Millennials aren’t interested in mastering just one skill or one career. Ask a young person what they do for a living and it will sound something like….at the moment…I code, I blog, I freelance, I work at a startup, I want to make a difference. Millennials are chameleons. Constantly changing shapes while looking to add more skills, knowledge, and enhance to their repertoire.
That said, it’s no surprise that Global Industry Analystshas valued the online learning and course industry at over $107 billion as of last year. That’s because almost anything you want to learn can be found online, and that’s where millennials are turning.
The era of 30-year-long career paths with one or two companies has come and gone. Two years is the median average a millennial spends in the same job according to a Payscale Report. And for good reason, too: there are a million and one ways to make money today, while doing work that is purpose-driven and what you love. New careers are being invented every minute. Like the emerging tech scene in the cannabis industry or YouTubers taking home an annual seven-figures.
The path to success is no longer linear and, now, you can create literally anything you want and be paid for it.For me, that reality became clear in 2011.
It was my senior year of college at the University of Colorado Boulder. I had just launched my first online business, selling feather hair extensions to salons I would get from a fly fishing shop. The idea came out of a just-for-fun project of dying and fastening long rooster feathers in my hair. Soon, others began asking for them. People loved it and so did I, so I decided to put my passion project online. But I didn’t know where it would go. I had no experience. No idea how to build a website, how to get customers, how to set up a merchant account, etc. So I did what any millennial in my situation would do: I googled it.
Several days, over 20+ hours, and a few false starts later… I was live. It took exactly 8 hours to make the first sale and I couldn’t believe it. In the following months, it took off. Feathers became “the summer fashion trend in 2011” for women across the U.S. and then Canada, Europe, and Australia. I couldn’t keep inventory in stock.
Even my dad, who didn’t believe me when I first said I wasn’t getting a job after graduating, eventually came around. He knew I was blazing my own path and that I couldn’t go back.
It was the start of my non-traditional journey. And that is what this blog is dedicated to. It’s where I’m going to share the stories of other millennials, like myself, following their own non-traditional paths. The route that is, in my opinion, becoming more common and more rewarding every day.
No longer will my generation do the “right things” like getting good grades, getting into a good college, and getting a steady job be the sole path. Finding our path requires more and shows that a new model for success is emerging. Innovative thinking, creativity, problem solving, and belief in yourself are foundations of this new paradigm.
Every week, through this blog and my podcast “Unconventional Life,” you will hear new examples that model where millennials are finding and pursuing their distinct passions. My hope is that you will hear stories like theirs and my own, and know that you are not alone.
This blog and podcast is for you: if you have an idea, a passion, a dream that you want to create. Even if you are just beginning or haven’t started yet. This is your resource to take the next step.
Welcome to the family.
This article originally appeared on Forbes.com