By Hunter Hoffmann, Head of US Communications at Hiscox Small Business Insurance
Millennials graduating this month are entering a strong job market full of optimism with dreams of starting their new careers. The increasingly healthy economy provides more job opportunities for this year’s graduates than recent classes. But, not all of them are looking for a traditional entry-level, get your foot in the door job as their first step after college.
The time is ripe for this generation to take advantage of their innate advantages to realize the American dream of owning their own business:
Sunny side of the street.
One of the most important characteristics of an entrepreneur is a relentless optimism and the courage to overcome challenges. Starting a small business is not for the faint of heart and the ability to stay positive is a key personality trait of successful entrepreneurs.
Millennials outpace other generations in their optimism, with over three quarters (76%) reporting they were optimistic about the year ahead vs. less than half of baby boomers (48%) in the 2014 Hiscox DNA of an Entrepreneur survey. These optimistic new and recent grads are now primed to pave their path in the world and start their own businesses.
Technology, and especially the rapid increase in mobile capabilities, has changed the way business is done. Millennials are 2.5 times more likely to be early technology adopters than older generations and can use this to their advantage in business. It’s been mentioned many times before, but it bears repeating, the days of being chained to your desk are rapidly disappearing. Flexibility in work hours is something 77% of millennials value and believe keeps them more productive at work. Trying to attract millennials with the promise of 8 hour days in cubicle land and limited schedule flexibility is a steep uphill climb.
Today’s new graduates also don’t necessarily have to pack up and move to the big city to start their career either. New graduates can run a business from anywhere, utilize virtual employees and keep expenses low as they grow their own businesses.
Not only are millennials first when it comes to embracing new technologies, they’re also taking the most advantage of the power of social media to promote and run their businesses. A full 100% of millennial entrepreneurs surveyed by Hiscox used social media to launch a new product or service in 2014 compared with only 33% of those 40 – 49 years old. It takes time and effort to build a real community over social media, and this generation is willing to put in the hard work to make these channels work for them.
This year’s crop of college graduates is primed with the attitude, work ethic and technical capabilities they need for success as entrepreneurs and anyone who wants to get in their way better watch out.
Hunter Hoffmann is Head of US Communications at Hiscox Small Business Insurance and is responsible for media relations, social media, internal communications and executive messaging. Hunter lives in New York City with his wife and two sons – Walker and Otis. In his spare time, he moonlights as Chief Marketing Officer and deliveryman for Junior’s Fresh, a fresh baby and toddler food delivery service and cafe in New York City founded by his wife, Michelle.