Next week, MTV will debut the new reality show MTV Hired, which is sort of like Made with résumé counseling; young people will be given the chance to go for the job of their dreams, and taught dos and don’ts of job-hunting involving things like folding your résumé so it fits in your jacket pocket (don’t!) and knowing the nuts and bolts of the companies being applied to (do!). The candidates get interviewed and talked about behind their backs and eventually one person “wins” the job, while the others are forced back into the world of checking Craigslist and watching MTV all day. Since the term “dream job” is liberally applied in the press release, and the target audience is one that overlaps with that of Teen Cribs and the like, it shouldn’t surprise you that many of the companies where openings are being sought do things like design shoes, plan events, and write blogs that “help busy women shop online.” For some reason, the general frothiness of the pastimes involved made me think of a quote that I read from a Harvard Business Review piece:
“But boy, I don’t see employment coming back, not for years. My clients were amazed by how much productivity they could squeeze out of their people in the downturn. They’re not going to start hiring again — well, maybe temps or contract workers, but not regular, full-time employees.” As if to punctuate the thought he added, chillingly, “In fact, the CEOs are mad at their middle managers for not having eliminated more jobs earlier.”
I wonder if MTV Hired will get into the salary and benefits packages offered by these “dream jobs,” or if the mere idea of being a personal assistant to a hairstylist will help these kids transcend generational stereotypes and work hard? Or if the jobs will even exist in three months?
Perhaps I shouldn’t be such a downer. At least a TV show about people finding jobs helps people who want to work in TV find jobs, too. That is, until those new productions become less attractive to the bottom line than just rerunning South Park a couple more times a day, as MTV has been doing lately…