“Nobody talks of entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking” Anita Roddick
In another post I delve into the hot field of entrepreneurship education and how to grow an entrepreneur. I also mention the growing interest in entrepreneurship of the newer generation. Now I would like to focus on the entrepreneur attitude and how it relates to one’s life.
Generation X came after the post-war generation (Baby Boomers) and benefited from the stability and the extended growth period, where resources seemed infinite. Companies grew with generous pension plans that, on the other hand, required continuous growth to be sustainable. They learned from their Baby Boomer parents that stability was very important, that they could join a company as a loyal employee and, after working most of their best years there, retire with a good pension for life. However, when the Generation Y (or the Millennials) was growing, they witnessed the end of this era, with companies experiencing increasing difficulties to remain sustainable. These companies went through the flavour of the day head count cut – reorganization, reengineering, lean enterprise, etc...
Well, we learn mostly by example and practice. Millennials lived through all the mess during their forming years. They saw their parents working longer hours, many times stuck on a job they did not enjoy. Many had to grow almost by themselves because their parents were extremely busy making a living (or a dying, like many call) and avoiding the next cut. The song Cats in the Cradle by Harry Chapin comes to my mind...
The good part is that this engrained in the generation that is reaching the job market a different attitude. They want to pursue happiness more than false stability. They are eager for fairness and they have a can do attitude. Their soft skills are very similar to the ones identified by many researchers in entrepreneurs. These are also the soft skills of successful employees. The list varies, but most have the following traits, listed in no special order:
- Dissatisfaction with the status-quo
- Responsible approach to risk
- Attention to details
- Tolerance for change and ambiguity
- Curious learner
- Eager learner
- Resilient, rebounding quickly
- Goal setting
- Driven and Hardworking
- Independent, willing to extend their comfort zone
- Trustworthy and with strong core values
- Accept honest criticism
If you are not from Generation Y (or got caught in the transition and do not have all those traits) you might be thinking that you are doomed... The change is real, it is here and it is the new normal. It is not going away, it is not turning back.
Well, if this is your situation I have good news for you. If you commit yourself you can learn those traits. It is not easy, but it is possible. There are many dedicated to help you; but, I must repeat once again – without your commitment the change (or evolution) will not happen. But, I am sure, in the end, you will be glad you engaged in the process - this is your stepping stone to freedom!
Jose Cid is a Business Intelligence Consultant, an Educator and Coach. Throughout his life he has been helping people inside and outside of the work environment. His motto can be translated into a simple equation: Knowledge + Intelligence + Action = Power ©. Please visit www.josecid.ca for other articles and services.