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Choosing to Work for Yourself or Someone Else


In a market saturated with entrepreneurs, millennials have a hard choice to make

Ani Hajderaj, Staff Writer

Companies are always looking for young employees to bolster their ranks. But among millennials there is a growing trend for young professionals to be their own boss.

Conor Clarke, a McGill University graduate, is an entrepreneur who has been a part of different ventures through his young career. Currently he is the co-founder of Wavo, a free service which allows users to create trending music charts through streaming songs on YouTube and SoundCloud.

“I think it all comes down to company culture,” says Clarke. “A highly independent self-starter is not going to do well in a bureaucracy, but lots of companies are trying to create more of a startup culture to foster more innovation in-house, so I think these kinds of thinkers are always going to be high in demand.”

But not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. There is a feeling of comfort and convenience that comes with working for someone else. How would Clarke’s peers make the choice?

“[If] I was joining another company it would be because I was very excited about the company and the space so I would be cool with it. It’s a tough question because I have now been an entrepreneur for so long and generally the one in the driver seat.”

Millennials like Clarke have a greater need for individuality and independence when it comes to being part of the workforce. The traditional workplace environment needs to change if they want to attract younger employees.

“I think all companies need to innovate, but also with the internet and how fast companies move and markets are disrupted, it’s becoming increasingly competitive, and companies that don’t innovate quickly die,” Clarke added. “I don’t think anyone is safe. If you look at the car industry, Tesla is really shaking things up with their electric cars and selling their car through malls and foregoing the traditional dealership model.”

Anjali Handa is an instructional designer at Canadian Management Centre, a company that makes programs to help managers train their employees. She agrees that companies need to be more forward thinking with how they attract employees.

“Being flexible and being accommodating is a big factor in attracting employees,” she says. “When you get to bigger companies there isn’t much room for entrepreneurial culture because there might be a lot of red tape and a lot of processes that you have to follow, but when there is more flexibility in the work environment I think an entrepreneur can bring a lot to the table. They can bring more innovative and strategic ideas on how a corporation can function more effectively.”

Issah Shah is a videographer currently in the Ryerson Radio and Television Arts program and has his own production company, Different Levels Productions. He works with his crew to create commercials, event and music videos for clients.

Shah believes some entrepreneurs may welcome the idea of working under someone.

“I am always excited to work with new people. It is a new opportunity for us to extend our network,” he says. “Having to work for myself is a bit relieving. It allows me to have creative control and plan my own work schedule. It can be a bit of pressure but I enjoy the leadership role. When I am working under [someone] I see it as an opportunity to learn the work ethics of others. That will make me a better boss myself.”

In the end, whether you’re working for yourself or someone else, it comes down to how passionate you are about what you do.

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