There’s an excellent article in the New York Times about young college graduates punting on the job market and choosing to become entrepreneurs instead. The anecdotes range from wildly successful to unabashed failures. Starting a business in your 20’s used to be an option only for the wealthy, well-connected or bold individualists willing to risk failure. Now it’s an attractive alternative to dead-end “entry level” jobs, serial “internships”, or living with your parents while avoiding the realization that your degree may have prepared you for nothing better than a career in retail sales.
Following several paragraphs of inspiring examples, the article cautions “Even if these 20-somethings pulled it off, the reality is a vast majority of entrepreneurs, of any age, don’t succeed.” Does having a job—any job—qualify as success? Which is preferable, a low-paying, insecure job not in your field of choice, or a start-up that limps along for a year or so, providing a meager income, but provides you with an understanding of business and markets that you would never have gotten sitting in a cubicle? That develops your self-discipline and expands your capabilities? That thrusts you into a management role a decade before you would experience it working your way up some mythical corporate ladder?
For young entrepreneurs who want to learn more about starting a business, finding funding and other resources, and ditching the job search routine, check out Never Get a Real Job, and it’s companion, the Death to the Resume Movement. In fact, if you’re not young and not an entrepreneur, check it out anyway. It might come in handy next time you’re laid off.