For the under-30 crowd, a career isn’t about graduating college and working for a Fortune 500 company anymore. It’s about finding a passion, usually involving social, economic, or environmental issues.
In the May 2012 The Tennessean article, “Young entrepreneurs blaze their own trail,” writer Duane Marstellar suggests that more and more young adults are becoming entrepreneurs for economic and personal reasons. Marstellar cites:
Joblessness among 18- to 29-year-olds nationally is at the highest levels since the U.S. Labor Department began keeping track. That group’s 15.8 percent unemployment rate in April was nearly twice the overall rate of 8.1 percent.
So instead of taking a risk, following a “traditional career path,” and losing their job due to a layoff sometime in the near future, they are taking a risk on themselves and starting their own business. In most cases, a profitable business that supports their chosen cause.
Hey, Young Entrepreneurs: Shake the World
In the Inc. article of the same name, Jessica Stillman writes about James Marshall Reilly, the author of the new book, Shake the World: It’s Not About Finding a Job, It’s About Creating a Life. Specifically, Reilly suggests that new entrepreneurs…
…need to learn to dabble, experiment and most of all redefine their understanding of risk.
Instead of looking at risk as something negative, Reilly suggests you consider it an “unbridled opportunity.” Graduating from college and pursuing a career path centered on your particular degree with a large employer is not necessarily the right course.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket but dabble. You don’t have a mortgage. You might have some student debt so understand your financial situation, but when you’re young is the time to explore. That’s something we don’t do enough of.
Gen Y Entrepreneurs Rock the World of Business
Sixty-four percent of entrepreneurs surveyed for the book Upstarts: How Gen Y Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business indicated they started their company with a partner.
First, having a partner provides someone for feedback and moral support. Secondly, when the economy is down, there are more people with which to make a connection. Even if they don’t have a great idea, you do. Let them bring something else to the table. Financing, perhaps?
New graduates need not limit themselves to the tried-and-true career path of their parents. Becoming an entrepreneur may be risky, but as author Erica Jong once said, “If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”