March 5, 2021

Hey Not Millennials! It's Your Turn

new economics
At the risk of repeating - well, everyone it seems - things sure have changed around here haven’t they?
We’re coming up on the first anniversary of the year that shall not be named, and we’ve learned some valuable things about our lives, professional and personal. 
We’ve adapted, we’ve reformed, we’ve relapsed. One thing about life is that it doesn’t really stop, so some days we’re along for the ride. Some days we get hit in the face by the universal pie.
What’s interesting about the change we’ve all experienced this last year is that, for some, it’s not really a change. What we’ve been grappling with have been part of life for people under the age of 30 for their whole lives. These unfortunate people get forgotten because the media is too lazy to stop referring to anyone under the age of 50 as a millenial, but this age group is unique. 
This generation grew up in the reality that anyone over 35 was pushed to face in 2020: your career is perilous; everyone is an entrepreneur; stability is fleeting; risks are high; and resiliency is more crucial than any other skill.
As more economic power is held by fewer and fewer corporations, and more individuals enter the workforce as demand for labour declines, those starting out their careers are learning to be scrappy.
Global economic shifts in manufacturing, supply chains, resource extraction, and consumer demand means that traditionally safe, long term careers are gone for good. 
Instead, the younger generation, whether they like it or not, have embraced that they will spend their career on the move, and that transferable skills will hold more value than single industry training.
Learn. Adapt. Survive.
Unless born into fortunate circumstances, young people today will learn to create more with less, to adapt to the concept that there is no step up, and depending on where you were born, no net to catch you if you fail.
They have been training for the year 2020 for a decade.
Let’s watch what they do. 
They take to technology like they were born with a smartphone in their little hands.
They are comfortable with the concept that their friends, classmates, clients, mentors and superiors might be a half world away.
They aren’t concerned with borders. They jump online to buy and sell from anyone, anywhere. The barrier to entry for internet companies is only your imagination, resilience and capacity for risk.
They aren’t engaged in traditional party politics, because career politicians and the people behind them talk like it’s still 2005. They know nothing about what life was like then.
Buying and selling from anyone with a website that takes online payments has exploded. This will take a bite out of Amazon, and continues to kick bricks and mortar businesses while they are down.
As computer software opens up easier ways to communicate with each other around the world, the demand for vehicles and air travel, and for the fuel that powers them, will drop.
Automation means that the real opportunity for growth isn’t in working for a manufacturer, but in working for a company that builds automation software for all the manufacturers around the world.
Since older generations have suddenly been forced to learn that online life is real life, the advantage continues to shift to the young who have lived, learned and built businesses online for years.
If you’ve aged out of that demographic, I recommend that you watch what they do. We’ve taught them that life is uncertain. They will certainly do better with this new risky world we’re living in than the rest of us.
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