The Inexperience Barrier Is Actually An Advantage For The Student Entrepreneur
The inexperience barrier can be a huge roadblock for when corporate job descriptions seem daunting and rely heavily on your school, major, years of experience, and work history. Today’s young professionals are taught and trained conventional routes that make them feel out of reach for these roles, even though the behavioral patterns, values, and work climate for millennials and Generation Z differ. Find Your Grind conducted a social media survey across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter asking “Has inexperience ever stopped you?” and the collective results found that 58% replied “Yes.”
We’ve learned from millennials that a self-made person begins with the individual: a fiery attitude towards finding identity, drive for economic freedom, and commitment to succeed. Generation Z, those born between 1996 and 2010, are coming of age and are moving differently from the millennials preceding them. For one, Generation Z’s connectivity to the digital world (spending approximately 15.4 hours on their smartphones) has drawn them to act more entrepreneurially. Seventy-two percent of high school students say they want to start a business someday, and 61% do after high school and college. According to the book “Millennial Influence: Excelling in Life and Leading Our Generation,” students who are 16-years-old will go straight into apprenticeships or internships instead of forgoing the traditional route. While companies are fixated on maintaining the status quo, they miss the opportunities of change and technology this new generation represents. They fail to engage the entrepreneurial spirit— a global trend existing beyond a millennial trait, and the result of the global economic recession and ease of starting a business. So how important is it really to strive for the number of years building a paying work history or pursuing a formal education?
For Generation Z, the emerging workforce is one they are curating for themselves — redefining the concept of the work experience. Their perception around the concept of having “enough” experience through qualifications isn’t measured solely in terms of years. It’s through networking and building a portfolio of relevant projects outside of what’s been assigned. On the contrary, inexperience frees someone from being shackled to years of service and a company’s business model. With the ever-evolving pace of digital and technology, matching a fluid mindset to be able to pivot and adjust according to the business is vital. According to Fast & Company, managers are learning that hiring for inexperience could be the best investment for business. The naive mind, one that doesn’t believe or know of impossibility can find achievement more than someone who holds more experience.
The naive mind also drives the spirit of entrepreneurship for students and young professionals. Instead of seeking for a corporate role, a True Gen makes their own through blogging, building a social following, working as an independent music artist, or upstarting a business. For them, inexperience doesn’t equate ineptitude; these young professionals aren’t second-class citizens. They take matters in their own control and create the experience and opportunity for themselves, beginning now not after graduation.
While the inexperience barrier is actually an advantage, a call to encourage students and young professionals in connecting them to real-life experiences is crucial to continue collective growth and to maintain the pace of growing industries. As Gen Z enters the workforce, companies can’t afford to act within conventional assumptions or generational frameworks. A deeper understanding of Gen Z is required to deliver products, services, and experiences that this evolving generation is looking for as the status quo begins to invert. If you’re not maximizing value and pushing innovation, you waste it and become irrelevant. And when you waste it, today’s youth will look for other employment or start their own path.