Millennial Blair James On Growing His Business
Case study - Blair James, 30, James Group real estate director
21 October 2021
At James Group, the average age of the 27 staff members is 26 years old. That’s not surprising really, given Blair James, the ambitious director, set up the company when he was 24.
James has no regrets about making the ‘big leap’.
When it comes to millennials, it’s important new hires have ambition and are full of ideas, he says. In return for their enthusiasm and hard work, they can work remotely and have flexible hours.
Everything at their fingertips
“Millennials want everything, and we want it now,” James says.“That’s one of the downsides of technology.
Because everything is at our fingertips, we expect that with our careers. And we expect to be leap-frogging to the top positions or earning six-figure salaries immediately.
“But work has got to come before the play.”
Self-awareness is an important quality, he explains.
“Millennials might be driven but not self-aware that their path towards growth or success is going to leave a trail of destruction, because they aren’t considering other people.
“It’s really important that they have the drive, but it needs to be harnessed, or complemented by those other values.”
New ways to bring in experience
Despite a lack of experience among its young staff members, the company brings in experience in
other ways. James’ father Warwick, who has over 35 years of industry experience, is a consultant.
Like-minded property professionals are always willing to give up their time in support of this emerging business.
“It doesn’t all have to be under the same roof,” James says – there are other ways to bring in that industry experience.
Technology makes business easier
James’ team are “young guns with old-school values”. He doesn’t believe millennials have any more entrepreneurial spirit than previous generations.
“But the avenues and the opportunities that exist in today’s world with technology and innovation – and even our communication channels – make it so much easier to realise those business ideas.”
And even if you’re short on money to fund your idea, there’s technology for that too – try crowdfunding platforms.
While the company’s human resources team interviews and looks at applicants from across the board, James says millennials have so far been a better fit with the company’s culture.
“The dynamic is really important – there are lots of people going through the same life stage. There’s not a lot of previous work experience, so there are not a lot of egos in the room and bad habits to undo. They’re just keen to go out there and smash it.”
First published 28 February 2019
Story by Claire Connell
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