Those Who Can’t Do, Coach?

If a teenager can be a doctor, can a 20-something be a life coach?

I am completely fascinated by the recent trend of 20-somethings who are becoming life coaches.  Think about this for a minute – across this nation (but mostly in places where crazy people live, like NYC and LA), young people who are barely old enough to rent a car (and who have only voted in, like, two presidential elections, which is my first measure of adulthood) are being paid legitimate money to give advice to people twice their ages!  This is some mind-boggling, David Lynchian crazy talk.

The New York Times, that arbiter of the ridiculous trend piece, highlights the life coach careers of several millennials who, when their first careers didn’t work out (because, you know, most of us have our career set in stone by 27), turn to life coaching.  And we’re not talking about chump change.  A 27-year-old “former” actress earns $125/week (per client!) for one hour long session!  At an average of 10 clients a week, she’s easily clearing $60,000 annually, just by chanting some mantras via Skype.

This seems absolutely ludicrous to me.  While I’m happy to dole out some advice when asked (and have no qualms about blogging my opinions on any number of topics), I would never deign to charge someone hundreds of dollars for my guidance!  I realize that times are tough for young job-seekers but is getting a quickie life coaching certification and taking on a cadre of clients in need seems to be a risky option.  For those of us who have only had a few years out in the real world, taking the lives of others into our hands suggests a level of hubris that I find disheartening.

Luckily, I’m not the only person who seems to be flabbergasted by this boon in life coaching as a viable option for under-30s.  Jezebel has a great post on the trend, puts it very succintly when they note “people who obviously don’t have their own shit sorted out shouldn’t be doling out advice to people in need of guidance, even if they can get a piece of paper authorizing them to do so.”

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In Today’s Obvious and Soul-Crushing News

Anyone who has graduated from college in the last five years will be not-shocked-at-all to learn that the bachelor’s degree that you worked so hard for (assuming you define work by drinking a lot and studying a little) and racked up thousands of dollars in debt for is not special at all.  That’s right – you are just one of millions upon millions of young 20-somethings with a bachelor’s degree and it will do next to nothing in helping you find a job.

“But wait!” – you cry – “I made a smart decision after finishing my bachelor’s in Televisionary Studies at Elite Liberal Arts College and obtained a Masters in Sitcomery/Tumblr Marketing.”  Oh, poor little graduate school-attending fool – that degree is also worthless as well.  According to the New York Times (harbinger of bad news for postcollegiates), the job market is now flooded with young people desperately grasping master’s in their hands.  To put it into numbers, 2 in every 25 people over the age of 25 have a master’s – the same proportion of people who had bachelor’s degrees in the 1960s.  Again, not surprising if you’ve been to a happy hour any time in the last five or six years but depressing numbers all the same.

So, to recap the things you already knew:

1.   A bachelor’s degree is meaningless but you still need to drop some serious dough to get one.
2.  You probably won’t get a job with that bachelor’s, so you need to either marry rich (fingers crossed!), live at home forever, or get a master’s degree.
3.  Even your master’s degree is pretty meaningless but you still need to drop some serious dough to get one.
4.  We all sit and weep awhile.
The full article is worth a full read, especially if you want little nuggets like the fact that even MBAs are too broad to help you land a job now or the prediction that in 20 years, janitors will need PhDs.  Or, you know, you can just go cry in a corner for a bit.

Friday Frivolity

Well, it’s only one day in but it feels good to be back!  Rest assure that I have a few good posts geared up for next week but as it is Friday and I am exhausted from a night of foot-stamping frivolity last night (the subject of which will be posted for Music Monday), I’m going to share a little Friday fun:

Twenty-somethings Need Their Own Sesame Street

This is a great Jezebel piece on some Sesame Street spin-offs that would be ideal for those of us who grew up on the Street (that’s what the cool kids call it) and are struggling with adulthood.  My fave?  Telly Monster’s struggle with crippling anxiety.

My first fierce female role model

If I were to create one, it’d be Prairie Dawn and her Terrible Taste in Muppets.  It’d be Sesame Street meets I Don’t Care About Your Band and feature the tragically under-appreciated Prairie Dawn as she learns important life lessons about having sex on the first date, drunk text messages, and dating dudes whose bed is just a mattress on the floor.

 

Have a great weekend and check back in Monday!

Friday Frivolity

There’s not a  lot of good news out there for people who are unemployed – there continues to be a serious dearth of jobs, Congress doesn’t seem keen on extending your benefits, and many of us have found ourselves reduced to be underemployed, juggling multiple jobs, or temping.  Sort of a dim thought for Friday, huh?

However, there IS good news!  Your lack of employment can lead to a different kind of wealth, of the more carnal nature, if you catch my drift.  A study confirms that being job-free means most of you are having more sex!  Unemployed women in their 20s have higher sexual appetites and are more likely to engage in risky/risque behavior than those that are gainfully employed.

So, congrats!  (?)  Happy weekend!

[Ed. note:  No, I will not comment on the veracity of these statements as they may or may not relate to my personal life.  Nice try, anonymous email correspondents.  I’m sort of flattered.]

 

A Relatively Painless Guide to Making New Friends

Recent college graduate, fellow alumnae, and brilliant blogger Katt wrote me, saying “The thing that worries me the most about life outside of college is making friends. All my life I’ve made friends at school, and my work friendships have never been as strong. I miss my college friends and am worried I won’t ever feel the same feeling of community and friendship that I had in college.

Katt’s clearly not the only person concerned with making friends in a post-collegiate environment.  Over at Jezebel, they had an article today with some tips for making friends once you’ve moved on from dorm rooms and keggers.  Their suggestions:

  • Be a joiner
  • Say yes to things
  • Live with roommates
  • Reconnect with people from your past

I think all of these are great, easy suggestions and are pretty squarely in line with my own post-college experience.  When I graduated from college, I stayed in town but made a conscious effort to expand my circle of friends beyond the college community.  This meant getting involved in town by volunteering, going to as many free/cheap events as possible, and trying to force myself to work through my natural shyness.  It may not be for everyone, either, but spending a night or two at the local watering hole, chatting up the bartender and locals, is a really good way to start meeting people.

Also, from my own experience, one of the best things I did after finishing school was to say yes to everything, as Jezebel suggests.  If coworkers went to happy hour, I said yes.  When a fellow alum wanted a buffer on a first date and asked me to double, I said yes. When one of my first non-college friends asked me to join his poker night, I said yes. Not every time I said yes resulted in a new best friend or the best night of my life, but most of them did!  The key difference between myself, who loved post-commencement life in our tiny town, and my first roommate, who hated it, was that one of us left the apartment more than the other.  Take a guess at who.

Of course, college friendships are important.  Take the time and put in the effort to stay in touch! The internet is a miraculous thing in that regard – in our house, Skype and G-Chat make it possible for my roommate and I to keep up to date on what most of our college friends are up to.  It’s also great to have that support system – everyone is struggling with their first jobs, first apartments, financial worries, relationships, and trying to make it on their own.  That’s the beauty of great friendships – they don’t fade away with distance!