Career Development · Careers

I need advice about choosing between career path(taking a job)and solo path(building my own business)

Anonymous

May 13th, 2019

I am about to finish my MBA(I wasn't working during my semesters) next week, with a job offer of an export representative for a packaging factory. I have 1.5-2 years of experience in startups and in marketing for a specific region in the world. I am kind of lost between just starting my own business(marketing services for a specific niche) or take the job and see where it takes. Also I might be able to do both at the same time but it can be tricky since I will be working s lot and maybe the company won't allow me due to conflict of interest. What I need is that, I know I am not that expert due to the low number of years working,however should I just go for it and see if it works or just join the slavery land. will the job position offered now have a positive career that will help me create my business or it's just a sales job covered in a fancy name?Do you have an idea which doors that this type of job will open in the future?

Some context: I am Female 25 living in a foreign country that has a financial crises. the salary offered is a base salary that is above than low in little. also you should now that if i didn't take the job it wouldn't affect me financially in a positive way that much.

Bob Chalfant Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, Notre Dame College

May 14th, 2019

Take the job. If you need validation from strangers like us, you're not ready to be an entrepreneur. When it becomes burningly obsessive to start your company that it does not matter what we think, then you will start your company. You won't be asking us.

Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

May 13th, 2019

@Paul has great perspective on this.


To add, having an MBA is a starting place to understanding business, not the finish line. Many, many successful startup founders went from business school into a "real job" to get some training on how businesses operate in the real world. Often, my clients lack an understanding of operations strategy, HR, administrative, and all the other framework needed to support a startup that then consumes resources to realign if not rebuild.


Having some hands-on experience, whether you are growing a career or starting a business will never be a bad way to spend some time if you have the luxury of delaying your startup mission.

jFaleiro Founder @ Optera AI + Quant Strategies; Co-Founder @ DOCTRI Analytics. Computer Scientist, Trader

May 16th, 2019

You can call your "career path" either - going solo or in-house is a matter of timing and opportunity. Nothing is cast in stone. Assess, pick one, and enjoy the ride.

David M

May 17th, 2019

Bob makes a great point. Take the job. You can always start a company. If a time comes where you feel it "is too late" then you likely were never cut out for the path of entrepreneur...nothing wrong with that. If you are worried about competition just make sure you aren't signing a non compete that restricts your ability to do business. The company job may be a base for your start up. But you cant evaluate that yet because you need to know what legal restrictions or conflicts of interest may exist.


By the way, the reason schools don't have people write down "four criteria" is because life and business are never that naively simple and one dimensional nor is laying a foundation for your career. Like people who buy a self help book that says "just smile and you will be happy" expecting to be happy. Undoubtedly assessing what makes you feel like a good person and that you are contributing to the world in a positive way..and then finding a way have financial success to support doing that work is important. Generally putting one foot in front of the other after that is about the only sure plan to keep you moving forward.

Anton Yakushin Cofounder & CTO of Software development company

May 18th, 2019

I'd like to see more entrepreneurs around me, especially female. I think they are the smartest and bravest people that help humanity advance in all areas. So go for it, don't be afraid. I'm sure you will never regret time, that you spent doing business.

Vedvyas V Cofounder & Director Maywell Electric Private Limited, Renewable Energy company

May 19th, 2019

If you really have a great idea to develop business then it's a quick thing to deal, but business needs commitment, careful implementation of ideas,like minded partners,financial backup,mostly patience and persistence. 98% of businesses are failing due to expectations of overnight results. If you don't fit in any one of these boxes try working in some company,learn the business,study the economics of world,improve marketing skills, contacts are key factor. Lastly make sure your idea is new, innovative and solves a problem in your country or outside world.

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business coach

May 13th, 2019

I'm going to address your collection of questions in a way that you might not expect, and perhaps it will help you make your decision.

There are four criteria that define a career that will be something lasting a lifetime. If you meet all four criteria, you will never need to find a different job. The fewer criteria you meet (precisely) the shorter your tenure will be with whatever enterprise.

1) Location: where do you want to work

2) Industry: what type of product or service do you want to represent?

3) Title & Responsibilities: what duties and responsibilities will you have at this level?

4) Career Success & Goals: what wins do you have yet to accomplish and how do you like to be compensated?


It has very little to do with whether you work for someone else or work for yourself. If you can meet all four criteria, it's a total win. Allow yourself to imagine the "what if" and don't worry about the "how." Be honest with yourself about what you actually want.


Many people struggle at great length to choose the answers to these questions when they have no limits on the answers. I wish that schools taught all students to write down their four criteria. The level of job satisfaction might actually skyrocket, and people wouldn't waste time doing things they hate.


There are more steps, but this first one is the most foundational to choosing your career.

Louis Lim Founder, CEO Helios Eos

May 19th, 2019

If you are still uncertain, it’s better to stay in your job. It will save your the pain of bouncing around looking for the next better idea. You basically need validation and security.