Working to live, not living to work

  • Millennial entrepreneurs fit into five distinct personas
  • Study throws out conventions on millennials in the workplace
Working to live, not living to work
 

YOUNG entrepreneurs are driven by a desire for independence, a belief in social good and a commitment to employee happiness, according to Sage’s Walk With Me report, which examines the key characteristics, attitudes and behaviours of millennial entrepreneurs around the world.
 
Despite sweeping generalisations about how this generation behaves, the study shows that these business leaders have diverse traits which align them with five workplace personality types:

  • The Principled Planners – methodical in their approach to work, they enjoy carefully planning for success. With an ambitious streak, they never take anything at face value and ask a lot of questions.
  • The Driven Techies – love their work and can’t bear the thought of sitting around idle, they trust in the power and efficiency of innovative technology to keep them one step ahead of the competition. They have a strong belief in its ability to accurately target their existing and future customers.
  • The Instinctive Explorers – cavalier, they love the unknown, as well as exploring uncharted territory. They trust their gut instincts and stick to their guns. A modern image is extremely important to them, as is leaving a legacy behind to be remembered by.
  • The Real Worlders - resourceful, but likely to say they rely on technology in order to succeed. When it comes to their approach to work and making decisions, they tend to alternate between going on gut instinct and taking a more methodical approach.
  • The Thrill-Seekers - easily bored and always on the lookout for the next challenge, they couldn’t care less about appearances. They work best around others and believe that making a social impact is overrated.

More general trends from the study include a desire to make a difference. Doing social good is especially important to young entrepreneurs in South Africa (80%) and Brazil (81%) compared to other countries.

Respondents in Switzerland (24%), Australia (20%) and France (19%) say employee happiness is what gets them out of bed in the morning, while 34% say they started their own business in order to be master of their own destiny.
 
When it comes to the work life balance, 66% value work over life. For respondents in Brazil (71%), Australia (70%), Belgium (70%), Singapore (73%) and Switzerland (70%), reducing the amount of hours they spend working and retiring early is a key focus.
 
Sixty-two percent believe they’ll be a serial entrepreneur – with 52% saying this is because they have lots of ideas they want to share with the world.
 
In a statement on Aug 2, Sage director of product management, mobile Kriti Sharma explained that being a millennial entrepreneur himself, he knows first-hand about this business group shaking things up.

The group rejects established patterns of working and makes technology work for them. Millennial entrepreneurs see business through a new lens. They are willing to work hard, but want flexibility in how, when and with whom they do business.
 
“Millennial entrepreneurs have a huge role to play in the start-up economy and are shaping the modern workplace at great pace,” said Sage chief executive officer Stephen Kelly.

"But they can’t be grouped together as a homogenous stereotype. Our research shows that they fall into distinct camps with specific hopes, fears, concerns and ways of working.

"Understanding what makes them tick now stands us all in good stead for the future. That’s true of the people that want to do business with them, buy from them, hire them or create policy that helps them to grow," he added.

Related Stories:
 
Millennials and employers: Saving the relationship
 
Millennials and digital transformation: The HR question
 
 
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