Andy Rooney from 60 Minutes recently proposed an interesting solution to our nations economic and unemployment woes.
His gripe was that there are too many managers and not enough doers. In other words, the American workforce is saturated with middle-managers, but lacks enough actual workers. Mr. Rooney claims that there is plenty of work to go around to employ every American out there, but the resistance of a college-educated professional to become a carpenter, street cleaner, or other manual laborer is too high to make a difference.
Our social expectations to become what we ought to be has lead many professionals to exclusively pursue corporate positions that enable them to some sort of entitlement and security. However, as more and more middle-managers lose their jobs due to oversupply in the market, there is a reluctance to take on the responsibility of creating a living for oneself through self-employment.
The Wall Street Journal has also published numerous articles recently about how more MBA's and recent college graduates are starting more entrepreneurial ventures. This is caused by both those who have no job offer on the table and thus no choice but to start their own company, but it is also indicative of the new generation workforce seeking greater things from their careers than a paycheck every two weeks. Long gone is the expectation that we will end our 35 year working careers with the same company with which we started. There most recent article "When Just One Desk Will Do" profiled sole proprietors who lost their jobs in Silicon Valley, but have created their own proprietorships and are having success running them.
We have for too long become too dependent on others to provide employment for us. We have forgotten how to earn income ourselves whether it is through a sole proprietorship or starting a company. We have become a nation of job seekers, but not job producers. With jobs in limited supply today, the answer is evident, but many overlook or simply choose not to look at the clear alternative of pursuing self-employment.
Starting on your own can be daunting especially since in today's society where self-employment and entrepreneurship are far from the norm. However, in us uncertain times like these that can often bear the most fruit for those who take advantage of it. Entrepreneurship and self-employment do not need to be about risk. It is about pursuing something that you know and like to do and something where you know you can add value to customers.
Our economy and employment trends are very different today and are expected to be different for some time to come. Former full time jobs have turned into part-time contracting work or have been eliminated all together and corporations are adapting to producing the same output with fewer people, meaning they have no incentive to add more jobs any time soon.
There are plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs and sole proprietors to start doing something tomorrow. We all have ideas of businesses that we have always wanted to started, but being employed in the past meant we had to give something up to pursue that opportunity. Now with so many unemployed, there is no longer anything getting in your way of starting your own company. Leverage your friends and family to assist you, but most importantly have the confidence to know that you can and will succeed.