Dependent and Independent: The Corporate path Vs. The Entrepreneurial

Alternatives to mold out career paths in a time of employment instability

By: Jordan Smith, Staff Writer

[pullquote]we have certain plans and aspirations in life and things we want to do and we didn’t really feel that we were going to be able to achieve those things with a normal career path…[/pullquote]

The days of multi-decade employment for an individual at a single employer are long gone. We’re all aware that multiple career changes are going to be the norm for the millennial generation.

So are we destined to become drifters through the frontier of unstable employment and subsequent financial instability? At first glance it may seem that way. However, there are other options out there for those who seek to mold their future to different ideals.

[pullquote]Each member of the team has their strength that they bring; we all draw on the strengths from each of the four of us so that we really just give our expertise.[/pullquote]

The path of entrepreneurship can be a very promising one, if you have the ability and drive to do it. As with the numbers on career changes, most people are familiar with how few businesses make it past the first couple of years. So if the corporate world can’t provide stability and the independent route is a huge gamble what options do the millennial generation have?

How about both? At first, the notion of being a full or part time employee while running a business of your own may seem impossible. Despite the obvious demands of this lifestyle it is possible to not only maintain it but thrive while doing so. For the skeptical reader who wants proof that this goal is attainable, real life examples are a must.

Never Forget Photo Inc. is such an example of millennials being able to succeed and flourish at managing a business while maintaining employment.

Run by four friends in their late twenties, all of whom have post-secondary educations, Never Forget Photo Inc. provides photo booths and customizable albums for special events ranging from weddings to proms to corporate affairs.

Beginning in 2010 as a partnership and becoming incorporated in April of last year the company has grown from one booth to six and has expanded to employ five employees. With steadily increasing sales figures year to year they show no signs of slowing down even while maintaining outside employment.

When asked why take the entrepreneurial route over being an employee for a lifelong career path, VP of Development Brandon Smith explains, “we have certain plans and aspirations in life and things we want to do and we didn’t feel that we were able to achieve those things with a normal career path… this was a way to start to develop extra funds and give ourselves the flexibility and opportunity to make as much money as we want to and feel that we can.”

Although there is a distinctive lack of faith in the corporate world to provide the lifestyles they want for themselves the team at Never Forget Photo recognizes the benefits to both career paths.

Despite the fact that they have all been able to succeed at handling both a job and a business they do not see it as a permanent situation. When asked if he ever sees himself maintaining the business and an outside job for his entire career Mr. Smith emphatically says, “Hell no.” This sentiment is no doubt shared by the others as well, for obvious reasons.

VP of Marketing Stephanie Mole adds that, “I don’t think anyone’s goal would ever be to doing them both at the same time. You’re doing the entrepreneur side for a reason and most likely you’re balancing a job just because financially it’s difficult to handle just the entrepreneur side.”

Show more