There’s an “exciting new world of work” out there, and not only is Sarah Moran embracing it, she’s encouraging others to do the same.
Ms Moran, 32, is chief executive of Girl Geek Academy, which builds technical and entrepreneurial skills among women. She said the lines between traditional jobs and entrepreneurship were “blurring further and further. ”
“You get a job or you make a job” says Sarah .It’s what she and her four Girl Geek Academy co-founders have done. With backgrounds in fields including digital marketing, robotics, engineering and gaming, they started the organisation as a side project while working full time, and they now run it remotely.
Workers are increasingly multi-skilled and multi-tasking, Ms Moran said, meaning “people can bring their whole selves to work in a way they haven’t been able to before”.
She said more people were taking an innovative approach to business “to create their own job satisfaction” and that millennials – those coming of age in the early 21st century – were particularly flexible.
“Millennials have grown up knowing that stability comes from being able to make their own jobs, rather than relying on someone else to give it to them,” Ms Moran said.
“They have support in ways nobody has had before. They can literally Google [something] if if they don’t know and they can connect to communities way beyond the friends they know. They can have entrepreneurial education at their fingertips. They’ve got the world in their pocket.”
Ken Phillips, the executive director of Independent Contractors of Australia, examined the future of self-employment for the Committee for Economic Development Australia’s future workforce report in 2015.
He said there had been a significant rise in the number of people working for themselves, as employees reacted against working in large organisations.
“It’s major social movement,” Mr Phillips said. “It’s individuals making individual choices about how they want to earn their income, how they control their working life.
“What’s developing is a more eclectic mix of how people work, not just across the economy but during people’s lifetimes, according to their particular circumstances. Everyone finds their own pathway. It’s an exciting new world of work.”
Innovation expert Peter Bradd said that in 2017, millennials would increasingly lead the entrepreneurial charge, the demand for innovation would keep growing and portfolio careers – where people have diverse roles in different industries – would continue replacing linear career paths.
There would be a shift towards more part time and project-based work and an emphasis on continual upskilling, said Mr Bradd, the chairman of StartupAUS and chief executive of The Beanstalk Factory, which helps corporates innovate.
“The concept of education’s moving from just a university degree to lifelong education,” he said. “You have to continue to learn … as technology changes.”
Mr Bradd said easy access to technology, online learning tools and infrastructure such as co-working spaces were giving people more job options, enabling them “to do more of what they love”.
“There’s all these platforms out there that allow you to make money from your hobby,” he said. “It’s never been easier to make a change or to live the life you want to live, and you don’t even need to know where you’re going to get started.”
To create or capitalise on opportunities, Mr Bradd advised:
- Increasing “your surface area of luck”. Follow your passion or explore different interests. Meet up with new people, forge new networks, find events and groups you didn’t know existed.
- Expanding your skill set. “You don’t need a university course. Education is now almost free, and you can get project-based work based on upskilling or cross-skilling.”
- Being open to new opportunities, both inside and outside your organisation. “When you tell people what your dreams are, other people will help you achieve them.”
- Taking small steps to get the ball rolling. “As you start to get momentum … you get inspiration and meet new people, and opportunity will just find you.”