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Understanding Y by Charlie Caruso

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CHAPTER 19 The Anti-Plan Masters

Jane Anderson

Looking back 20 years, it was not uncommon to meet people who were in a ‘job for life’ — more than three decades. Nowadays, it's extremely rare to find employees who have been in their jobs for longer than ten years.

This is where the notion of the ‘Anti-Plan’ plays out. Baby Boomers and many Generation Xers grew up with a plan on how their careers would look. It was often as simple as finishing school, getting a degree or apprenticeship, finding a job, then working hard and climbing the corporate ladder — within one company.

Gen Ys, however, want much more than sitting in a chair pushing the same paperwork around for their entire career. In a recent study on Millennials' attitudes towards work, oDesk, the world's largest online workplace, found that 72 per cent of Gen Ys — although currently in ‘regular jobs’ — still want to quit and become self-employed (and 61 per cent want to do this within the next two years). This means employers' major challenge is retaining key talent within their businesses in order to remain competitive.

Yet despite Millennials' desire to become entrepreneurs, not many are actually doing it. Statistics from the Royal Bank of Scotland's Youth Enterprise Tracker show that more than half of Generation Y stated that they would like to start their own business and be self-employed; yet only 8 per cent of these would-be entrepreneurs ...

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