There are several crusades for unemployed persons to embrace entrepreneurship as an alternative to job hunting. I have also lent my voice to the advocacy that self-employment is the solution to the unemployment rate ravaging our nation. However, for some of the job seekers, entrepreneurship can never be an option as a result of their capacity.
I think what we should be advising a fraction of these of job seekers is to embrace education. They should be thinking of enlarging their capacity and working on their productivity level. If not, self-employment is not even an option they can fall back on. The process of securing a good job and setting up your own business has a lot in common. Therefore, if you have not developed yourself to be of value to any system that will engage your services, then you may likely not have what it takes to set up and run a successful business of your own. Entrepreneurship places much more demands on your intelligence, creativity, skills and resilience.
Before you ditch job hunting for entrepreneurship or advise someone else to do so, make sure you have what it takes to compete and excel in the stormy waters of the Nigerian labour market, because same rules plays out in both ventures. Let’s look at the rules.
Effective job hunting starts with a proper research. You must do a background search of companies you desire to work for and study them. It helps to apply for a job you have already carried out a research on. Research is important in helping you with your preparation. Failure to research is why some job seekers show up for interviews clueless. That is also the reason young graduates enter the labour market clueless without understanding the trends and the demands of the workplace. Same applies to Business startup. You must carry out your feasibility study. Every intending entrepreneur must carry out a market survey to understand the terrain and the cost of the venture. It’s very important, if you do not want to enter the market clueless.
Career Plan/Business Plan
It is said that the man that fails to plan has automatically planned to fail. A majority of job hunters enter the labour market without a plan. A well defined career plan is basic in job hunting. You have to define the kind of job you want. Then, you outline what the job entails. You then start pursuing the needed skill set and certifications that will get you better equipped for the job. If you can’t do this, then know it that entrepreneurship is not for you either. You cannot launch your own business without a comprehensive business plan. You must count the cost. You must do your projections and analyse your strengths, weakness and opportunities. You must define your market and draw up a road map for your business.
Professional Signatures/Company Signatures
Image is everything in business and in personal branding. Before you start job hunting, ask yourself, are my professional signatures right? Starting from your choice of E-mail Address, to your LinkedIn profile, Twitter handle and Facebook wall. These things must look as professional as it can be. Get rid of the youthful exuberances you display on social media and the funky usernames you put up. It does not go down well with prospective employers. For intending entrepreneurs also, you cannot run a successful business without getting your image right. You need a corporate logo, corporate social media presence, a corporate e mail and a corporate account. If you don’t understand this things as a job hunter, then you can’t possibly execute them as an entrepreneur.
It is not just enough to be employable. You also need to learn how to sell yourself. You must discover platforms that can put you on the lime light. It is called strategic positioning. It could mean joining a good organization, club, volunteers, church, professional body and forums. The jobs you are looking for are in people’s hands and with the right positioning and networking you might just be talking to your next employer. Same applies to starting and running a successful business. You must put into consideration the choice of location. You must learn how to build strategic business relationships and improve on your selling skills.
I can go on and on because both paths have a lot in common. So, failure on the other side does not automatically translate to success on the other side.
In a nutshell, you have to understand that before you start considering self-employment as an option, you must ensure you have what it takes to succeed in a paid employment. You must possess qualities that can drive other people’s business. You must be productive and solution-driven. You must be proactive, creative, diligent, skilful, professional, intelligent and consistent.
If you are still job hunting and you know of a truth that you have not yet consolidated on this qualities, you don’t need to start your own business just yet. That terrain is much more demanding and competitive. All you need is a little bit of personal development and resilience. Relax and build your capacity. When you are done doing that, you can now look at the world in the face and choose your poison confidently.
Have a great day and stay productive.
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