In this day and age, graduating has a very different meaning in comparison to a few decades ago. It’s great if you know which direction you want to take, but with the myriad of possibilities, Glassdoor reviews and the quest for self-actualisation, graduates are faced with extremely real and daunting decisions following the pomp and ceremony.
It seems that graduates are taking matters into their own hands with 56% of students looking to set up their own business straight after university. Competition for graduate schemes is at an all-time high, and let’s face it, there’s a lot of uncertainty in the current economic and political climate, so who wouldn’t take the route where you call the shots?
I have a few concerns; having owned my own business whilst at university, I was thrown into the deep end (Quite literally, I owned a swimming school), with legalities, insurance and the dreaded Self-Assessment forms. Whilst my venture was successful, boy would it have been easier if I’d had a little more commercial awareness. As an aside, there are the looming clouds of Brexit and GDPR to consider, just to name a couple.
8 out of 10 businesses fail within their first year. Fact. This isn’t me being pessimistic, just realistic. Reasons range from underestimating competition to lack of financial planning, something which may be alleviated with some more commerciality. I appreciate that not all new businesses are set up by fresh graduates, but these ventures are included in that sombre statistic.
Furthermore, it’s one thing being able to “know your worth”, as the article states, but getting buy-in from clients is a very different kettle of fish. With much more general awareness around the quality of products and services being offered, you need to be able to ‘show your worth’ if you want to make an impact.
My stance on this: think about getting yourself a few years’ employment before diving headfirst into your own ventures. Take a step back; what have you got to lose? Whilst there are many pros to assuming control and having your own company, getting some tangible, proven experience will only help your cause. Not only will you be able to build and develop invaluable transferable skills, you’ll be able to really back yourself with demonstrable experience and results. Also, think of the LinkedIn connections and recommendations!
There are so many great companies out there for you to choose from – we work with quite a few of them – why don’t you make the most of the 3 (or more) years that you’ve just spent working towards your degree and get stuck in? Take advantage of the training programmes and the development opportunities, they’ll only stand you in good stead for the future when you’re sunning yourself in Monaco on your yacht or hitting the slopes from your Verbier villa.
More than half the current crop of university leavers say they are planning go it alone as entrepreneurs or freelancers