Chuck those lazy millennial and gen z stereotypes out the window. The corporate ladder had its heyday, but as the younger generation switches up the way things are done, the average age of a CEO has dropped from 40-years-old to just 22.
Grads entering the workforce today are either jumping straight into advanced roles or skipping straight to the top by founding their own companies. Young people are starting twice as many businesses today than the baby boomer generation did.
This isn’t how most of our parents did it. A few decades ago, new hires would spend years learning the ropes before moving up the ranks – starting young, working long hours and keeping their heads down to eventually be rewarded with more money, a corner office and a better title. Most young entrepreneurs have said no thanks to that plan.
The average age of a CEO or manager today is lowering. Around 65% of gen X employees are in management positions today, followed by millennials at 62%. A massive 85% of those say they’ve moved into management in the past five years!
Globally, the average age for a millennial manager is 25 to 29-years-old. Around 53% of men and 55% of women say they started managing others before the age of 30.
Teenage Entrepreneurs Upping the Game
In the UK, the number of teenagers who have started a business has gone up by 700% in 10 years, with tech companies, clothing lines and make-up brands being some of the top-chosen industries. According to the research by OneFamily, one in five teens is aiming to be their own boss so they can set goals and focus on making a difference rather than following someone else.
Under 35’s More Likely to be in a Management Position
Today, 38% of small business owners in the UK are under 35. And the average age of a CEO or company founder is dropping too. Whereas gen X business owners typically founded their companies around age 35, millennials are starting their SMEs at 22, just after graduating from uni.
Around 72% of secondary school students and 64% of uni students want to start a business and be their own boss. These self-educators are also more likely than previous generations to start side hustles in uni and go on to do so throughout their careers. Currently, 46% of Gen-Zers are taking part in the “gig economy”, with one in five having a side hustle in addition to their main job.
18-24-Year-Olds on the Road to Becoming CEOs
Many students are looking forward to starting a business after graduation. Around 25% of 18-24 year-olds are aiming to start a company in the next few years.
Young entrepreneurs and those who have figured out how to start a business at a young age are an inspiration to a generation, with many becoming millionaires before the age of 25. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was 22 when he became a millionaire, Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel was 23.
Purpose, Not Status
The goals and ideals of young adults in the workplace have shifted too. Most young managers say their education didn’t prepare them for managing others or working with older colleagues.
Instead, they are motivated by a “sense of purpose”, which leads many of them to strike out on their own and start companies. This puts them in a leadership position where they are able to shape the company’s values and culture from the ground up.
Top three reasons young people are starting businesses
- Financial independence
- Better work-life balance
- Job security
Instead of the graft up the corporate ladder, today’s grads are looking for personal satisfaction and meaningful work, which may lead to more career changes in the search for broader horizons.