At some point during college in between the late night keggers and the 48-hour study sessions you may have caught the entrepreneurial bug. Even though you completed your studies you just can’t see yourself working in your field for a long period of time or for any time at all. That’s cool and all, but are you sure you want to trade in a boss for something worse?
Are you sure that you’re ready to be your own boss? I personally think and want to argue the point that all young entrepreneurs need to hold down a real job at one point.
Why I do think that young entrepreneurs should hold down a job after college?
I personally always see myself holding down some sort of a part-time job because I love being around people. I love meeting new people and interacting with co-workers. Depending on where you work, you can meet some amazing people at work. Some of my closest friends and people I look up today I met at one job or another. I even dated a girl I met at a previous job for a few years.
I imagine that sitting in front of a computer or working from home can get pretty lonely real fast. Sure you could meet friends at the gym or stay in touch with your current friends, but a traditional job usually brings a diverse group of people together.
Understand how companies work.
An excellent supervisor/manager can turn into a life long mentor. An entrepreneur may not be the best employee but you can sure learn how an operation runs. This experience can be very beneficial to you down the line because you never know when you might just re-enter the work force.
Test the waters.
It’s always a good idea to test the waters. All the entrepreneurship-hype might suck you into something that’s not for you. Some of us are meant to be intrapreneurs. That is individuals that display entrepreneurial characteristics within the work place. I mean there’s so much hype about working for yourself these days that it’s ridiculous. A job description shouldn’t be a self description. If you test the waters by holding down a job you could realize that a steady paycheck is what you need in your life. Not everyone is meant to travel the world and be their own boss.
Time management improvements.
For my first few semesters of college I kept on telling myself that I would get better grades if I partied less and worked less. Then one semester I decided to work a little less and stay in more often. What happened? I just watched more tv! This is at the point where I wrote that college is the best time to start a business. The sooner you learn to manage your time the better off you will be. More time doesn’t equate to more work done. By working and trying to start your own side business you’ll be forced to enter the art of time management (or you might get hooked on Red Bull).
Make some money.
As a recent college graduate you might have student debt that you need to pay off. Along with this you also need to save up some money. A traditional job can be what you need to pay down your debt and start investing towards your entrepreneurial goals. My income has allowed me to invest money into my online business (mailing list, design work, coaching) that I normally wouldn’t have. As you start saving money you can freelance on the side to see if there’s a market out there for what you’re offering.
We need a sense of urgency sometimes. We might think that a 9-5 job is not right for us. The only way to find out is to try holding down a job first.
We also might not have the motivation to hustle 100% with our own business due to the millions of distractions out there.
Chris Guillebeau put it best in his book:
All things being equal we generally resist change until the pain of making a switch becomes less than the pain of remaining in our current situation.
This means that we need to be pushed to take bold actions. A job you hate with a boss that acts like Michael Scott and co-workers like Dwight might be all that you need to get motivated to crush it with your new business.
Now that I’ve shared my thoughts I would love to hear what moves would you recommend for college graduates that are interested in entrepreneurship?