Are entrepreneurs employable?
March 4, 2013 1:50 PM Subscribe
Will the entrepreneurial work I've been dedicating the bulk of my time and energy to make me look hirable if I ever decide to get a "real job"? Or will it look like a potential liability and put me at a disadvantage? What will I be qualified for?
posted by bubukaba to Work & Money (6 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
With some friends, I started an educational/cultural organization right out of college (instead of going to grad school like I always thought I would), and have been working on that while paying the bills with low-paid work ever since, for the past few years.
My role in the organization has been mainly managerial and administrative (my colleagues do the programming). I did the paperwork to get us incorporated and recognized as a 501(c)3, I made our Wordpress-based website (it's not an expert product, but it works for now), I make budgets, I run meetings, I've been to a few conferences (and even got to be on a panel at one!), I deal with press and publicity (our programming regularly gets good local coverage, and our weekly events are well attended), I design the program booklets and posters and deal with the printer, I write the thank you notes to donors, I help clear things up when my colleagues aren't getting along (not that I'm all sunshine either), and I generally help shape the path of the organization, internally and externally, toward where I think we need to go to be as effective and useful as possible.
Maybe it's a version of imposter syndrome, but I feel like all this stuff somehow doesn't count because I don't have anyone except my colleagues looking over my shoulder (we operate as much as possible as peers) and because the "organizational culture" that we're working in is for the most part one we made up ourselves. It sometimes feels like we're playing organizational "house".
I'm very happy doing this work right now, and am not currently looking for another job - but I do worry that if it turns out that we can't do this forever - if we can't secure more consistent funding so we can start paying ourselves, if we all burn out, whatever - that I won't be able to find a normal job because I won't be qualified for anything and I'll have to start out several years behind my peers.
Are my worries justified? If so, is there / will there be anything I can do to make my work history look more appealing to future employers? What kind of employers might be the most interested in someone with this kind of background?