Millennials have grown up in an unstable world. Their early childhood and adult experiences have included a major real estate market crash and a devastating recession. At the same time, they’ve grown up with the Internet, smartphones, and the rise of mobile technology and mobile apps. As a result, we’re seeing a generation with a whole new perspective on work, free time, and commodities. Young adults coming into the workforce today are reshaping business models and driving the sharing economy in ways that older economic experts could never have predicted.
So what are these young workers and entrepreneurs doing differently, and how are they changing the face of business and the economy as we know it?
RETHINKING THE FUTURE OF WORK
Millennials already make up a third of today’s workforce, and they don’t put up with a lot of the stringent and seemingly pointless rules of the past. As a result, we’re seeing the rules being relaxed at large corporations like Visa, Coca-Cola, and IBM.
But relaxed dress codes and flex hours are actually fairly limited changes. Millennial workers want location independence, more say in how businesses are run, and more involvement in research and development.
EXPERIENCES MATTER MORE THAN POSSESSIONS
Perhaps because they’ve lived through a huge economic crash, millennials are less concerned with possessions than they are with experiences. For many young adults today, there’s a lot more freedom in renting a house than being stuck owning one, and they’re more likely to rent a car for a day or grab an Uber or Lyft ride when they need it than to own a car.
According to Entrepreneur, “Sharing and being frugal are now perceived as cool and clever as ownership is not a necessity anymore; for this generation ownership can instead be an obstacle in care and maintenance.” You can see this in shared workspaces, ride sharing, cloud computing, and much more.
REDEFINING THE FUTURE OF WORK
In the past, you were expected to start working in your chosen field as soon as you got out of school. You would then work your way up in the company, changing jobs a few times throughout your career until you reached retirement. Today, though, the average millennial is expected to change jobs 15–20 times throughout their career, and that number is only going to rise, as more and more young workers find out that the old model for work isn’t necessarily applicable to them.
Millennials are more likely to be entrepreneurs, and they’re more likely to value independence and freedom over a steady paying job. With numerous mobile apps to help you make money in the sharing economy, you can now work as much or as little as you want. If you feel like taking a vacation from the daily grind, you can work as an Uber driver or open a shop on Etsy.
By taking advantage of the many opportunities out there for earning income, millennials are showing the world that you don’t have to live the 9:00-to-5:00 lifestyle to make ends meet. And, because they’ve grown up with a certain level of uncertainty, they aren’t as afraid of losing job security. Instead, they’re joining the movement to change the way the world works.
So, are you ready to let go of the old ways of doing things and find out how easy it can be to earn money and make a living through the sharing economy? Millennials everywhere are doing it, and so can you.