Unemployed? Start your own business
Namibia’s unemployment rate has been on the spotlight for sometime now, to an extent that those who are unemployed have appreciated the sympathy that comes with it.
However, the question is; does that provide mahangu or sugar for your family? Hell no! Instead of playing the victim’s card and being part of a statistic, start your own ka-small business.
In this day and age, employment is so difficult to come by. Since I finished university education in 2003, I have only been employed for three years, to date. At my age, I have already passed my sell-by-date. New graduates are coming up with a bit of an edge than myself and I am therefore becoming rusty.
A job search, under any circumstances, is no treat - it involves rewriting your resume at least a dozen times. Job searching on the internet day after day and landing maybe two interviews for every hundred openings you dig up, especially in a shaky economy like ours, can be downright brutal.
Business revenues decline, causing companies to cut payrolls. This leads to the lack of personnel, which drives frustrated customers away. It’s a vicious cycle. But why get trapped in that rat-race if you don’t have to? I guese selling your own kapana or whatever you are good at would be better.
Starting a business trumps job searching:
Looking for jobs can be a very short-sighted process. Gone are the days when people worked at the same company for decades and retired with a nice pension. Since at least the 1980s, most professionals change jobs every three to four years and it’s usually the employers’ choice, rather than the workers’.
Starting a business can be a scary proposition, especially if you come to the process with a lot of unanswered questions in your mind. But a job search can take up just as much time, effort and even capital. Besides, here is all you’re left with at the end of that road: Just another job that you might hold for five years, after which it’s the same process all over again, except, you’re now five years older!
I have known great CEOs who were once fired like dogs at a company we all thought was theirs and things continue to be normal. However, I know a lot of buinsesses where an owner dies and things completely change. Be the driver, not the passenger.
Four reasons to drop job searching for entrepreneurship:
If you have reached a stage in your career where you’re earning a comfortable living as an executive or someone with skills honed over many years in business, there are many strikes against you on the job-search front.
Here are four reasons why starting a business may better serve your long-term financial goals:
Experience - Few companies hire at senior level and expect people to come aboard in an entry- or mid-level role. In your own business, you’re immediately at the top of the heap, both in earning power and in the decision-making process. Even if you are doing everything from cleaning to administration, you can be the chief executive officer; beauty of it!
Location and Flexibility - The job you want may not exist in the city you live in, which will either force you to relocate or downgrade your desires. Starting a business allows you to work wherever you wish. Imagine being a late-comer at work, you will definitely be fired for that. But as a business owner, you can be where you want anytime you want.
Security - While it’s true new businesses can fail, there are no guarantees these days a 50-year-old company will still exist next year, either. By starting a business, you have it within your personal power to be successful. If you’re just another cog in the wheel, most of your own financial future is in the hands of others.
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. This is, however, the exact trait that makes a terrific entrepreneur. I know of a company where one cannot come to the office without a suit; that’s its culture and everyone have to follow suit.
Take these steps to start your business search:
Instead of looking for jobs, try making a list of your skills and experiences. Seek out small business owners you may know and find out what skills they had before they took the leap - people love to give advice, after all. 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 college or university and sign up for a course in entrepreneurship.
People, just like you who took the plunge, are usually the ones who teach these classes. If you’re currently employed but nervous about how long you will have your job, begin doing some freelance work or consider starting a business on the side. This will let you see if you’re cut out for the entrepreneurial lifestyle, bring in some extra income and provide a welcome landing spot for when the ‘pink slip’ someday shows up on your desk.
Closing Question: Where would you be today - both financially and emotionally - had you started your own business the last time you were slogging through a job-search?
Till next week