Will entrepreneurship change the fundamental way we find jobs?
I have been a “gigger” for a while. Dancing, mostly elegantly, upon some pretty great jobs, but not truly landing…for a reason. Since I graduated from college, I have found great displeasure trying to “fit” myself into a “regular” job mold. Where I have found my footing, and my talents, is in finding jobs that fit me. Most of us, in my generation and those previous have, by and large, accepted that you follow a path. High school, college, perhaps post-grad, apply to jobs that you might fit, get one, and keep it…forever. Does that make anyone else want to scream and run for the high Himalayas?
If you search the web, you will find a veritable plethora of consultants labeled as “career coaches” or “life coaches.” There seems to be a huge need for these folks. Their goal: to try to help you find either a reason for your job or a reason to quit your job. Some are interesting and knowledgeable too having become life coaches because they, like most, despised their jobs. So, the question bears asking, why are we all so dissatisfied?
I theorize that we, as a people, inherently have an entrepreneurial spirit. When that spirit is being held back, so is one’s creativity, perseverance, and, I believe, one’s real talents. Crush my spirit, why don’t you…that is worth 30 years?
Whether you strike out on your own as a solo entrepreneur starting and growing an off or on-line empire, or work with a group of great like-minded people championing a cause, or make arrangements within your occupation to be more entrepreneurial in your thinking; you unleash the entrepreneurial beast within you. This, in turn, unleashes the best in you and allows you to feel great about your job, like Oprah…living your potential! Ownership in your work, yields relevance to your work.
There many of companies out there, Google being one of them, that attempt to find talent apart from Universities (check out this CNN article and Business Insider article). Why would this be? Is it possible that you don’t have to go to college to be smart? Further, these companies find that sometimes colleges stifle the creativity and skills of young people according to CNN, the Huffington Post and Forbes magazine. If we look to the military for answers, we all know that the purpose of boot camp is to break one down and rebuild him back up to become the most efficient he can be for the job at hand (the military in this case). So then, why wouldn’t a company want to take a young person and build him up from scratch rather than having rebuild an already “broken” college grad?
What does this mean for those about to launch into college or the workforce? It is cheaper than ever to start a business these days with the global reach of technology. With about $1.99 and a GoDaddy account, I can have a storefront up in minutes selling affiliate products through Amazon, as just one example. I probably have at least two bucks in my couch cushions so…
If you ARE looking to work for a company, which is great, more and more you will find that employers, at least good ones, are becoming amicable to the idea of allowing you to work in different ways. These companies are providing employees with job flexibility, decision-making powers, and, ultimately, the freedom for employees to find a work-life balance which lends to ownness and a feeling of respect so they will likely give their best self to the job, which, is kind of what everyone wants, isn’t it?
“Times they are a changin’ “ for sure. When I was growing up, the only requirement my father had of me was that I went to and finished college. It was the only thing that mattered. It meant employment, security, a retirement, a pension….hahahahahahahahahaha! It actually meant that I would get a degree (engineering) that I didn’t like, get a job I loathed, and I would have a life crisis of sorts at 25. How did that all work out? Now, I have no security, no retirement benefits lest the ones I get myself, I can be summarily fired without any semblance of due process and, some days, I have no idea when the next paycheck is coming, and, it is still 150% more preferable to the 9-5, rather 7-6 grind I would have otherwise endured. Timeclocks? Are you kidding me?
It’s not just me, there is a whole world of younger folks behind me, refusing and rejecting the idea that you have to put your time in for 30 or 40 years on the road to retirement. The world is changing. We can work from virtually anywhere, anytime. We are portable, dynamic, and it makes for a more productive and engaged workforce. All of this is part of that entrepreneurial spirit I mentioned earlier. We all have it. We all want to build something ourselves, be proud of something, find meaning in our work, understand how our creativity creates goodness and makes a difference. We want ownership over what we do and how we do it. That’s Entrepreneurship!
Toi is a Regional Coordinator for Entre-Ed and a regular contributor to the site.