There are more graduates finding themselves out of work. Qualifications are becoming less useful to finding a job. When militant optimists lose their job, they fall apart, which is perhaps why they are so protective of their current jobs.
Many millenials have been brought up that they need to strive to become militant optimists. But given how unrealistic that prospect it is for most young people, will millenial parents bring up their children to become lifestyle hackers instead?
Militant optimists can become too careerist, but increasingly they are replaced in the job market by the zombie generation as the permanent 9-5 contracts they were in get replaced by temporary zero hour contracts. Militant optimism therefore becomes a temporary situation as sooner or later, their job will get zombified. The zombie generation struggles for meaning.
Invisible citizens are disillusioned and negative about everything. However, they have more freedom than they realise. Procrastination is strangely active. It can be “organised” as a way to put some distance between you and the facts. It’s partly why some invisible citizens become life hackers. Another reason is that invisible citizens keep trying to find jobs the traditional way and some eventually realise that the only viable option left is to create their own living and become a lifestyle hacker. Invisible citizens look for stability.
When we talk about migration, we often hear of stories of people who are desperate for any work and so at best they epitomise the zombie generation – working all hours of the day and night – and at worst, they’re invisible citizens – unable to get any work or support, because of lack of connections and even legal restrictions.
However, there are young migrants who are lifestyle hackers, who either go in search of a different life and know they’ll have to work in the informal economy to make a living in their new country. Others may have friends in other countries who constitute the basecamp of a new network they can start to build – to get advice, make friends and even to help them create a business or sell their products.
Lifestyle hackers find an opportunity in everything and their network always comes first. It is perhaps because they are more aware than others about their situation. They make connections and have sophisticated uses for technology. The network comes together as the temporary structures move away. The lifestyle hackers exchange skills and densify their network.
However, because they rely on their personal connections to make a living, often these relationships can be strained, albeit in a different way to zombie generation who have no time to see their friends and loved ones.
What will a lifestyle hacker be like in 2020? A post-hacker or hacker 2.0?
Lifestyle hackers don’t want competitors in their network as they know how destructive this would be to the flow of collaboration within it. They protect their network much more than other people, as they rely so much on it. Lifestyle hackers find ways to organise to meet their basic needs. They work in areas where they’re exposed to people. For them, money becomes less important as they look to new forms of credit and exchange.
Lifestyle hackers have a network to create & find opportunities and help create a sense of belonging. Lifestyle hackers sees other people as assets and as potential collaborators, while the zombie generation sees everyone as a competitor.
With lifestyle hackers not relying on formal forms of support like jobcentres and many invisible citizens giving up hope on these through past unsuccessful experiences at getting work through this channel, will jobcentres look to focus primarily on people like invisible citizens who can’t call on anyone for support in their network, or will they close down because they have less people queuing up?