Don’t Start a Business Because You Need a Job

Posted by Nancy Gober

Don’t start a business because you need a cleared job and you haven’t found one yet.

● Only start your own business because what you want is to run your own company.

● Work at getting a job if you what you really want is a job!

It’s that time of year.

It’s about that time of year when cleared job seekers grow tired, frustrated, and discouraged by job searches that feel like they have gone nowhere. Maybe you started your search early in the year with great zest and zeal. You’ve been at it a long time, working hard. Despite all your effort, you haven’t landed your next cleared job yet.

Discouraged, you may give up.

You may think, “It’s time to get out of the cleared world and start a different path. Maybe I’ll just start my own business. Others do it. I read about them all the time in the business section of newspapers and business magazines. Maybe I can do it?”

Or you may be transitioning military. Many former service members have successfully started their own businesses. And successfully run them today.

So starting your own business seems like an option, right? Wrong, Why? Because the fact that others have successfully started and run businesses today is not enough reason for anyone to go into business.

There is only one reason to start your own business: You want to run a business.

If you’ve been at your search for quite a while don’t let desperation or frustration lead you to a course of action that may be a bad decision and may not be for you.

A life style, a life commitment, and capital.

Starting, building, and running a small business is a life commitment and a lifestyle. Those who succeed, such as veteran Fred Wellman, do so because it is their burning desire to do so.

Born of necessity, many things – if not most things – come in second! Owning a business is interwoven into their daily existence, so that you can’t tell where one starts and one lets off. There is no clear demarcation between their business work day and their personal time. Being in business becomes a way of life. A demanding way of life requiring start-up and sustaining capital over a long term. It can be very rewarding if it’s your passion. If it isn’t, being in business becomes a hard way to earn a living.

Over the years I’ve seen so many job seekers toy with the idea. Most just wind up wasting a lot of time. Going to SBA workshops, developing business plans, even incorporating. 3 or 4 or 6 months go by. Some forgo their search entirely for this time period. Others try to do both.

The end result for most is that they have lost months of their search time. They now have to re-start or re-invigorate their job search campaigns. Re-contact network contacts / target employers and explain away their absence. In effect they are not just back at ground zero, but are in the negative numbers.

If you want a cleared job, work at getting a job.

If you really want a cleared job, playing around with the idea of starting a business distracts you from the job of finding a job. That delays your search. Yes you should explore your options, but is it really a viable alternative for you? Don’t waste your time and energy unless you have – and generally always have had – a strong interest in starting a business.

If you’re looking for a job, engaging in business start-up activities is distracting. It sends a mixed message about your commitment to being a good, reliable, and long-term employee for an employer.

In doing some of the business start-up activities, job seekers wind up NOT spending time on job search activities. They send a confusing message to those with whom they network and interview. A prospective employer isn’t sure what you want from them: business or a job?

So, decide. Are you looking for a job or an account?

You can’t do both at the same time. You water down your argument in either case as to why you will be the best employee or the best provider of your service or product in your business.

Don’t mix up searching for a cleared job with starting a business. Focus on your search if you want a cleared job. Focus on building a business if you want a business.

Nancy GoberNancy Gober is a career strategist who has helped thousands of job seekers find employment. She’s also been a popular resume reviewer at our Cleared Job Fairs. You may reach Nancy via email at [email protected]. Follow Nancy on Twitter @AfterJobClub.


  • Nancy Gober

    Nancy Gober is a career strategist who has helped thousands of job seekers find employment, and the author of “Jobs Are Not Found Sitting at the Computer.” You may reach Nancy via email at [email protected].

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This entry was posted on Monday, July 21, 2014 6:36 am

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