Millennials are different from the Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers who have a specific set of skills and value systems that have been purposely built for the gig economy ( In a recent study, it was noted that 38% of millennials are freelancing, which is higher than any other age group. )
So what makes the Millennials different?
1. They are “The Connected Generation”
They are digital natives - who are the masters of the technology and social media age.
They have the ability to be in constant communication around the globe with ease, connecting daily with peers, co-workers and industry leaders from their phone.
Social media, across all platforms, has blossomed into an indispensable business tool. becoming the key avenue for businesses to market themselves, their products, and their services.
There are apps by the dozen to help network with professionals in your field. (Referron being up there with the best ;).
Those who understand social media hold the keys to the gig economy.
Millennials value connections, are adept in all things Internet, and have a deep understanding of social media, putting them in an excellent position to lead the way for the future
2. Millennials are Self-Starters, self empowered and entitled
They are capable of (and willing to) follow their passions, go into business for themselves , and make a living doing so.
Starting your own business is easy - (will a laptop, wifi and a few dollars - you can connect with the world and start trading, but running one successful can be daunting.
Millennials will need the skills necessary to build successful businesses - and will need to build on their soft skills, emotional intelligence, connections and relationships.
3. Millennials Put a High Value on Quality of Life and balance
Millennials are leaving the “9-5 grind” in droves, not because they are unhappy with the pay, but because they are dissatisfied with the culture. As a generation marked by wanting to make a change, they have started with their own lives.
Commuting, office politics, and strenuous work hours may be for some people, but Millennials seem to be looking for a better work-life balance than us baby boomers.
How better to break the monotony of office life than with the flexibility and freedom of the gig economy.
4. Millennials Don’t Shy Away From Uncertainty
Millennials have watched the world change (9-11, war, the Great Recession of 2008) and have learned how to adapt.
That sense of a firm financial footing that generations before us have had is something Millennials will not have the luxury of, with the average Millennial having 14 changes of career over their working life.
The education system needs to change - with a focus of continual - on the job learning.
Millennials will take in a gig to learn and gain experience rather than hoping for a long term job of financial stability.
They have to thrive on uncertainty, and make a path for themselves. They are the new entrepreneurs that need to be adept at pitching for new jobs and clients - understanding the need for leads proposals and sales.
5. Millennials Have Multiple Passions
Millennials are also defined by their interest in a diverse number of areas, and unprecedented knowledge of subjects gained from the connected world.
The flexibility of the gig economy affords Millennials the opportunities to pursue different avenues of interest, while still focusing on their careers.
Being pigeonholed into one field in which you’ll stay until retirement is a distant memory of the elders.
Gigsters can control their work schedules, not the other way around.
The beauty of being in the gig economy is that you can do it full-time, part-time, or even just on weekends. It’s all up to you!
One thing is clear - the gig economy is the future of the workforce.
6. It’s all about Education
Heidi Kaye - A Rudolph Steiner school teacher says that Schools for kids past 16 years old will be "co learning spaces" for three hours per day and the rest of the day will be spent doing practical things.
Practical Such as movement (sport, gym, dance) art (paint, design) , building (textiles, wood, metalwork) or other software skills.
It's so obvious that kids leave school without a sense of who they are, their capabilities, What life is really like, or what they can and can't do, and school needs to reflect the innovation/entrepreneur mindset of future work / life.
Continuous Learning programmes that fit with the psychie of the millennial is key. E’learning, short bursts, gamification, collaboration is the future of education.
This is an exciting time!