Opinions about the Millennial workforce are easy to come by, and they range from bright predictions about their role in the future of franchises to the key to motivating them and even a list of reasons to stop "hating" on this diverse group.
Though Millennials are often criticized by preceding generations for their attitudes in the workplace, whether those perceptions are accurate or not is debatable. For example, one study by IBM found that Millennials have largely similar values and attitudes about work as older generations, with existing disparities attributable to age differences.
However, there are qualities that make this generation uniquely suited for success as entrepreneurs. Here are 10 traits that give Millennials an edge in starting a business.
1. They aren't willing to wait.
The Deloitte 2016 Millennial survey found that 25 percent of Millennials would have no hesitation in leaving their current employer in the next 12 months, and 44 percent didn't expect to remain with their current employer after two years. This suggests that Millennials are not willing to stick around with an organization that isn't fulfilling their desires, which is often the impetus for starting a business.
2. They have a strong sense of "why not."
This generation has seen debilitating recessions and "too big to fail" entities go bust. Entering the workforce in unstable economic times - or attempting to do so and not finding work - has given them a level of fearlessness about striking out on their own.
3. They are idealistic.
They don't believe a business should exist solely to make money, but should contribute something meaningful to the world. They judge a company not by its profitability but by higher-minded ideals such as the quality of its products and services, employee satisfaction, customer service, even environmental impact. This sense of mission can help motivate entrepreneurs to persevere through the ups and downs of running a business.
4. They are immersed in the digital world.
As this generation has grown up, technology has constantly been evolving around them. As a result, they are not only familiar with the possibilities and opportunities of the online world, but it is ingrained into their lives, unlike any previous era. Using online platforms to forge connections with others or to pursue new ideas is as routine as breathing.
5. They are true to their personal values.
They are willing to stand up for what they believe in. In fact, approximately half of those surveyed by Deloitte say they have refused to do work that went against their personal value or ethics. This strong moral compass and sense of integrity is helpful when building their own business brands.
6. They are waiting longer to marry and start a family.
Only 26 percent of Millennials are married, compared to 36 percent of Generation Xers and 48 percent of baby boomers when they were in the same age range. This means that Millennials are willing and able to devote the time that starting a business requires.
7. They expect control over their careers.
More than 77 percent of Millennials feel their career paths are in their own hands. That means they take responsibility for forging their path instead of feeling that they don't have control over their professional destinies, a critical mindset for entrepreneurs.
8. They place a premium on relationships.
Business owners know the importance of building relationships with others, from customers to vendors to the wider community. Millennials place a similar value on interpersonal relationships - just check out the number of people they are connected to on social media.
9. They are easily bored.
Growing up online has exposed them to a world of ideas and interests that's instantly available at their fingertips - literally. As a result, they are prone to follow their passions and have little tolerance for mind-numbing boredom on the job. They insist that work be both stimulating and inspiring. The challenge and excitement of entrepreneurialism that allows them to pursue their interests can be a lure.
10. They are determined to succeed.
In the same way, they've witnessed today's celebrities start out as homegrown YouTube sensations or college dropouts becoming Internet billionaires; they have a sense that anything is possible. They are willing to dream big and leverage their knowledge and passion for turning those dreams into reality.