By Ryan Healy — If there is an overarching impact my generation is already having on the corporate world, it is entrepreneurship. Roughly 80% of my friends and acquaintances plan to start their own business at some point. Both males and females, college grads and current students, everyone wants to run their own business, and many of us will.
However, it is not practical to assume that everyone will. In fact, I would bet that less than half of the aforementioned people will take the plunge into entrepreneurship. The economy needs both entrepreneurs and employees to run successfully and let’s face it, not everyone is cut out for the risky, constantly changing life of an entrepreneur.
That said, I don’t think my friends will land at large companies, either. They’ll go to smaller ones. Here are three reasons why large companies will have an increasingly difficult time trying to recruit and retain their young talent.
1. Following the crowd is boring.
To me, there is something very unsatisfying about being one of many. This does not mean that I want to rebel or move to a remote village and drop out of society. This means that I know I am an individual and I know I can achieve what I set my mind to. Because of this, following the crowd and working in a large organization with hundreds or thousands of people doing the same tasks is very disheartening.
Ben Casnocha, the best example of a young entrepreneur I can think of, sums it up best in his book, My Start Up Life. He says, “I don’t want to be normal, I want to be something else.” Simple, straight forward and to the point, this quote sums up how young, ambitious people think. These days, it’s all about going above and beyond “the crowd.” And where do you follow the crowd more than in a massive organization?
2. Bureaucracy is a waste of time.
During one of my far-too-common discussions with a friend about paychecks, raises and the corporate BS involved with them, my friend said, “I’m going to start looking for another job that pays more money. I can’t ask for a raise –I don’t even know who to ask!”
If you have a boss who reports to a boss, who reports to another boss etc. it is going to take weeks or months to get your request to the right people. And who exactly are these right people anyway? Many people I know have multiple supervisors. Which one do you ask?
I guess my friend could go to the HR department with the request, but the chances of the HR folks knowing his job responsibilities or knowing which manager to contact about the request are slim. When HR finally figures all of this out, my friend would have missed out on three or four paychecks that could have been paid at the higher rate.
So it’s not hard to understand why he is about to begin interviewing with other, smaller companies.
3. I can be a CEO and an intern at the same time.
Because of the hierarchical structures that nearly all organizations adhere to, big decisions and big-picture work happen at the top of the food chain. Smaller organizations can be much less rigid and more lenient then large organizations because of the high visibility across the organization. Even if a young person isn’t able to make the huge decision, at least they know the person who did. And they can decide if they trust the decision-maker to lead the company in the right direction.
It’s ironic that I am barely a step above an intern at my corporate job, but one could argue that I am the CEO of Employee Evolution. During the day I often perform low-level intern-type tasks, but at night I have meetings with entrepreneurs and authors, record podcasts for the Wall Street Journal and discuss my vision for the future of Employee Evolution with my web designer. It’s not hard to see why 9 to 5 at a big company probably isn’t the quickest way to the top.
Ryan Healy’s blog is Employee Evolution.