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Will Generation X become the Business Boomers?

Justin Small, founder and CEO of The Future Strategy Club, explains how Covid redundancies could spur a new wave of 40+ entrepreneurs.

In August, the Financial Conduct Authority released a report delving into the impact of coronavirus-induced redundancies and pay cuts on different generations.

More than a quarter of Generation Xers (27%) are working in Covid-19 impacted sectors and 21% have been furloughed, representing hundreds of thousands of people aged between 40 and 55.

When the 2008 crash hit, Generation Xers were reaching the peak of their careers and many would have been forced to start again. Now, this cohort finds themselves impacted by the coronavirus pandemic at the point where they have successfully climbed the job ladder. 

Viewed as a ‘sandwich’ generation between the optimistic Millennials and well-established Baby Boomers, this time around, Generation X has the chance to capitalise on their skillset and start their own businesses – an opportunity perhaps not as viable after the 2008 recession.

Millennials are renowned as the entrepreneurial generation;  however in the UK, the average entrepreneur is actually 40+.

I see a growth of 40+ entrepreneurs over the next few years or so, whether in a contractor, freelancing or product-focused SME capacity, because the PAYE pay-check may not be the most reliable constant in life planning any longer. Instead, the skills and the experience accrued over decades in professional environments will be invaluable to many businesses trying to adapt to the new normal. The ability of these Gen Xers to monetise these skills will become ever more important.

At The Future Strategy Club, we work with a body of these experienced individuals who now have circa 15 years’ worth of skills to tap in to, having weathered the 2008 crisis and now Covid-19.

Now, with kids and mortgages in tow, stepping back onto an upwards facing career ladder is not on the agenda. For the majority of these entrepreneurial self-starters, they see the Covid-19 period as an opportunity to work for themselves, choose their own working environment and gain true security from their own knowledge and skillset. Freelancing and running their own company enable growth and purpose, leading to the freedom of self-reliance.

If Covid-19 has shown us anything, it is that this self-reliance is ultimately the only security we can rely on in the end. I believe Covid-19 will be the catalyst for a massive amount of 40+ talent to change careers, and finally put their business ideas into action.

The Future Strategy Club is a members club of more than 250 UK experienced C-level consultants and leading creative talent.

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