What would you say if I told you that you could be the next Oprah? Or perhaps the next Lebron James? How about the next Richard Branson? It sounds nice doesn’t it, but somewhat unachievable for the everyday person.
This is the battle that young people face throughout their schooling careers and beyond as their teachers and parents show them established icons for career inspiration. Students look at these veterans in their fields with the desire to achieve the same level of success, but the feeling that they could never truly get there. This is something students struggle with around the world as they try to figure out what they want to do when they grow up.
Everyone they learn about, and the icons they hear about are fantastic, but aiming to be as successful as a 60 year old with 30-40 years experience in the industry is quite a daunting task for a teenager sitting in a classroom choosing their pathway.
What I love to focus on instead is the idea of micro influencers. Young people between 10-15 years older than the student that is excelling in their chosen pathway. Whilst not at the pinnacle of their career, these micro influencers are great examples for students, and also incredibly relatable for a teenager in the classroom as well. Only being 10-15 years older than the student themself, it is also a totally achievable goal for the student instilling the belief that if they work really hard for the next 10 years, they could be in the shoes of this person.
These micro influencers often have more relatable stories to share with students seeing as they were only in school quite recently, and the stories they are sharing are more relevant for students in school today.
As well as having relevant and relatable stories for the students, they are often quite active on social media, giving students positive role models for them to follow in their own time. With active social media accounts, they are often sharing their authentic experiences behind the scenes in their jobs and showing students what it’s really like to do these jobs. Being active on these social platforms also increases the ‘cool factor’ for these influencers with students building a genuine admiration for these people, as opposed to reading about someone in a textbook.
These micro influencers aren’t hard to find and are a great way to inspire and empower your students, giving them achievable goals to hit on their pathways, and relatable role models to look up to.
Here are a few of my favourites on instagram to get you started
@MillyRoseBanister - Australian influencer
@mrbenjaminlaw - A young Australian writer and thought leader
@holly_ransom - A young Australian thought leader in technology and innovation
@pippablatch_ from @pippas.pantry - A young Australian vegan baker and influencer
@yarashahidi - A young actress and an activist for diversity
@iammarleydias - Student activist and founder of the #1000blackgirlbooks movement
@yassmin_a - A young Australian engineer, writer and thought leader in diversity and justice
@freedomwithnicole - A young Australian entrepreneur and fitness/lifestyle leader
@rachelleprasad - A young Canadian educator working to empower young people
@jamescharles - A young makeup artist and entrepreneur
@stringstory - Social media influencer in business and innovation
@itsdougthepug - An adorable pug that became a global sensation on socials