My parents are from a generation that, by-and-large, didn’t go to university. Many left school at 15 or 16, usually entering into the world of work and climbing the ladder, or starting their own business. I suppose I’m lucky because a lot of my family run their own businesses, so taking responsibility for my own income has always been an important part of my life.
But for many of today’s graduates, they enter into a career, probably nothing to do with their degree, and in all likelihood with thousands of pounds of debt. They then spend years working to climb the ladder. Many of my peers are in that boat.
You’re on the books of countless recruitment companies who simply see them as just a number on a spreadsheet. Most recruitment consultants are only in touch every few months, and when you do receive a call there is usually very little feedback from the job application.
Working in an office, and for a business, run almost entirely by under 25s, allows a new perspective on business, and it presents a picture that leads me to believe that the employment world is going full-circle.
In the tech generation most of today’s graduates understand more of the online world than many of their bosses do, meaning that both sides end up developing their own knowledge bases. This business is able to balance youth with experience, allowing the unit to develop together.
For many, the word “business” signifies middle-aged men or women in suits, working behind a desk in a tall office block from 9am to 5pm. In my opinion, business is about creating a relationship with a client and providing a service to them in an efficient manner.
Having a young workforce allows the business to adapt to new situations, and provides very little resistance to change, and because much of the workforce is still learning, they are always coming up with innovative ideas for the business, aiding its development.
Many businesses use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, as well as email marketing software, but end up outsourcing them. A major benefit of a young workforce is that the majority of the team have grown up using these platforms, so bring their experience and knowledge to the business.
Similarly, because of the youth of the workforce, the business is able to appeal to young entrepreneurs as well as other, more established, entrepreneurs. Because of the age of the business, the workforce can actually see the direct impact of their roles on the direction of the company. As a result, there is more dynamism and passion, along with a sense of achievement.
This is certainly the case for one of the team. After graduating, his sole intention for employment was to work for startups. He had caught the bug after setting up his own startup whilst at university, and working for a number of different ones during his studies.
Another member of the team chose a different route. She had looked into the industry shortly before graduating, and interned with another company for a period of time before moving to the present business.
Over the last five to ten years the number of people self-employed has shot up, along with the number of businesses being set up, primarily because of the number of opportunities out there. It’s a great time to be young in today’s economy, but I fear that a real push from the education system is needed if this office environment is to become the mainstream.
We need to teach practical business skills during economics and business studies classes, teaching students about running their own startups, and providing them with more opportunities for when they enter the world of work.
Too many students who would either like to set up their own business, or have the ability to, are being passed by because of the lack of knowledge and access to skills.
The popularity of shows like The Apprentice and Dragons’ Den has shown that, given the opportunity, people are happy to take the risks and set up in business – but many don’t know where to start.
Only by better educating our young people about business will we truly be seen as an enterprising economy.
Ben Caine is copy and content writer at JournoLink
Move over millennials, Generation Z is on the way and was born ready for the workplace.
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