Young Aussies choose to put their passions first in the wake of COVID

New findings from a study commissioned by GoDaddy reveal that 57 per cent of young Aussies are either already running or intend to start their own business or side hustle as the pandemic has forced them to make a shift in their career plans and work priorities.

The survey also reveals that one in four would rather own and run their own business than work for someone else, and that they are prepared to take a pay cut of up to 20 per cent in order to do so.

“Where previous generations may have prioritised financial stability or job security, these traits are less important for young Australians today,” GoDaddy Australia Managing Director Tamara Oppen said. “The pandemic had a seismic impact on the job market, particularly for young Aussies, with youth unemployment higher than during the global financial crisis of 2008 as industries like tourism, hospitality and retail were hit hard.

“Their response has been remarkable, with young Australians backing themselves to turn their passions into a business,” Oppen added. “Our research showed that they are running businesses and side hustles that let them feel greater empowerment at work and the flexibility to let them pursue life’s other passions such as travelling, hobbies or spending time with friends and families.”

Current and future young Aussie entrepreneurs are attracted to digital business, with the research finding retail and eCommerce make up 18 per cent of the current businesses they run, followed by professional services (nine per cent) such as marketing, design and photography.

The research shows that 12 per cent of young Aussies already have their own business or side hustle. A further 20 per cent plan to start one in the next 12 months, while another third (33 per cent) planning to wait for at least 12 months.

The most important factors for young Australians when choosing a career are pursuing their dream and work/life balance (both 58 per cent). Other key considerations are mental health (35 per cent) and flexibility (28 per cent), while 19 per cent say that security and the benefits of permanent employment were top of mind.

“GoDaddy has seen a 16 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of our customers aged 18-34 – almost double the national growth rate of 10 per cent,” Oppen said. “Our research found that the biggest barriers to starting their own business were not having enough money (55 per cent) and not having the skills (39 per cent).

“Some of today’s most successful companies were start-ups and small businesses that, sensing an opportunity, were born during a global financial crisis. As we grow beyond the pandemic, we’re excited to see what the next generation of young entrepreneurial-minded Aussies do,” Oppen concluded.