Millennials today face the worst financial conditions in decades. In a survey of 4000 young people, almost half have to borrow money to make their finances last till the end of the month and almost a quarter are in debt all of the time. To top it off, on the verge of Brexit; the future has never been more uncertain.
Today’s generation is the largest in the workforce, yet unemployment levels have doubled compared to the baby boomers that came before them and salaries of the same age are now 20% lower.
It’s also near impossible for young people to get on the property ladder. Excluding rent, general living costs in London cost £800 a month per person and the number of young people who own a home by their late 20’s has dropped by half compared to baby boomers.
A decent salaried occupation requires a basic qualification or a foundational degree under your belt. Naturally, you consider applying to university, but with the annual tuition fees costing up to £9,250 per year to study in England, you’ve already set yourself up for major debt when you finish.
But wait, does a degree guarantee you a job? Not always. In 2017, a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) report revealed that just half (52%) of graduates secure a graduate-level job six months after they finish their course (and that was before the tuition fee rise).
In addition, the number of degree holders are higher across the board so employers now favour those with experience. But how do you get experience if no one hires you?
It begs the question: unless you’re doing a focused degree (e.g. medicine), is it even worth it going to university? And if not, how do you secure yourself a well-paid career?
So fewer jobs, fewer home-owners, poor salaries and more loans. Is there light at the end of a tunnel? Believe it or not, yes. There is.
Indeed times are difficult, but we have never been at a more advantageous point with technological advancements in the online space. As we move into the smart era- it’s all about working smarter, not harder. To hone that in, tech giant Nintendo revealed their employees work less than 8 hours a day and earn an average of $80,000.
Technology will always grow and therefore opportunities will always expand. They key is to understand and follow where the technology is heading.
Consequently, these past years have become the age of digital entrepreneurs, freelancers and online side hustles with Resolution Foundation report finding more workers self-employed or with zero-hour contracts than before. This comes from the vast income opportunities arising that were never there before such as digital marketing, influencer marketing, vlogging, virtual assisting, social media managing etc. Social media itself has been a big game changer for small businesses to reach wider audiences.
But wait, where’s the proof?
This year, Kylie Jenner, founder of Kylie Cosmetics, made it onto the Forbes’ world’s richest list as the youngest self-made billionaire ever. How did she do it? She built up an audience then released her own makeup line.
Similarly, the most influential YouTuber PewDiePie; has a net worth of $20 million.
This trend of influencer marketing is apparent across all social media platforms and businesses look to partner with them to promote their products too.
Besides this, you can create your own product and sell it through an e-commerce store or amazon/eBay. There are over 1000 eBay millionaires in the UK alone and just one eBook took Mark Anastasi from being homeless to a millionaire.
Alternatively, you can learn digital marketing or freelance skills and offer that as a paid service. The opportunities are indeed many.
As a newbie, here are a few ways you can explore the online space.
- Learn a skill (Skillshare, udemy, coursera, YouTube, mentorship)
- Freelance on Fiverr, Upwork
- Build a following through social media channels, YouTube, podcast or blog.
- Produce a product or partner as an affiliate to promote a product (or service).
- Provide authentic and genuine value to build an engaged audience
- Follow other experts in your niche. Keep away from fake hyped up ‘gurus’.
- Invest in personal development and professional growth
- Avoid ‘get rich quick schemes’- anything that seems too good to be true is more often is.
A 2018 CIPD report revealed that 1 in 7 UK workers are now self-employed. It will be interesting to see this statistic increases with time and how coming generations utilise the online space. Although not everyone will become a millionaire, the internet does stand to provide a long term option for financial stability and offers a ray of hope to struggling youngsters.