The days of a “job for life” are long gone. Millennials are starting their careers in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, but they are also equipped with the skills and attitude to react quickly to changes and spot new opportunities.
The trend of young people changing jobs more frequently is one perhaps one result of a growing desire by young people to take control of their own destiny and pursue their passions, after being inspired by other young people they see doing the same online.
Just having one single “job” in the traditional sense may no longer be satisfying enough for the new generation. They increasingly want to feel passionate, engaged and motivated by their work.
Consequently, there are now thousands of young people who transfer skills between a day job (that pays the bills) and their own personal business and creative projects.
The millennial mindset
The millennial generation seem to face a lot of criticism in the press. However, like every previous generation, Millennials are simple a product of their environment.
As the first generation to have grown up with digital technology that literally puts the world at their fingertips, this generation have developed a level of adaptability, responsiveness, ingenuity and a global outlook that make the perfect mindset for a modern entrepreneur.
Far from the unmotivated, disengaged stereotype, there is a growing trend of young millennials determined to take control by starting out on their own, running a business while being full-time employed or setting up an enterprise to fund their studies.
This trend was highlighted in a recent survey from BNP Paribas, showing that Millennials will launch twice as many as businesses as their equivalents in the Boomer generation.
As the founder of a global networking community with more than 125,000 young entrepreneurs, creatives and talents, these stats really don’t surprise me.
There are some key traits, which characterise our generation’s attitude towards work, but also hold the key to how and why young people are now able to juggle multiple work streams so successfully.
The pace of business and the workplace today is quicker than it has ever been before. More established, rigid company structures often restrict the ability to respond quickly, but today young people can set up their own simple enterprises and pursue their passions in a matter of hours using only technology they already have in their laptop of smartphone.
Transferring skills between a day job and separate personal projects might in the past have been frowned upon by employers, or viewed as “moonlighting,” but young people doing this today are increasingly being recognised as “intrapreneurs” whose resourcefulness and ingenuity can be harnessed to improve how things work for their employers too.
Today, this is the kind of mindset that allows some people to progress quickly in their careers, while others who stick to the tried-and-tested paths stagnate in their jobs.
What’s interesting is that while more and more young people are determined to take control of their own destiny, they also recognise they cannot do everything themselves.
There is a saying that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in something, but you can hire that expertise in minutes, and young entrepreneurs are increasingly taking that approach, collaborating with other talented young people.
One of the MYCOMEUP WORLD community, William Adoasi, founded the designer watch brand Vitae London at just 19 years old.
One of the keys to his success has been collaborating with other talents around the world, from Los Angeles to Johannesburg, to help make his vision a reality. Such an approach has helped attract investment from Sir Richard Branson and shows how a collaborative mindset can help entrepreneurs succeed.
The rise of digital technology really has made the world a smaller place. Today, I can work as quickly and effectively with someone in Tokyo or Trinidad as I could if they were in the same room.
This means Millennials not only have a potentially global audience for their projects from the start, they also have the potential to find and connect with the best talent in the world.
For anyone starting up their own business or even looking to make progress in their career, I would urge them to set their sights beyond their immediate circle.
Diversity is one of the keys to creativity, so look to other companies, industries, countries and cultures for inspiration, and think about how you can adapt and use those ideas in your own situation.
While previous generations may have seen a failed business as a reason to stop, we have hundreds of users who are already on their third or fourth business by the time they reach their mid-twenties.
There is definitely a growing mentality in millennials that mistakes are just obstacles on the road to success, but I think perhaps the mainstream education system is failing to equip young people with some of the soft skills needed in business.
To add these skills to their skill-set, many young people are now turning to self-development books and resources to improve their mental and emotional resilience.
The kind of emotional and mental resilience required in for success in entrepreneurship is equally applicable in almost any other career.
Whether you’re a footballer, a financial controller or a fireman, you’re inevitably going to have great times and grey times, so it is important to equip yourself with the mental strength and motivation to bounce back if you are going to achieve sustainable success.
About the author
This article has been written exclusively for ByteStart by Leonard Sekyonda, founder of MYCOMEUP WORLD the network of young entrepreneurs, talents and creatives.