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Unconventional Ways To Jumpstart Your Career

October 6, 2011

Deborah Shane (@DeborahShane) is an author, media host, speaker and business and career brand specialist. She writes for  several national business, career and marketing blogs and websites including,,, and Her new book Career Transition-make the shift is available on and all major book sellers. Visit to connect with her.

Blogger Deborah ShaneBy Deborah Shane

What do you think about entrepreneurship as a viable solution to transitioning from the classroom to the workplace? There is some great news about this process for the millennial workforce.

A recent survey by the Young Entrepreneurs Council reported 35% of Gen Y who are currently employed have started a side business, 21% have started a business because they are unemployed and 79% are interested in one day becoming entrepreneurs.

If 79% are interested in one day becoming entrepreneurs, then set yourselves up to win and succeed now. This is not easy, for the faint of heart or an immediate gratification option. Entrepreneurship is a serious commitment and knowing that you are the right person for the job is a must.

Don’t romanticize, professionalize. You can take the Entrepreneur Self Assessment here and check out these 12 Most Inspiring Blogs for Entrepreneurs. Take your time getting work experience and become a student of entrepreneurs and the new world of work.

Young man and woman taking pictures of each otherFive suggestions that can help you enhance your skills, experience and knowledge should you decide to become an entrepreneur:

1) Develop your personal brand by making work your new classroom. If you have graduated from school with your first degree, take a break and go to work. Gain some real life workplace experience, interacting with people, your work mates in a team, sales and customer service capacity. Volunteer, travel, intern or get a job unrelated to your major but aligned with your passion.

2) By all means continue your education, but don’t hide there. Get a part time job while you are in school and keep your street education going. You can learn a lot working at Starbucks, Target or at a pet store.

3) Step up the networking both in person and online. Get more engaged on LinkedIn. Meeting people in person is key for developing your people and communication skills.

4) Take some FREE or low cost classes in business, entrepreneurship or how to leverage social media through the chamber, Small Business Development Centers or your school.

5) Find a mentor who you would like to emulate who is an entrepreneur, or small business owner and develop a mutual relationship with them.

Work smart, think long term, have a plan and prepare.  If you want to be an entrepreneur someday act as if and believe you can.

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