Let's Do Our Part to Reward Gen Y With Jobs

Funemployment Captures Their Essential Optimism, but They Deserve Better

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Marc Brownstein
Marc Brownstein
One of our summer interns stopped in my office to say 'goodbye' and 'thank you', before she returned back to college for her senior year. She told me how much she enjoyed her internship experience at Brownstein Group, and hoped that she wouldn't have to go on "Funemployment" after graduating next June.

I corrected her and said, "You mean UNemlpoyment."

"No, Funemployment," she stated, "it's when you work as an unpaid intern even though you've already graduated college—just hoping to convert it into a full-time paying job."

Fascinating and sad at once, I thought. Someone's coined a new term for the millions of college graduates who cannot find work. Branding at its finest. But, what I admire in the new term is the hope that it conveys. The "fun" speaks volumes about Gen Y's approach to our country's economic situation; however, if they can't get a paid job, they'll settle for doing work that they love -- and that is consistent with what they majored in at school.

I feel for the newly "funemployed," as well as their parents who wrote big checks to educate their kids. And I am well aware that the advertising industry, like many other sectors, has far too many of the non-paid college graduates interning in our companies. So while the term is novel, the implications are real, and we (leaders in our industry) must do everything we can to create jobs and on-board the new generation of marketing talent onto our payrolls.

On that note, I gotta go and rehearse for a new-business presentation. Have jobs to create.

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