Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I suppose every generation thinks the next generation has it “easier” (and they’re right, of course). That’s the whole point of parenting…Make your kids not have to struggle with the things you had to struggle with and provide them a better life than the one you had. I spend a bit of time in a few forums on reddit (subreddits, to be precise). I’d estimate that 90% of the time I’m in either a music or hockey subreddit, but I also spend a fair bit of time in a few software and freelancing / consulting ones as well. I’ve learned a bit, and hopefully provided a bit of good advice. Anyway, I’ve really noticed quite a bit of this lately:

No, I don’t want to meet. Just give me the damn money. Is that how it works?

Now before you roll your eyes (or throw your coffee mug through your monitor), I (admittedly) cherry-picked this person to make an example out of. Most of what you’ll find on /r/freelance is newbies asking why their clients refuse to pay, or what’s a W-9, etc. The gal above has a film degree. A degree in film. Currently she is trying to break into the wedding video market and has a youtube channel with 324 subscribers. I know all this because I tried to help her understand why she needed an IMMEDIATE attitude adjustment and engaged her in an online discussion. If there’s one thing I can’t abide, it’s some middle aged know-it-all trying to kill some younger person’s dreams. However, there are some lessons in life that can’t be taught: They can only be learned.

I have two teenage daughters at home and I’ve tried like hell to make them understand a few important things:
1. People are good. Give them a chance to prove it to you.
2. People don’t care about you until you give them a reason to.
3. Hard work can be a substitute for a lack of natural talent.
4. A job is just a job.
5. Don’t ever do anything solely for the money.
6. You can’t judge yourself against another person unless you know everything about them, and you do not.
7. First impressions are important, but you are ALWAYS making an impression.

So…here I am railing on an entire generation and not following my own advice, but in the age of social media, your internal dialogue quickly becomes the stupid stuff you post online. Clearly the millenials are the canaries in the coal mine, since they are the first ones to have to explain crap like that in job interviews. Write some stupid lovelorn poetry? In my day it was written on binder paper and she probably cringed and threw it in the trash (Damn you Julie!). Nowadays, these kids can’t live it down, because it’s preserved online forever.