The digital revolution has taken over all pores of our society - as well as business. Newly created jobs today are the best paid. However, our region does not use the capacity of young people enough, despite that they are the world's initiators of the economy. Our young people lack motivation, entrepreneurial spirit and the support of society to do the most sought-after jobs today.
Vladimir Aleksić moved in with his grandparents when he enrolled at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Belgrade. After graduating from college, he started working at Microsoft. When it comes to programming, he likes to constantly encounter new problems that
need to be solved, and at the same time he can immediately see the results of his work.
"As a child, I was never interested in using computers alone. I remember we got a computer when I was very young and it mostly collected dust. Until I figured out how to get a computer to do something I want. It was an extremely frustrating period when I didn't know how it worked, I was trying to figure it out, but it ended with a repairman coming every third day to fix it. However, that feeling when something works and does what you want is great!“, says Vladimir.
Video number 1; Credits: Pexels.com/Ivan Samkov; Caption for video: Creating a short video clip for the application TikTok Every video is one of the newest jobs. Fulfilling the challenges, trying new dancing moves and making the video as interesting as possible are some of the ways to attract viewers.
Software developers, gamers, influencers, YouTubers - the most desirable professions today. While as children we watched our parent’s first phones with antennas and the simplest operations, today we scroll through our smartphones and we can earn more than the average salary. The monthly net salary in September 2021. in Serbia for the sector of Computer programming, consulting and related activities amount to 1660 euros. During that time, the sector of Office-administrative and other auxiliary business activities has income in the amount of 690 euros.
Infographic credits: Maja Milošević
IF YOU DON’T PUSH START YOU WILL NEVER START UP
As the rest of the world progressed, a different set of ideas that shaped today’s opinion flowed through our region. Maybe society accepted software developers, but we are still not brave enough for starting our own business while we are still young.
Credits: Pixabay.com/ StartupStockPhotos
The startup is a company focused on a single product or service, for example, like Google was in the beginning. Free from bureaucracy and way more into the new modern technologies, Strartups resolve problems faster and also make the decision in quickly. When it comes to Serbia, the startup system worth is about 439 million dollars, published by Startup Genome.
What sets startups apart from any other type of business is their ability to achieve exponential growth (number of users, customers, revenue, etc.) thanks to the technology and nature of the products they develop. That is exactly why their impact on the economy is disproportionate to other businesses, claims Nevenka Rangelov from the organization Startit.
"What goes with such growth is the fact that it is not easy to achieve and that even 9/10 of startups fail before or after they hit the market. Therefore, we need to significantly increase the number of startups in our ecosystem, in order to have and a large number of those who have managed to achieve success in the global market, which spills over to the rest of the economy and society in our country", says Rangelov.
THE KEY IS IN EDUCATION
Have you ever thought about buying a cow on Internet? Yes a car, clothes for a night out or something to eat, but not anyone has ever thought about the possibility to buy animals on the Internet. Young guys from Serbia, Miloš Milić and Srdjan Stupar, created a web market for cattle to make it easier for the meat industry to buy cattle, and for farmers to place them on the market.
Startups are mostly started by people when they are young and still do not have a family in order to bear less risk. However, young people often don’t have a clear idea of what knowledge and skills are needed to initiate startups.
Photo credits: Pixabay.com/ StartupStockPhotos
The problem of lack of motivation to start your own business should be looked at the very beginning. As we don’t have an entrepreneurial culture in general, the educational system in Serbia does not have enough subjects that would encourage entrepreneurial spirit.
“For the fundamental development of the startup ecosystem, it was necessary to work on several fronts at the same time. An important role is played by education, both formal and informal, which should present entrepreneurship to young people as a legitimate and attractive career option, and equip them with knowledge of how to take the first steps”, says Nevena Rangelov in front of the organization Startit.
Despite the fact that improvement of the educational system would help develop an entrepreneurial spirit, one of the obstacles is high salaries in the IT sector. The biggest number of startupers comes from that field.
Although it is a positive thing, it also produces a comfort zone for them.
