and their kids’ time.

This leads to Ys feeling miserable when they don’t get what they want, and even more so when they’ve been told their whole lives they deserve the best because they’re ‘special’.

I’m a what?!

I didn’t like this article initially because I thought it was generalising Ys as stuck-up and prone to throwing tantrums whenever something doesn’t go their way.

For instance, some of the research quoted in the article says Ys ‘often feel entitled to a level of respect and rewards that aren’t in line with their actual ability and effort levels, and so they might not get the level of respect and rewards they are expecting.’

This implies people my age have grown up thinking they deserve all things good, without putting much work in. I thought I was far from this.

However, after getting turned down for a bunch of jobs in the creative industries and thinking these experiences represented my whole quality of life, I started sympathising with the points in the article.

I’d get miserable after each rejection, and tell myself that I will get what I want one day because I’m good. But the reality is I may never get to do what I love – writing – for a living.

What are your hobbies?

There are millions of people like me, who want to work in the creative industries and judge their quality of life on how their aspiring careers are going. If things aren’t going well, then it’s no surprise they feel miserable.

This is when I realised whatever your creative passion is, it has to be a hobby before it’s a career. Job opportunities are difficult to come by and can be taken away, but love for a hobby can’t. If it makes you happy, you should consider this happiness when judging your quality of life and not just how your career is going.

I’m lucky enough to have earned a living from writing a couple of times, and I’m thankful for that experience. I may not get to do that again, but I have this blog and writing it makes me happy. A missed job opportunity can’t change that.

Love, love, love

There are millions of young people who have been told they can get a career in what they love by trying hard enough, despite the reality the creative industries is competitive and hard to break into.

But they shouldn’t judge their quality of life on just these experiences, and they shouldn’t take these as a sign they’re not good enough to do what they love for a living. Jobs can disappear fast, but love for a hobby can’t.



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