Have you ever wanted your own company or a small business on the side? If you are out of work and looking for a job, this may be a golden opportunity to get started. Entrepreneurship can provide you with new insights, new business contacts, enhanced professional credentials, improved marketability in your job search, and maybe even your own company.
Let me begin by saying by saying that my assumption is that you are trying to start a company in the same general business area where you are looking for a job. For example, if you are a PC Tech looking for a job doing PC Help Desk Support, then your company would be in the area of PC support, not canoe making.
Believe it or not, the topic of combining job hunting with entrepreneurship is somewhat controversial. Some people will agree and love the idea. Some people will strongly disagree and say that time spent not looking for a job will hurt your job search. That’s ok. My goal is to provide you with food for thought.
Searching for a new job is hard work, but it’s not 40 hour a week work. In most cases, its 20 - 30 hours of serious job searching and 10 – 20 hours of worrying and/or looking at the phone. At least that’s how it was for me. Certainly continue to push hard on your job search, but spend your worrying and waiting time creatively, energetically and constructively by trying to start your own firm. You will soon find that that the initial preparations needed to start a company can dramatically enhance your job search.
When reviewing the below table, you will see that the entrepreneurial activities listed on the left, directly correlate to the job hunting activities listed on the right. As a result, these entrepreneurial activities can help give your job search direction, help keep your skills fresh, and help you stay engaged in your profession until you find a new job or your company is launched.
|Entrepreneurial Activities||Job Search Assistance|
|Performing competitive analysis|
|Identify your competition||= List of companies you can target for employment|
|Identify the primary technologies used||= List of technologies you should learn about|
|Pricing||= General industry knowledge|
|Define how they reach your clients||= How you can reach potential employers|
|Define your competitive advantages||= The best way to sell yourself to employers|
|Defining a high level marketing plan|
|Define target client types (large, startup)||= List of companies you can target for employment|
|Define target client industries||= List of industries you can target for employment|
|Define organizations to reach target clients||= Places you can network to find employment|
|Define your PR/networking strategy||= Ways to promote yourself in your job search|
|Performing a gap analysis|
|What knowledge do I need to acquire?||= Increased knowledge makes you more marketable|
|What certifications do I need to get?||= Increased credentials makes you more marketable|
|What networking organizations to join?||= Places you can network to find employment|
When reviewing the above examples, note that you don’t have to tell anyone you are thinking about starting your own company unless you decide to move forward.
If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at eric@ManagerMechanics.com or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.
Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to grow.
Read more of Eric Bloom's Your IT Career blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @EricPBloom. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.