If you pay close attention, you might notice a shift in perception, and aspiration, when it comes to the conversations you have with your friends about what the future holds. The prospective pinnacle of a young person's career is no longer the idea of working for the biggest name in their field, it's now the plan to become the biggest name in their field.
At least, that's the way it seems for this observer on this college campus. A chat with a future software engineer tends to revolve around the possibility of building a startup rather than pursue a career at IBM or Microsoft, and a talk with a sports management major seems to highlight a plan of working at professional franchises with the ultimate goal of excelling in the field by becoming their own boss.
Such is the nature of conversations in an era when the idea of becoming businessmen and women continues to entice this generation, our generation. It might not be everything, but a good number of us acknowledge the usefulness of a degree and the honor of having a tenured career working at the most accomplished establishments that are relevant to what we've learned, but only, it seems, as a backup to the ideal scenario: doing our own thing.
Whereas building a business used to seem like a reach, in this day and age, it feels very much like an increasingly achievable option, to the point that you just have to, as an individual, fall into two categories. Either you're about the hustle, like the two aforementioned students, or you respect and admire as a legit opportunity. It's part of the reason why practically everyone should think about being an entrepreneur while they're young.
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And why not? We have the figures to inspire and challenge us (like the douchebags at Rep Genius), the unforgettable famous movie scenes to compare our own stories to (thank you "Social Network") and the young kids and getting it (like 11-year-old Moziah Bridges) who make us say "we can do it, too."
Now, we also have the numbers to prove just how much we've warmed up to this idea of entrepreneurship.
"Unlike previous generations, for many millennials climbing the corporate ladders isn't a goal they are striving to attain," wrote Entrepreneur writer Andrea Huspeni. "Indeed, 60 percent are turning their backs on the traditional career path and instead, consider themselves entrepreneurs, with ideas, capital and plans for startup endeavors, according to for-profit Rasmussen College."
In addition to that figure, the Rasmussen study also showed that 38% of participants would rather work at a startup over completing a degree.
The results, however, should be taken with a grain of salt, as should be the case with all surveys. The numbers all depend on a range of variables, from who was probed, to the number of participants, to the diversity of the group. But the outcome, nonetheless, is not surprising in this day and age, and this observer just can't help but get the feeling that no matter the discrepancies, the survey is indeed a true reflection of the Gen-Y ambition.
We admire those who have built their own thing and now we want to do our own thing. That makes us the entrepreneurial generation.