Always the follower never the leader: The employment Trap

There is this societal expectation, the right of passage so to say where one is expected to find employment right after finishing college. It is so entrenched at younger ages that almost every time when you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, you will hear professions like teaching, engineering, and accounting. It is seldom you hear a child say ‘’I want to be an entrepreneur or employer.’’

Now don’t get me wrong and misinterpret my message to say these professions are not the foundation of any development and growth for a country. The economy is also fuelled by those individuals who are providing the simple services out there. Whether it’s someone running a business providing cleaning services, refuse collection or cattle farming providing the local butcheries with meat, these equally are contributing members of the society, which brings me back to the tittle about the employment trap.

Employment does play a very important role in developing and sharpening one’s skills and if taken seriously it can become a powerful launchpad into the entrepreneurship world. Depending on the industry that one works in, employment allows an individual to identify the gaps within the spheres of that industry which could later be explored to provide the services and goods in a more effective and efficient way. This essentially means if used productively, the skills learnt from employment can also help in building credibility and forming the networks that can be important in getting your business from the ground up.

That being said, most of us fall into the employment trap, working for the better parts of our years until our hairs turn grey when we no longer have the energy and the endurance to take risks and be bold. At an elderly stage there may be too much to lose and little time to trip and stand till you get something right. We often complain about the exhaustion of it all, ‘’working from 8 to 5 is hard’’ as we complain and come up with excuses after another about how we just don’t have the time.

Some say a salary is an allowance that one gets paid to forget their dreams and work on somebody else’s dream. Now that’s a powerful statement because it means you are putting your hopes and dreams to the side to serve the interest of someone else. All these statements are better said than done because in no way am I saying that starting a business is a guaranteed way to success or that it will be without challenges. Chances are as an entrepreneur, you will be tested to the extreme and everyday you will have decide to do it all over again despite these challenges. Anything worth having is hard and it won’t come easy nor cheap, but we have to look at the big picture and keep the eye on the price because that is the cost of going after your dreams.

The point is not to say everybody should be starting a side hustle. Some people are quite content having an 8 to 5 job because they enjoy the stability and predictability, ‘job security’ so they say. There is perfectly nothing wrong with that in fact we do need a lot of those people in order to keep the economy in balance, but if you are passionate about something else and your job doesn’t feed your soul, then your best bet might be on that side hustle. The time between 5 pm and 12 midnight is probably the most important time in anybody’s life because that is the time one gets to work on what they are passionate about or where they have identified gaps. The lesson from this article is use this time well if you don’t want to work for somebody else’s dreams for the rest of your life.