Reviews | Tech companies let baby boomers struggle to explain their kids’ work

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Wherever baby boomer parents congregate, you’ll likely hear conversations that go like this:

“So tell me about the kids. How are they and what are they doing these days?

“Well, they are good. They all have paid jobs, thank God. But honestly, I have no idea what they are doing.

This is usually followed by giggles because 22 years into the 21st century, many middle-aged parents couldn’t begin to tell you what their kids are doing for a living. Baby boomers — those hard-working, struggling pensions and retirement plans — largely got old-fashioned jobs when they came of age. And most stayed with one employer for decades.

Baby boomers did it all, of course. They were butchers and doctors, lawyers and truckers, accountants and electricians, plumbers, chiefs and firefighters, and yes, even journalists. Everyone knew what all these people did for a living and the lucky ones had something to show for their efforts at the end of the day.

When we were asked, when we were kids, what we wanted to be growing up, none of us answered, “I want to be an influencer.” If you haven’t heard, an influencer is a bit like being famous for being famous. Influencers make money by associating their name and fame with products in virtual marketplaces and social media feeds. If you can carve out your niche and build a following, companies with things to sell might reward you with ads and sales commissions.

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Jehava Brown is a stay-at-home mom who is a full-time influencer on Instagram, where she has 193,000 followers. In a Business Insider interview, she said she charges an average of $5,000 for a single Instagram post and $3,000 for an Instagram Story.

And to say that I am always enthusiastic about a signing.

Grazie Pozo admits to being completely baffled by her children’s career choices. She and her husband, both doctors in Florida, assumed they would have at least to understand what his children were doing for a living. No chance.

One of his sons, 25, left a consulting job to work for a company where people can invest in their favorite professional athletes. She told me that she was asking her son: “Explain to me again? It looks like a game.”

No, he said, it’s like the stock market.

Another son works for a large consulting firm and is “living the life of a pasha at 22,” she says. “He studies and works on PowerPoints. He’s very busy and works long hours, but I can’t tell you what he does.

Part of the generational divide around work lies in the language of the new economy. The old jobs are still there, of course, but there are a lot of new roles, and all the titles are different. There is the “chief evangelist”. And “captain of the moonshots”. Many companies now have ‘inspiration directors’. My favorite? “Executive Vice President for Executive Visibility.” (I think that means public relations.) Tesla CEO Elon Musk prefers the title “technoking.”

The digital economy also favors job descriptions that only a robot could understand. A recent job posting at a company called CrowdStrike calls for someone known as a change manager. “The Change Manager will be responsible for planning change management and readiness activities. They will work closely with the senior leaders of the PMO Go to Market (GTM) portfolio (sales, services, customer support, etc.) and support other portfolios as needed…Another area of ​​responsibility will be setting up a change management practice within the Global PMO team with standards, processes, tools, and documentation that can be leveraged by all team members. »

Well, why didn’t you say it in the first place?

Ann S., a veteran lawyer from Washington, DC, is a mother of six who reports that a son, 28, is a government contractor who works on risk management, accounting and does a lot of Zoom meetings. Another son, 34, is a government contractor and works with the navy. “That’s all I know,” she laughs. “My children are going to kill me.

I think I know what my son is doing. It’s something to do with wellness software and legislation. What I do know is that he ticks many of the boxes of millennial employment conditions: he works from home, believes his job contributes to greater social justice, loves his peers, feels appreciated and is optimistic about in the future.

And he’s happy, and that’s really all parents want for their kids. Maybe the next time you go to a party skip the work and ask if the kids are happy. Everyone understands happy.

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