34% of millennials considering self-employment

Thursday 26 May 2016

More than a third (34 per cent) of millennials are considering becoming self-employed in the future, a new report reveals.

The term millennials refers to individuals aged between 18 and 35, and as the first generation to have come of age in the digital era, the way that they want to work and advance their careers is largely different to that of any generation before them.

Global research carried out by ManpowerGroup involved the questioning of more than 19,000 millennials and found that over one in ten (12 per cent) plan to work until the day they die. In addition, more than half of Generation Y are intending to work beyond the age of 65, while 27 per cent plan to remain in employment until they are at least 70. This led the organisation to dub the career plans of millennials 'ultramarathons'.

However, an ambitious one per cent expect to retire before the age of 40, suggesting that they plan to have made enough money to support themselves for the rest of their life within the next few years.

The report also led to the discovery that nearly three-quarters of millennials currently have a full-time job, but more than half are willing to consider alternative employment options in the future, with 34 per cent thinking about self-employment.

What's more, almost all (93 per cent) of 18 to 35-year-olds are willing to spend their own time and money furthering their own career development, whether that's paying for a training course or investing in a new start-up.

The report also found that 84 per cent of millennials anticipate taking a career break of four weeks or more at some point in the future. While respondents naturally cited maternity leave as a potential career break or taking time out to look after older relatives, the results suggested that a growing number of workers are planning to take breaks from their job for other reasons as well. This could be to pursue a passion outside of work, or to go travelling, for example.

Mara Swan, executive vice-president of global strategy and talent at ManpowerGroup, commented: "Employers need to listen up and get creative. They simply cannot afford not to appeal to millennials. Millennials want progression, but that doesn't have to mean promotion.

"We need new ways to motivate and engage employees, like facilitating on-the-job learning and helping people move around the organisation to gain experience more easily. And what works for millennials works for the rest of the workforce too."

If employers are unable to meet this need for flexibility, more and more people could turn to freelancing to get the working life that they desire. 


By Victoria McDonnell

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