Gen Y is Coming Out of the Recession Stronger Than Ever : Under30CEO Gen Y is Coming Out of the Recession Stronger Than Ever : Under30CEO
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Gen Y is Coming Out of the Recession Stronger Than Ever

| October 19, 2010 | 9 Comments

A recent article in the Examiner showcases that Gen Y is maturing and ready to take on entrepreneurship. The recession was one of the first real tastes of failure for many people in this generation. It prevented them from getting jobs and hurt ventures that they had set out to create on their own. Now that this period is coming to an end and things are looking up again young people are coming out with a new appreciation for success, options and life in general.

I think it is fair to say that most of us will be stronger moving forward after seeing some hard times. Especially when you compare it to entrepreneurship where you will likely go through a constant bombardment of these recession type periods in your own venture. You just have to push through and realize that it is all part of the ride.

The author Martin Zwilling outlines some traits that he thinks will help Gen Y in the business world but also some traits that may hold them back.

The Good:

  • Confidence
  • Goal and achievement oriented
  • Multi-cultural
  • Civic minded

The Bad:

  • Need to be scheduled
  • Minimal “street smarts”
  • Consensus driven

I think the best of these traits is our confidence. You need a tremendous amount of it when starting a company. Honestly you almost need to be cocky. I mean 90% of new businesses fail…If you think you’re going to beat those odds then you must be feeling pretty good about yourself! If everyone just remembers there will be hard times but to keep pushing through we can improve on that failure rate

The worst trait is a bit of a toss up for me. The lack of “street smarts” is apparent in many situations. There is a high demand for these skills when starting a company as you will encounter situations on a daily even hourly basis that were never covered in a text book. You have to re-act on instinct and gut feelings that many people would attribute to those “street smarts”.

However in the business world being consensus driven can be a killer. Collaboration is great and you want to make everyone happy which can lead to giving things up in negotiations. There is a point though where you have to look to win, even if it means someone else is losing. It is competitive out there and you don’t want to always end up on the losing side, you will have to make deals that help your company and not necessarily others.

What do you think? Is Gen Y coming out more prepared for entrepreneurship? What traits do you think are the best/worst?

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About the Author: Jared O'Toole

Co-founder and editor of Under30Media. You can send an email to Jared(at) Follow him on Google+ or @JaredOToole

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Category: Startup Advice

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  • ryanstephens

    That confident/cocky balance is always such a fine one. I think without question you need to be cocky. If you don’t think professional athletes and heart surgeons don’t think they’re the best in the world at what they do then you’re wrong. BUT, you also need to balance that with a level of humility to ensure that you keep growing and learning.

  • Zack Shapiro

    Great point Ryan.

  • Zack Shapiro

    I’m confident beyond all belief. I like to think I’m the most confident person at my university, business-wise, because I’m doing so much right now and not looking back.

  • @cristinaagomez

    I don’t buy “consensus driven” trait. I think Gen Y knows its important to gather data and multiple perspectives, but we don’t wait to act.

  • Jessica Guzik

    I think services that help young entrepreneurs stay scheduled and focused, as well as services that help entrepreneurs connect with each other, are going to be in very high demand. We like freedom but not chaos, and autonomy but not loneliness.

  • Jared O’Toole

    Great stuff Ryan. Humility is a big factor and you have to be open to grow and learn everyday. Confidence sells though. Walking into that board room to pitch a client requires that boarder-line cockiness to make the sale.

  • Jared O’Toole

    Agreed jessica. Everyday the world gets more cluttered and noisy. Filtering is key to getting through all of that.

  • Jared O’Toole

    Thats what we like to hear Zack! Keep it up and you’ll get to wherever you want. Remember to be open to everyone though and learn as much as you can.