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Career Coach: Entrepreneurship Suits Millennials Well

Posted in Career,Entrepreneurs,Generation Y,Leadership by treyfinley1008 on May 26, 2010
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Troy Stirman, college career coach and certified resume writer tells this story about one of his recent graduates:

There is a young man who graduated last December [2009] who was hired 10-12 weeks following his graduation by a sales firm in the Dallas area.  He didn’t particularly want to work in Sales, but school loans were coming due.  He quickly became disillusioned by the company’s environment.

Notice a couple of things here.  First, it was nearly three months from the time of his graduation to an actual hiring.  Second, notice that this graduate took a job in a field he wasn’t particularly interested in.  He took a job because he had to, not because he wanted to.  Finally, notice that he quickly became disillusioned not by the money, the commute, or the benefits.  He became disillusioned by the company’s environment.  Back to the story:

Rather than resign to a defeatist attitude he started exploring entrepreneurial ideas.  Today, he is launching his own recycling business within upscale neighborhoods.  He provides a curbside pickup for each and every resident.  He is confident that this work matches his career goals of owning his own business and doing something positive for the environment.  As a result, his attitude and outlook have shifted dramatically since exploring this opportunity.

I love this: his entrepreneurial idea has social ramifications.  He’s a social entrepreneur. His business promotes social responsibility, and in so doing, he’s matching his career goals of owning his own business and doing something environmentally sound.  Now, don’t skip over the change in his attitude and outlook.  This is a really important point for understanding Millennials.  They want alignment between how they earn money and what they believe and value.  And as was pointed out in the first quote, they won’t stick around long if they sense that their work and their values don’t and likely won’t match up.  Here are Troy’s thoughts on this:

Many of today’s students have visions of starting their own business. They are not as likely to simply seek out corporate giants that align with their major. They are more likely to fully investigate starting their own business that aligns with their personal goals.

There’s a lot being written on retention among Millennials.  Suggestions for workplace amendments that will attract them, complaints that they seem to lack loyalty to a company.  Let’s be clear.  Millennials are still young.  The oldest among them are still 30 or under.  Many of them are just now attending or graduating from college.  They’ve got some growing up to do; so did I when I was in my 20s.

They’ve got some great ideas, and tomorrow I’ll hit on a few of Troy’s suggestions for workplace environment that will attract and potentially retain Millennials.


3 Responses to 'Career Coach: Entrepreneurship Suits Millennials Well'

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  1. hungry shark world hack

    Career Coach: Entrepreneurship Suits Millennials Well | The Question Matters

  2. […] entering the workforce: work/life balance.  You read the story of one Millennial student’s entrepreneurial response to a job he neither enjoyed nor believed in.  Then, you read of the Millennial willingness to buck the odds of a tough marketplace and […]

  3. sonnypi67 said,

    This kind of thing is very encouraging to read. It reaffirms what my I’ve suspected about Millennials — that as a generation they are going to great things.

    I’m a 42-year-old GenXer and I don’t feel threatened by or disenchanted with these youngsters. I’d have no problem having one as a supervisor, because I think the would afford me the same kinds of consideration that they expect delivered to them.

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