Young Aussies rethink careers after pandemic impact reveals GoDaddy

Tamara Oppen, Managing Director of GoDaddy Australia

Two in three young Aussies either run or intend to start their own business with the pandemic radically shifting their career plans and work priorities, new GoDaddy research has found. Half of all young Aussies surveyed said they have had to change career due to the pandemic.

What role did the pandemic play in the seismic shift?

The GoDaddy survey of 1,002 Australians aged 18-24 years found that one in four would rather own and run their own business than work for someone else and are prepared to take a pay cut to do so. GoDaddy Australia Managing Director Tamara Oppen shared that the research revealed 57% of young Australians said the pandemic had changed their work priorities, with following their passion as more important than financial security.

“Where previous generations may have prioritised financial stability, these traits are less important for young Aussies today. 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,” she said.

“Their response has been remarkable, with young Aussies backing themselves to turn their passions into a business. 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.”

What were the findings of the survey?

Current and future young Aussie entrepreneurs are attracted to digital business, with the research finding retail and ecommerce make up 18% of the current businesses, followed by professional services (9%) such as marketing, design and photography.

The GoDaddy research with young Australians and their work plans also found:

  • 12% young Aussies already have their own business. A further 20% plan to start one in the next 12 months, while another third (33%) planning to wait for at least 12 months.

  • The most vital factors when choosing a career were pursuing their dreams and work/life balance (both 58%). Other key factors were mental health (35%) and flexibility (28%), while just 19% said security and the benefits of permanent employment were top of mind.

  • The average young Aussie surveyed said they would be willing to forgo almost 20% of their salary for a job or career they are genuinely passionate about.

How has GoDaddy helped the young entrepreneurs?

The pursuit of a passion is something Ellie Colquhoun, founder of boutique muesli brand Musellie, can attest to. Ellie was inspired to create her own muesli recipe in her final year at high school, and she saw an opportunity during the pandemic to expand her business.

“I’ve always been passionate about nutrition. When my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago, we turned to plant-based goodness. As a passionate cook, I started making home-made muesli. Started off as a hobby, then turned into a side-hustle,” Ellie says.

“During the pandemic, I thought it was time to expand my business so I built my first website using GoDaddy. Having no experience in web design, GoDaddy was the perfect tool in helping me create a professional-looking website. I’d encourage anyone with a passion, regardless of their age, to pursue it. Passion is what drove me and made my business a success today.”

Ms Oppen said: “GoDaddy has seen a 16% YoY increase in the number of our clients aged 18-34, almost double the national growth rate of 10%. We found that the biggest barriers to starting a business were not having enough money (55%) and not having the skills (39%).”

“GoDaddy’s mission is to support these entrepreneurs and empower them with the tools, support and guidance they need to start and scale rewarding online businesses. 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.”