Ed.Note: Since this blog began, I have met quite a few career coaches, resume writers and HR folks, I find all of them very interesting and insightful about the world of work. Even better, I have learned a lot from each of them. When they invited me to join a new community called the Career Collective, of course I said YES, especially after I found there were no dues, no rules and no demands. Every month, they post a question and invite ‘the collective’ to write on it. This month’s topic was on the issue of entrepreneurship, a topic near and dear to yours truly. At the end of this post are links to other posts by others. I hope you take a minute and jump over and learn from the best. (They even have a hashtag on Twitter #careercollective.)
By G.L. Hoffman
I have spent my career in new companies. I am not much into self-analysis so don’t ask me “why?” Luckily, most people don’t ask “why?” they only ask “How?”

I have a lot of ideas around “How?” Not so many around “Why?”

Since the economy cratered last year many people, having been laid off, are starting their own companies. Bravo for them. The answer to their “Why?” was survival; no other jobs were available, so why not go for it?

I asked Seth Godin (Yes, that Seth Godin) to write a guest post for me about this process, about people creating jobs for themselves as opposed to finding one. He wrote an insightful post for my blog called DON’T EVEN TRY TO FIND A JOB. His main point was why not use this time, or these times, to get something started. Especially with the web, it is far easier to just try something. Fersure.

Here is a brief excerpt:


Don’t you dare.

There are a few reasons for this. The first is that the act of trying to get a job corrupts you. It pushes you to be average, to fit in and to do what you’re told.

The second is that this act moves the responsibility from you to that guy who didn’t hire you. It’s his fault. As soon as you start spending your day trying to please the guy, you’ve blown it.

The third is that the economy is terrible and the best jobs you’re going to get are lousy.

So, what should you do?

Today, right now, while the opportunity costs (look it up on Wikipedia) are the lowest they will ever be, go start something.

Start a business. A tiny one.

One guy I follow on Twitter said it best. “Why don’t we all just quit our jobs and sell Amway?” Indeed. Why not?

Although it doesn’t get at all of the issues of “Why?” the post I did sometime ago called “100 Lessons” might get at some of them, but from a different angle. I wrote that over a period of weeks as I was thinking about some of the things I have learned over a career of observing everything that happens inside a new startup. Even though it is a lengthy article, and most likely in need of some serious updating, it might help some folks who are making that Shall-I-or-Shall-I-Not decision. BTW, Guy Kawasaki liked the article enough to Twitter about it (but then again he tweets about EVERYTHING!!)

Here is Number 12 on the list:
12. Can you handle pressure? One thing you can depend upon is the amount of pressure you will be under. Some might be self-imposed, most will be from external sources. Sales people will want something easier to sell, investors want faster progress, others want more or less of this and that, and constantly. How you handle these pressures will go a long way to determine your success. Someone told me a long time ago, that my only job was “to make the comfortable, uncomfortable, and the uncomfortable, comfortable.” I think that pretty much sums up the new company leader’s most critical assignment.

But back to “Why?” It varies from IMPATIENCE to REVENGE. (Those who know, know what that means.) Truthfully, the reasons are many—what I would like to know is what do you think? Why do you think people start them? Any personal stories? Do you believe this Gruzzle is right?


One thing is clear: For every Steve Jobs, there are thousands of entrepreneurs who struggle every day.
One last word: Don’t do it only for the money.

Here are links to the posts by the collective. And on the bottom are all the participants. Please support them.

