The Job Experience Trap

For people who  have entrepreneurial desires and look to go that route at some point, one of the common things people tell them to do is to first get some good ol’ “job experience”.  While different people face different situations, the job experience route can be detrimental for a number of reasons.

Nothing jolts humans to action more than discomfort. By the nature of a job, it implies stability and certainty. Jobs comes with a fairly high standard of living and a decent life. Yes, people can use those years working to save up some money. But when people leave jobs to get on the entrepreneurial route, most times, their standard of living takes a huge hit and are uncertain about when they will rebound to their previous standard of living. After being accustomed to a fairly good standard of living for a while, many fear taking the plunge or even become bugged down by commitments which complicate their situation.

Another reasons many people suggest job experience are the skills, the shown track record, and networks which people can gain. While it still holds true, many things have changed. With the rise of the internet networking is easier to do than and people now have ability more than ever to embark on projects which signal value they can add to others. With the internet, people can blog, podcast, and work on different projects. Furthermore, rather than having to break into networks people can set out to create their own networks with like-minded people using online tools like Meetup.

Trying to get some job experience in a way is a continuation of the schooling (which is different from education) conveyor belt. People continue in the track of regimentation in which they work towards goals which others set, regurgitate cliches and facts without ever really thinking them through, learn how to do things “correctly” so they can gain some reward, and never really take time to find out who they truly are.

Everyone is unique. For some getting some job experience before an entrepreneurial venture might work out and might be the appropriate things to do.  But in today’s world, through some creativity and thinking outside the box, the job experience route might not be necessary. Getting some job experience might have the effect of people delaying the process of discovering who they truly are because of attention deflected from self-discovery. At the end of the day, entrepreneurship is fundamentally a process of self-discovery in which people find out who they truly are ad what their strengths and weaknesses are. Businesses are just as good as those who run them and in order for business to become better, those who run them first have to do that first.