Carve your own path' - millionaire's message to Kiwi youth

  • 04/11/2017

A Kiwi millionaire wants young people to follow their dreams, rather than settle for a sensible but boring job.

Derek Handley is currently back in New Zealand on a mission to identify young people to join his Aera fellowship, which assigns "socially transformative" projects to young people heading overseas for study.

Mr Handley made his money in mobile marketing, and wants others to find their true calling in life - while still being able to pay the bills.

"I think the best way to make a living or a life is to do that by doing the things that you really care about," he told The Nation on Saturday. 

"So finding a way to carve your own path - not necessarily chasing dreams, but making sure you're following what's inside and what's telling you what things you should be working on." 

He says more and more young people are taking career risks, and it's linked into changes in wider society and generational change.

"I think generationally, the shift for younger people is more and more accepted, and encouraged, that they should be following the path they think they should be following - the true path that they are most interested in.

"We're not accepting and looking at the status quo and thinking that this is the way we should continue. When you have different young politicians joining the fray, I think these are all people indicating, 'Actually I am going to follow the things that I think I should be doing.'"

According to Mr Handley this generational shift is even evident in politics, as a new Government begins and older politicians leave office. The new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, is only 37 - a borderline millennial. 

"My belief is incoming generations believe that everything is a hybrid, you know? We need to pick from different quarters to create new types of policies for a new way. 

"We can start with common ground, build on common sense, but we need to have policies that look like things that are unlike what has been previously."