“I think that this is largely a risk aversion that is natural to most people, and in our situation, it seems to me further strengthened by the fact that for the vast majority of professions from which startup founders come, there are currently very good working conditions that do not motivate people to leave secure jobs and embark on a risky entrepreneurial venture, especially that Western Balkans culture doesn’t value the risky business”, Nevena points out.
Software developer Vladimir Aleksić is not thinking about starting his own business for several reasons. He doesn’t think he has enough experience and doesn’t have enough knowledge to manage the whole business. He believes that it is a more demanding and probably more stressful job because the survival of your business depends only on you.
“I believe that it is a much more demanding, and probably more stressful job because the survival of your business depends on you. While working for a larger company, this is not the case because behind you is a whole machine that deals with everything else that you should otherwise worry about. Of course, you pay for it by not having so much freedom about the direction your product will go ”, says Vladimir
What remains is our decision that when we find ourselves in front of two buttons – two life possibilities, we press the green START and embark on the challenge of a new and until now untested experience of older generations.
DOES SOCIETY GIVE US THE SUPPORT WE NEED?
Draga and Đuro Radulović are retired and live with their grandson, a programmer Vladimir. Đuro worked as a butcher, and Draga as a teleprinter and encountered a computer-like machine, but today the only things they use from modern technology are a TV and a call via a mobile phone. It is not clear to them why their grandson spends so much time at the computer, not finishing the whole job in one day, nor why they pay him so much for typing on the computer.
Jobs that are completely dependent on the virtual world, are miles away from our grandparents.
Large, heavy, wooden tables and a pile of paper on them. Some staples, a pen, and a large stapler. On the shelves of the folder in green, red and yellow and a sticker handwritten "Salary calculation for November 2021." Safe salary and break, regular working hours. This kind of work environment is more often the choice of our parents and their parents in the Balkans.
Picture number 4; Photo credits: Pexels.com/ Askar Abayev
Modern jobs bring us a new future that society is not always ready to accept. Especially older generations. It is human nature to turn to the familiar. Older members of society prefer tried and tested professional paths, explains psychologist Ivana Jakšić.
"Society instills ideas about different professions from an early age, so many young people do not realize their full potential due to stereotypes about different jobs. However, despite these influences, young people simply don’t have experience in the field of work and in that sense, it is less known to them, which makes them more open to different options. Also, modern jobs are often connected with modern technologies, which is a domain in which older generations lag behind younger ones ", says psychologist Ivana Jakšić.
Social support is one of the most important, if not the most important factor in mental health and quality of life, says psychologist Ivana Jakšić.
„The sphere of work is an important part of the life of every individual, so the support of close people is extremely important in that area as well. If adequate support from loved ones is lacking, a person will enter work activities with a lack of cognitive energy and self-confidence“, adds Jakšić.
By bridging the generational gap
By bridging the generational gap, both young and old will benefit. As the support of, society and our closest ones is important for us to enter the market stream, it would be worth looking at things from a different angle. We, the youngsters, that we will grow old and that what is modern now will not be modern in the future, and the older ones that they also used to be young bringers of revolutionary novelties.
„Intergenerational contact is the only way to guarantee the reduction of the generation gap, testified by numerous empirical studies. Situations in which young and old are equal and cooperate on a task within which they have a common goal are especially effective. Taking someone else's perspective and empathy are the key processes through which these positive effects are achieved.“, concludes Jakšić.
On the other hand, after experiencing modern business, it is time to try and start our own. Combining all factors - improving the education system that will better guide young people on how to start their own businesses, while at the same time they have support from society and their loved ones despite the fact that new technologies are not close to them and finally, our goodwill, can open the way to a better future.
Keywords: startup, economy growth, generational gap, young, modern jobs, Startit, education system, entrepreneurial spirit
Author: Maja Milošević (Faculty of Political Sciences – University of Belgrade)
Mentor: Assistant professor Marko Nedeljković, Department of Journalism and Communication Studies, Faculty of Political Sciences - University of Belgrade