Meg Montford: Job Action Day: Finding Your “MOJO” After Layoff http://coachmeg.typepad.com/career_chaos/2009/10/job-action-day-finding-your-mojo-after-layoff.html

Debra Wheatman: Plan B from outer space; or what do you have in case your first plan doesn’t work out? http://resumesdonewrite.blogspot.com/2009/10/plan-b-from-outer-space-or-what-do-you.html

Heather Mundell: Green Jobs – What They Are and How to Find Them, http://dbcs.typepad.com/lifeatwork/2009/10/green-jobs-what-they-are-and-how-to-find-them.html

Erin Kennedy: Cutting Edge Job Search Blueprint http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com/resumes/job-search-blueprint/

Grace Kutney: Securing Your Career While Navigating the Winds of Change http://sweetcareers.blogspot.com/2009/10/securing-your-career-while-navigating.html

Hannah Morgan: Career Sherpa– Why Our Job Search Advice is the Same but Different http://hannahmorgan.typepad.com/hannah_morgan/2009/10/why-our-job-search-advice-is-the-same-but-different.html

Gayle Howard: The Enlightened Jobseeker http://www.theexecutivebrand.com/?p=500

Laurie Berenson: Making lemonade out of lemons: Turn unemployment into entrepreneurship http://blog.sterlingcareerconcepts.com/2009/10/30/making-lemonade-out-of-lemons-turn-unemployment-into-entrepreneurship.aspx

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter: You Can Thrive In, Not Just Survive, an Economic Slogging http://careertrend.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/you-can-thrive-not-just-survive-an-economic-slogging/

Rosalind Joffe: Preparedness: It’s Not Just for Boyscouts http://workingwithchronicillness.com/2009/10/preparedness-its-not-just-for-boy-scouts/

Rosa E. Vargas: Are You Evolving Into The In-Demand Professional of Tomorrow? http://resume-writing.typepad.com/resume_writing_and_job_se/2009/10/furture-careers.html

Dawn Bugni: Your network IS your net worth http://thewritesolution.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/your-network-is-your-net-worth/

Miriam Salpeter: Optimize your job hunt for today’s economy http://www.keppiecareers.com/2009/10/30/optimize-your-job-hunt-for-todays-ecomony/

GL Hoffman: The Life of An Entrepreneur: Is It for You? http://blogs.jobdig.com/wwds/2009/10/30/the-life-of-an-entrepreneur-is-it-for-you/

Katharine Hansen: Job Action Day 09: His Resume Savvy Helped New Career Rise from Layoff Ashes http://www.resumesandcoverletters.com/tips_blog/job_action_day_09_his_resume_s.html

Martin Buckland: Job Search–The Key to Securing Your Future Career. http://aneliteresume.com/job-search/the-key-to-securing-your-future-career/

Chandlee Bryan: Where the Green Jobs Are: http://emergingprofessional.typepad.com/the_emerging_professional/2009/11/where-the-green-jobs-are.html

Heather R. Huhman, Take Action: 10 Steps for Landing an Entry-Level Job, http://www.heatherhuhman.com/2009/10/take-action/

Barbara Safani: Where the Jobs Are 2009 and Beyond: http://www.careersolvers.com/blog/?p=1301&preview=true

Here are the participants in the Career Collective:


Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter is a Master Resume Writer and owner of Career Trend. She composes career positioning documents for forward thinking executives/professionals. Her chief concern is to unearth and translate your value into words. http://careertrend.wordpress.com/ on Twitter: @valueintowords.

Miriam Salpeter, owner of Keppie Careers, is a job search coach and resume writer with over 12 years of experience encouraging, enlightening and empowering job seekers. She authors a highly regarded blog at www.keppiecareers.com and is well known as a top resource for job seekers on Twitter: @keppie_careers.


Laurie Berenson, owner of Sterling Career Concepts, LLC, is a Certified Professional Resume Writer who guides her clients through resume development, job search strategy, and career progression. http://blog.sterlingcareerconcepts.com/ on Twitter: @LaurieBerenson.

Chandlee Bryan, founder and owner of Best Fit Forward, is a resume writer and job search strategist. A former Ivy League Career Services Director, Chandlee also leads the NYC Job Seekers MeetUp, a Manhattan based group of over 850 individuals (www.meetup.com/nycjobseekers). www.bestfitforward.com on Twitter: @chandlee.

Dawn Bugni, Certified Professional Resume Writer and owner of The Write Solution, creates compelling career documents helping clients find their professional bliss. She offers up a healthy dose of job search reality during the resume creation process and tempers the challenges of the search with honesty, a quick wit and a touch of humor. Dawn’s Blog. On Twitter: @dawnbugni.

