How ‘nerd’ culture powered through the pandemic

By Mary-Ann Russon Published21 September 2021 (BBC)

When graphic design graduate, Rachel Smythe, 35, tried to get a foot in the door of New Zealand’s creative industry in 2008, she was rejected at every turn.

She sent her portfolio off to multiple agencies, submitted artwork for numerous book proposals and tried to sell her art prints at conventions but nothing worked.

Eventually her dream became a hobby and instead she went into marketing.

Her story will be familiar to many jobseekers from the millennial generation (people born from around 1980 to 1995).

Their working lives have been dogged by economic uncertainty and a changing workplace, that has seen a decline in traditional career paths and an expansion of the gig economy in many nations.

But new technology has opened up fresh opportunities. We found out more about the career paths of three individuals and creative groups, asking them how the pandemic expanded their fanbases and eventually their incomes.

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