Post originally seen at DSA.
Gen Y is, without question, uniquely positioned to make a major impact on the marketplace within the decade. According to a recent report by global research association Conference Board, 64 million baby boomers will be eligible for retirement by the end of the current decade while, at the same time, the number of workers ages 18 to 34 will increase by 10 percent. In fact, within 10 years, Gen Y will represent more than half of the U.S. workforce. And still, the U.S. boasts one of the worst rates of youth employment among large-economy countries, according to a recent New York Times report.
But, while companies across all industries continue to revamp their approach to this highly competitive, tech-savvy generation, many in the direct sales channel have recognized that tailoring the business opportunity to meet the needs of this demographic group requires more than openness to new technologies and creative marketing techniques. Gen Y also needs assurance that their efforts will result in career advancement—a “resume boost,” if you will.
According to the Human Capital Institute, Gen Y prefers career development three times more than a cash bonus as a form of benefit. Even more, only 27 percent of young people think high pay is important, compared to 48 percent of older workers.
As Dave Webb, Vice President of Communications for XANGO said recently,” The people of Generation Y have all the energy in the world and we hear all the time that they didn’t grow up aspiring to work in a cubicle job.”
The question is, how might direct selling fulfill Gen Y’s needs for career advancement?
For starters, direct selling provides invaluable business ownership experience, without any barriers for entry. As direct selling companies continue to offer cutting-edge business resources and training to distributors via online and mobile platforms, today’s direct sellers gain access to top-notch business education as they grow their businesses.
Even more, from the moment a prospective direct seller chooses to start a business, he or she gains access to a network of direct sellers eager to offer their support. This is key because, according to the Human Capital Institute, Gen Y craves coaching and mentorship more than any previous generation.
Keeping Gen Y’s need for mentorship in mind, it is important to also recognize that a number of recent studies—including one conducted by Rasmussen College—have indicated that Gen-Yers are increasingly leaving traditional employment opportunities to pursue self-employment.
In fact, 71 percent of those polled who currently hold traditional jobs said they would prefer to quit their current positions and work for themselves. And, what are the top reasons for this?
Freedom, the ability to choose projects and the opportunity to maintain control over their workload were among the top five reasons Gen-Yers have increasingly turned to self-employment. How perfect it is that these are also frequently cited as the top reasons men and women choose to launch direct selling careers!
But of course, as anyone in direct selling knows, these reasons hardly scratch the surface of the many factors that drive today’s budding entrepreneurs to get started in direct selling. As evidenced by our Faces of Direct Selling page, men and women of all ages, educational backgrounds and interests find empowerment through direct selling.