Megan Fitzgerald is an expat career and personal branding coach and owner of Career By Choice. She helps expatriate professionals and entrepreneurs use their personal brand on and offline to build a career or business that fits them and their international lifestyle. http://www.careerbychoiceblog.com on Twitter: @expatcoachmegan.

Katharine Hansen, associate publisher and creative director at Quintessential Careers, is a writer, educator, blogger, social-media junkie, career practitioner and a leading proponent of storytelling for career advancement. http://katharinehansenphd.com on Twitter: @kat_hansen.

GL Hoffman, chairman of LINKUP and author of What Would Dad Say, is an entrepreneur, business leader and friend to many. www.whatwoulddadsay.com on Twitter: @glhoffman.

Gayle Howard, owner of Top Margin Career Marketing Group is a Master Resume Writer, Certified Expert Resume Writer, Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist, author and multiple TORI Award Winner providing bold, authentic, audacious career branding for next generation executives. Gayle’s Blog. On Twitter: @gaylehoward.

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert and founder/president of Come Recommended. She specializes in working with Generation Y. You can read her personal blog at HeatherHuhman.com or follow her on Twitter at @HeatherHuhman.

Rosalind Joffe, founder and president of http://cicoach.com, is a chronic illness career coach with 10 years of experience working with people with chronic illness to find and keep jobs that they can thrive in. She blogs at Working With Chronic Illness and is on Twitter at: @WorkWithIllness.

Erin Kennedy, CPRW, is the President of Professional Résumé Services and has been writing power-packed executive level résumés since 1999. To read more about Erin and her services, visit http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com or follow Erin on Twitter: @erinkennedycprw.

Grace Kutney is a career development professional with 11+ years experience in career advising. She operates Sweet Careers, a not-for-profit website and career consulting service offering free career and job search advice to college students and recent grads. On Twitter: @sweetcareers.

Meg Montford, owner of Abilities Enhanced, is a Master Certified Career Coach and Career Management Fellow who motivates and supports executives and professionals while they work to achieve radical career changes. http://www.coachmeg.typepad.com/career_chaos/ on Twitter: @KCCareerCoach.

Hannah Morgan is a Career Sherpa, a guide for lifetime career navigation. She writes and speaks on topics related to career management and is recognized for her energetic, compassionate and no non-sense style for conveying information. http://hannahmorgan.typepad.com/hannah_morgan/ on Twitter: @careersherpa.

Heather Mundell is a life and career coach and owner of Dream Big Coaching Services. A former HR director, Heather helps professionals make key career decisions that fit who they are and what they want. http://dbcs.typepad.com. On Twitter: @heathermundell.

J.T. O’Donnell is a nationally syndicated career expert, author and founder of the top-rated career site for young professionals, ages 18-40, CAREEREALISM.com. She can be found on Twitter: @jtodonnell and by e-mail over at www.careerealism.com.

Andy Robinson is CEO & Executive Career Coach at CRG Leadership Institute LLC. His passion is helping business professionals love what they do for a living and achieve lasting career success. Blogsite: www.AndyRobinsonCoach.com. He also co-hosts the Career Success Show on Exceptional Wisdom Radio. Twitter: @AndyinNaples.

Barbara Safani, owner of Career Solvers, has 15 years of experience in career management, recruiting and executive coaching. Barbara partners with companies and individuals to deliver targeted career and job search strategy programs. She is a author of Happy About My Resume: 50 Tips for Building a Better Document to Secure a Brighter Future.
For career advice, visit her blog and follow her on @barbarasafani.

Rosa Elizabeth Vargas is Owner of Creating Prints Resume Service and is a triple-certified writer (MRW) Master Resume Writer, (NCRW) Nationally Certified Resume Writer and (ACRW) Academy Certified Resume Writer. For over seven years, Rosa has been helping careerist by equipping them with powerful career marketing tools that steer job search campaigns. http://resume-writing.typepad.com on Twitter: @resumeservice.