First there was Generation X. Then there was Generation Y.
It’d be easy to read the Daily Mail and believe that the current generation is Generation ZZZ, as they’re a lazy bunch of good-for-nothings.
Next month, the latest youth unemployment figures will be coming out. I think we can all safely assume what direction they’ll be moving in. The big question of the day will be ‘by how much?’
Globally, almost 13% of young people are out of work, and this isn’t going to change any time soon. Across the Atlantic it’s being reported that many younger people just aren’t bothering to look for employment any more.
This isn’t because they’re lazy or think they’re too good to work, but because many members of the previous generation have either been made redundant, and are actively seeking new jobs, or are staying in work for longer than people ever used to. How can an 18 year old straight out of university be expected to compete with someone who has 20+ years of experience?
All this is indicative of the fact that a fundamental change is occurring. The jobs that have ‘disappeared’ aren’t coming back.
But, at the same time, the number of new business formations is going through the roof. Companies House says 436,000 new businesses were registered in 2011, compared to 385k in 2010. The 2012 numbers will, no doubt, be even higher. And this doesn’t take into account all of those non-registered sole traders.
Increasingly, young people are starting their own businesses. Not sexy ‘let’s hot desk in Shoreditch and take on Facebook’ tech businesses, nor high-growth, high-potential businesses that are going to create hundreds of new jobs. They do, however, give the sole founder a reasonable income and a lifestyle that many of those stuck in the nine-to-five world would envy.
Who needs a job when you can create your own?
They’re doing it themselves.
It’s Generation DIY.