If you have ever taken a second to look at the founders and creators of your favorite businesses and brands, you will find that many are under the age of 34. Even in my local community, the entrepreneurial landscape is thriving with twenty and thirty-somethings all out to create a future for themselves. I plan to join the ranks of being an entrepreneur. When asked why I wish to do so, I have realized it was never really a choice for me, but a notion that was always there, a trait that was embedded within in somehow long before I knew it was there. This, then, begs the question; why are so many Millennials flocking to entrepreneurship as a career choice?
What is a Millennial?
To answer why Millennials are choosing a life in entrepreneurship, you first have to know what a Millennial is. There aren’t set start and end years for this generation, but the consensus typically places this group at being born in the 1980’s and 1990’s, coming to early adulthood in the early 2000’s. A business dictionary defines Millennials (or Generation Y) as such, adding that it consists of the offspring of the Baby boomers (Generation X, and that having access to technology at an early age has not only forced businesses to incorporate use and updates of technology at a faster rate, but also to update hiring strategies. So, how Millennials view the workplace and a career?
Millennials Behavior Towards Careers
Needy, entitled, arrogant, overly relaxed, are many of the terms you’ll find used to describe the Millennial generation, and in all fairness, they can be true, but what I think the more seasoned workforce veterans perceive as negative attributes could be a misunderstanding of what each generation is looking for in their lives and a career.
Jeff Fromm, Forbes contributor and author of “Millennials in the Workplace: They do not Need Trophies, but They Want Reinforcement” learned the average tenure for Millennials was only two years, while the average for Baby Boomers was seven, with Generation X decreasing that to about five years. In the same article, Fromm explains the cause for this low retention rate to Millennials putting the focus on growth. If growth does not seem evident to a Millennial, they have no problems changing jobs to get it.
Why Millennials Rather Forge Their Own Path
Fromm shares that Millennials growing up in an era where resources are virtually infinite, have gained and embraced an entrepreneurial mindset that allows them to always be on the hunt for opportunities. MindTickle, exploring the “10 Millennial Personality Traits HR Managers Can’t Ignore”, listed number one on their list Millennials’ need to find a job or career that has “meaning”, with a Fast Company article uncovering that to include: having the ability to share their gifts, making an impact on other’s lives, and living a life they desire. Millennials have also had the privilege of growing up with role models who are entrepreneurs, allowing the idea of starting a business the expected logical thing to do, rather than an exception. (https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/269995).
So, what traits do Millennials have that makes entrepreneurship an appealing career choice and a successful one?
For starters Millennials are an open and collaborative bunch. I believe this is primarily from growth into adulthood with social media. Being willing to share and receive feedback from peers allows Millennials to naturally transition into a transformational leadership style that is key to successful innovation, a skill needed for corporations and entrepreneurs alike to thrive.
Jim Moffat, Chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting, in his article “The Seven Positive Qualities of Millennials That Can Help You Improve Your Business” found Millennials to be motivated, natural leaders and innovators, thinking of innovation as a science, while also noting our inherited entrepreneurial spirit aiding in our ability to build a business.
Will Millennials be the Best Entrepreneurs Yet?
It is hard to determine, but the tools and mindset of a Millennial might make it possible. With the focus being placed on growth and opportunity, and business role models fashioned after entrepreneurs the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs. Big ideas coupled with the impatience of a career to reach them is what drives a Millennial and what makes a career in entrepreneurship a perfect choice.
Darius Thompson is an aspiring entrepreneur, and one of the needy Millennials described above. He is currently enrolled in the Master of Entrepreneurship Degree Program at Western Carolina University. Webmasters and other article publishers are hereby granted article reproduction permission as long as this article in its entirety, author’s information, and any links remain intact. Copyright 2017 by Darius S. Thompson