1 in 4 young adults believe they work harder than previous generations

LONDON — Many young adults will tell you they’ve had a much harder time securing steady employment, home ownership, and financial stability than their parents. Conversely, it’s become very common for older adults these days to call younger generations lazy and distracted. Wherever your opinion falls in the debate, a recent survey finds young people believe they’re hustling harder and earlier than ever before.

Set up by Open University, the survey polled 1,000 respondents between the ages of 17 and 18. Over a quarter told researchers that they work harder than older generations. In fact, 28 percent of teens who plan to attend college report they already have a passion project that provides some income and hope to eventually turn that passion into a successful career.

Another 23 percent already work a part-time job, as well as a “side hustle,” with both having a connection to their chosen area of study. Meanwhile, one in three say they chose their college major based on what they’re passionate about.

With all of these revelations in mind, it makes sense that over half the poll (56%) believe it’s very important to have the flexibility to both work and study. Perhaps the days of the full-time student being the norm will soon be over.

“This last year has amplified concerns about money and jobs for young people, but it’s also clear that this Generation Hustle is hungrier than ever to make up for lost time,” says Open University Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Blackman in a statement. “Many are approaching higher education having already plugged into their hobbies and interests, often turning these into genuine enterprises.”

Everything isn’t about money

The OnePoll survey reveals one in five young adults (22%) also have a passion project that doesn’t currently earn any income. Among that group, 46 percent say their passion is somewhat on the back burner right now but one day it will lead to a money-making career. Another 16 percent believe their passion project keeps them sane and helps with overall well-being.

On average, a young adult with a side hustle spends about 10 hours weekly on the endeavor. Dedication, ambition, and creativity rank as the top three traits that turn an idea into a successful project. Also, 84 percent of respondents are counting on their university education to provide expert learning advice that will help them make their dreams a reality.

“Generation Hustle are ahead of the game and display a determined mentality to get the most from both their study and their passions,” Prof. Blackman concludes.

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