No more nine-to-five: How the next generation are creating jobs on their own terms

The job market has changed drastically, and young people are finding new ways to work, including by turning hobbies into careers

The job market has changed drastically over the past few decades. What used to be in the hands of the employer is now, generally, in favour of the employee, with many choosing self-employment. But what are some of the roles that young people are aspiring to work in, and how do they differ from traditional nine-to-five roles?

Dublin-based music producer Joe Moran says he has spent several years developing his music career. While the music industry has obviously long existed, the 20 year old says his work is primarily done online. “I make samples which are best described as instrumental tracks without drums or vocals on them,” he says. “I send them over to producers generally living in different countries, so they’re basically snippets of tracks that producers can use when they’re in a session with an artist.”

Moran, who goes by the artist name Jofis Music, says his knack for entrepreneurship became apparent when he sold his first introductory video for online gaming platform Minecraft at the age of 11.

“When I was younger, I actually ran a YouTube channel where I used to sell Minecraft intros to people on the internet. I might have been 11 or 12 when I made my first sale, and it was only for €1; I didn’t really value my products at the time,” he jokes.


“At the start, I was selling them [Minecraft intros] for that, but it moved up the ranks to maybe $30 for an intro or $50 because most of my client base would have been over in America. So it progressed from there, I met some people through doing Minecraft work and a couple years later, I went on to work on music videos,” he adds.

While he is also working in IT on an ad hoc basis, he says there could be a lot of financial viability in his passion if he strikes while the iron is hot. “When you’re in music production, you have a short window where you make a lot of money. For a very large few, it lasts for maybe 30 or 40 years, but a lot of people may have five to 10 years if they’re lucky,” he says.

“So if in those five to 10 years that I have my window, if I can really capitalise on it by investing and opening new business ventures, I believe that there’s enough revenue streams that I can generate by leveraging whatever success that comes out of music,” he explains.

Much like Moran who aspires to start his own company, 22-year-old Chloe Koyce, whose primary source of income is from Instagram videos, says her biggest goal is to create her own brand. “It is very important to not rely on paid ads,” says Koyce, “so long term, I would love to build my own brand with the loyal followers that I have. I don’t see myself doing paid ads on Instagram forever. But for now, I think it is a job that people should really look to as it is going to stick around for a while.”

The Limerick-based fashion creator who has a background in make-up artistry, has almost 100,000 followers on Instagram. While she started creating fashion-related content on the social media platform in 2020, she always had an interest in fashion. “In school, I wanted to be a fashion designer, but to become a fashion designer takes a lot of work,” she says, “so I knew I wanted to do fashion designing, but the school and college route wasn’t the route that I could go down, so I took my own fun route.

“Some people might want to do something and they’re thinking they need all these [Leaving Cert] points or they don’t think they can actually get to it, but I just want people to realise that there are other routes they can go down,” she adds.

Koyce says she was contacted by an agency in January 2021, and her management has helped her immensely in terms of negotiating payment with brands. Before getting signed, some of her rates were based on arbitrary figures.

“I remember asking other influencers how do I even come to a rate? And they were going off followers. So at the very start it was maybe like 10 per cent of your followers, that’s how much you charge or something like that,” she says, “and so I was like maybe €100 for a video and €50 for a post, but that was just me throwing numbers everywhere. Right now, because I have a management, they discuss with the brand their budget and they come to terms with the rate.”

Generating an income from a passion is a goal for 24-year-old Lucy Anderson who hosts Irish podcast Gaelgals alongside seven other female Gaeilgeoirs.

“We’d love it if we could get some sort of revenue from Gaelgals because we all adore doing it,” she says. The group initially met in an Irish language society at Maynooth University, and while they all graduated at different times, what brought them together was their mutual interest in creating an Instagram page as a reason to continue to use the Irish language.

The page, which has more than 4,000 followers, soon birthed Gaelgals, an Irish language podcast which broadcasts on Raidió Rí-Rá every Wednesday.

Anderson, who works as a substitute teacher, says she doesn’t see herself working as a teacher on a full-time basis as she “loves changing it up”.

“I don’t see myself really staying as a teacher in secondary schools full-time, it just doesn’t really suit me,” she says. “I’d love it if I could do the podcast full-time, then maybe do some other things on the side.

“I’d love to still teach Irish by giving grinds or something like that in my own time, and in my own hours but it would be a huge goal of mine to work for myself.”

Filomena Kaguako

Filomena Kaguako is a contributor to The Irish Times