More Australians are embracing micro-entrepreneurship, social media and digital pathways to success

More Australians are embracing micro-entrepreneurship, social media and digital pathways to success

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Leigh O'Neill

As Australians head back to work for another year, many are taking professional success into their own hands by embracing micro-entrepreneurship, social media and digital pathways to success.

The final chapter of NAB’s Rethink Success whitepaper, titled Working for Success in the Digital Age, reveals Aussies believe digital is the new pathway to success – whether in starting their own SMBs, or to moonlight as micro-entrepreneurs.

We’re taking careers into our own hands, and paving our own pathways to success: 1 in 4 working Australians are self-employed; and of those who currently do not own their own business, one in seven considers it a goal they would like to accomplish and 38% of Gen Y small business owners describe themselves as ‘entrepreneurs’ or their ventures as ‘start-ups’

What else did NAB’s research find out?

Small business owners aren’t the only ones influenced by the spirit of entrepreneurism. Many Australians are getting in on the act at a micro level online. 46% of respondents have participated in the peer-to-peer economy to derive income (including selling products on eBay, Etsy, Gumtree, Facebook, or offered their services via sites like Airtasker and Fiverr). 55% of Gen Ys have participated in the peer-to-peer economy, making them the most active micro-entrepreneurs in the sector and 1 in 7 have participated in the sharing economy to make money, like driving an Uber or renting out a room on Airbnb.

If we’re not doing it ourselves, we’re investing in other entrepreneurs via crowd funding. One in 10 (11%) Australians have pledged close to $200 (an average of $191 per person) to crowd funding sites in the last twelve months. Aussies have donated over $325 million to crowd-funding sits in the past 12 months. It’s important to us to find fulfillment and meaning in work: While being well paid is important, eight of the top nine measures that define a ‘good job’ had nothing to do with money, status or power Within the top measures, Australians define a ‘good job’ as being fun, fulfilling and meaningful, being something they’re passionate about or having flexible work practices. The average Aussie view of a ‘well paid’ job is now $120,177 per annum.

Careers are now seen as dynamic and fluid. If we don’t feel our choice of career is right, we’ll switch to something else. The average worker has changed careers close to twice already, and 35% have made this switch in the last five years. Three in five Aussies would consider changing careers if they didn’t feel fulfilled by their work

We believe the jobs of the future will depend on ongoing training and technology: 72% believe the jobs of the future will be in technology. Over half (57%) believe it’s important for school students to have the opportunity to learn how to code or build apps. With technological advances now a constant in the work place, 79% believe that ongoing training and upskilling are essential to advancing their career.

What do these findings mean?

Leigh O’Neill, Executive General Manager Business Direct and Small Business, National Australia Bank, remarked, “The digital economy allows SMBs to be more agile and flexible, providing more opportunities for them to better communicate with customers to meet their needs. Our research shows that social media is now seen as vital for small businesses – with over two thirds of Aussies believing that leveraging social media is essential for SMB owners.

“Technology will drastically shape the labour market of the future, and many of us will be employed in jobs that don’t exist yet. This is an exciting period of change, with technology and social media providing Aussies with more opportunities to pursue their passions and launch their own start-ups.

“One in four Aussies are now self-employed in their own business, and many more have indicated their intentions to launch a start-up in the future. Whether it’s launching their own SMB or embracing micro-entrepreneurship, it’s clear that Aussies are intent on pursuing careers which make them happy.

“But small business owners aren’t the only ones influenced by the spirit of entrepreneurism. Many Australians are getting in on the act at a micro level online, embracing the peer-to-peer and sharing economy to derive an income. Whether it’s launching their own business or embracing microentrepreneurship, it’s clear that Aussies are intent on pursuing careers which make them happy.

“Our research reveals that Aussies believe upskilling in technology will be essential for the future of their careers. With small businesses holding the largest share of total employment in Australia, it’s important that SMB owners are considering how they can upskill themselves and their employees, in order to adapt their businesses and continue to grow.”

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