If you are a Millennial and you’re thinking “30 years and a gold watch”, think again. I read this morning, that the average tenure in a job is now 2.8 years. Are you kidding me?
Don’t under estimate this new generation. They’ve already figured out that it’s easier to get a raise if they leave a job versus staying. It appears loyalty is a thing of the past.
If I were coaching high school kids I would let them know that the most important skills they need to learn are those of an entrepreneur. Attention school leaders -our kids need help – I’m not talking an elective class on entrepreneurship. I’m talking a full-blown curriculum!
When I was in school, even through college, they didn’t even know how to spell the word. I was completely unprepared when I stepped out into the cold, cruel business world… I struggled. I knew I wanted to make money but I had no idea how to go about it other than the traditional way – get a job. I sold encyclopedias, steaks, life insurance. I even worked as a flight attendant for TWA. By the way, if you are a Millennial, encyclopedias were a small library of hardcover books that contained information about the world – similar to Wickipedia – the only difference, by the time encyclopedias hit the shelf at home they were already out of date. Oh and TWA stood for Trans World Airlines…
Looking back, my early career had some resemblance to that of a typical Millennial. Then, I was full of youthful exuberance and had no one to take care of. I was living in a paradigm that said doing something on my own was not an option. My parents and my friends’ parents all had jobs working for companies – it was only the rare exception that someone was an entrepreneur and back in the 70’s using that term was not in vogue.
Today, you have to be equipped with the skills to make money without a traditional J-O-B. At a minimum you must have a fall back position. On the positive side we have the internet and there are many examples of people making money, in their pajamas, parked in front of their laptops everyday. Also helping is the “Uber-ization” of the workplace. Jobs you can perform without a full time obligation. However, these are typically stop gap measures, not career options.
Becoming an entrepreneur is a different ballgame. You have to be able to deal with uncertainty. As a Boomer, I’m spoiled with a regular paycheck and health insurance. Part of the curriculum I mentioned earlier needs to be focused on the all aspects of entrepreneurialism; risk assessment, the money required to go out on your own, tax implications, financing alternatives, legal fees, etc.
Please excuse the overused cliché – It’s a whole new world out there. If I were a parent of high school kids, I’d want to know what the schools are doing to prepare this next generation for a topsy-turvy business environment that promises to be be around for the foreseeable future.