Thursday, August 27, 2009

It Beats Looking for a Job

Having to do a job search under any circumstance is absolutely no fun. Sending out your resume again and again over the internet onto job sites populated by thousands of people just like you is draining at best and a total waste of time at worst. How many times have you rewritten your resume in the hopes of landing one or two interviews for the hundreds of job openings you find? Every day your self esteem is being destroyed by a process you have absolutely no control over. Would it not be better to try and create something of value and where you are directly benefiting from the effort, skills and talents you put into it?

Seize the Day

As a talented or skilled professional, searching for a job is actually a very shortsighted endeavor. We are all aware that gone are the days when people worked at the same company for twenty to thirty years and retired with a pension large enough to sustain a comfortable retirement lifestyle. Since the mid-1980s, most professionals have changed jobs every three to four years not because they wanted to, but because they were forced to due to layoffs, RIFs or other such downsizing nonsense.

So what is the alternative? What is a person to do? How can you become an entrepreneur and start a business if you do not know the first thing about it? It is ironic that starting a busy takes a lot of time, effort, and planning, but so does looking for a job. The difference is once you start your own business, you might end up with something worthwhile and of value, while taking another job will just leave you looking for another one in three to five years. Not a pretty prospect.

Yes, yes, yes. You are saying that due to your experience and know-how finding a job should be easy, even if I have to look for one again in a few years. Let me correct that thinking with four really good reasons you should consider the entrepreneurial route if you are presently unemployed or underemployed.

If you have reached the stage in your professional career where you were earning a comfortable living or have developed skills honed over many years in business, there are many strikes against you on the job search front. Here are four reasons why becoming an entrepreneur may better serve your long-term financial goals:

  • Experience – Yes, this is a big negative. Unfortunately, few companies hire at a senior level and most expect you to come aboard at an entry- or mid-level role.
  • Location - The job you want may not exist in the city where you live, which either forces you to relocate or else downgrade your desires.
  • Security - There are no guarantees these days that a 50-year-old company will still exist next year or be in such a good financial state as it is today. Leaderships and markets change, and big companies are quick to fire the newly hired or overpaid quickly.
  • Personality - The corporate world forces people to conform to a particular mindset. Not all of us are cut out to operate in this manner, but having a maverick-type personality is oftentimes a dead-ender when working for others.
On the surface each of these four items should be great in helping you find a job, but are actually a detriment. On the contrary, they are exactly what can help you when becoming being an entrepreneur.

Change of Focus

Ok, maybe you have the skills and temperament to be an entrepreneur and start your own business, so what should you do next? First, make an honest list of your skills and experience. Make sure to include skills that you might not have used everyday at your old job, but what you might use when you volunteer, and your children’s school, or with your church group. Start networking with other business owners and entrepreneurs and find out with it took to start a business and what skills then needed in order to be successful. These are the types of people who love to give great advice. Check out various franchising opportunities on the Web, since buying a franchise is one of the easiest ways to own a business.

Explore your local community college and sign up for a course in entrepreneurship. People just like you who took the plunge and never again looked back at the job searching process are usually the ones who teach these classes. If you are currently employed but nervous as to how long your job will be there, begin doing some freelance work or consider starting a business on the side. This will let you see if you are cut out for the entrepreneurial lifestyle, bring in some extra cash, and provide a welcome landing spot if that pink slip shows up someday on your desk.

The Choice Is Yours

Here is a closing question for you: Where would you be today, both financially and emotionally, if you had become an entrepreneur and started your own business the last time you were laid off or unemployed and slogging through a job search?

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