(This is part of the series “What are Gen Ys looking for at Work?”, in which I interview Gen Ys, Gen Xs, and others regarding multi-generational issues in the workplace.)

Perx (www.getperx.com) is a Singapore-based startup that was originally launched to provide a replacement for traditional paper loyalty cards. Over the years, it has evolved into a mobile marketing platform focused on helping merchants acquire, learn, and grow customers through targeted mobile marketing, and to build a mobile bridge between merchants and customers.

In this section of the interview, I talk to Hamzah Hassan, a Gen Y Client Manager at Perx, about what motivates a Gen Y to work for a startup.

Hi, I am Marion Neubronner, co-author of the book “Turning Gen Y On – What Every Leader Needs To Know”. And today we have the high potential 29-year-old Gen Y, and we want to learn more from him, so thank you, Hamzah Hassan, for this interview.

Now, I think it’s very interesting that you actually entered a certain industry, and now this industry that you are in, the startup industry, and it’s basically this whole technological field, is very different from what you started with. But you felt clear that you were not fulfilled in the last one. So what motivates you exactly about this startup?

Well, firstly, my educational background was actually quite technical – I studied Electrical Engineering in university and I decided to use the analytical training from engineering studies in the field of finance. But when working for a big organization, what I really felt was that I was essentially a very small cog in a very large machine. The amount of change that I could affect was relatively minuscule at one level. In the startup industry, the situation is directly opposite. In fact, you were not just the bigger cog, you are sometimes the machine yourself.

The impact of one’s decisions are felt every single day on the actual business itself and when one is able to view the results of one’s actions in such an impactful way, it becomes extremely motivating to not only work harder, but to also work smarter and bring one’s A-Game to the table.

Right. So this is very interesting because I feel — I understand a lot of Gen Y would like to see significance and impact. But there is always this little tie-in where “Oh I’m young”, and then “How about earning enough money” and all that. You gave up a finance job for a startup. How do you reconcile that?

Well, as far as the finance part is concerned, my pay wasn’t too great before. So I’m —

From peanuts to peanuts?

Not necessarily peanuts to peanuts. I make a decent sandwich for myself.

In terms of work, it’s definitely a lot more interesting and challenging over here. And then the — in terms of volume, they are roughly the same. But in terms of actual having to think and make decisions and come up with intelligent solutions, there is a much higher requirement for that.

To watch the video, please click here.


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