Careers, circa 1950

Get a job somewhere, work there your whole life, get bored as hell, retire, then die.

Careers circa 2000

Get a job somewhere, work there for a while, get bored, look for a new job, find one, quit your current job and start a new one. Work at your new job for a while, get bored, look for a new job, find one, quit your current job and start working for a new one. Insert getting fired somewhere, maybe taking a break to travel or have kids, maybe a mid-life crisis. Lather, rinse, repeat. Retire, then die.

WTF?

Sound fun? Not likely. Nobody likes “working” and nobody likes “jobs.” As a result, once people became more mobile and more opportunities arose, a lot more career transience became trendy. Get bored and move on. But do you really want to go your whole life working at a job, even if you are moving to a new one every few years to spice it up?

There is another option, one that has the ability to be incredibly fulfilling, profitable, heart-breaking, bankrupting, exciting, pleasurable and terrifying all at the same time. It’s called entrepreneurship and believe it or not, it drives this world.

I want to be a billionaire, so freakin’ bad.

You know those companies that are at the career fair? Started by entrepreneurs. You know that deli you frequent at lunch time? Started by an entrepreneur. Bull’s, Black Sheep, DTB (now SLO Brewing Co.), and whatever Marti’s is now called? Started by entrepreneurs. That’s right, every business you experience, every product you buy and every movie you see has roots formed by a person just like you: educated in some way or another, motivated for their own success and willing to take a risk and get a reward. Why then do some institutions seem to ignore this hidden path to success? Why do we have career fairs and not entrepreneurship fairs? Why can only Stanford grads start billion-dollar tech firms? What resources are already available but not promoted as well as the career center is promoted?

Why this column?

I am a Cal Poly alumnus and I started my own business. Over the next year, I will profile fellow Cal Poly alumni who have also gone on to start successful businesses as well as key alumni, faculty and resources that promote entrepreneurship among students. Through this column I will showcase entrepreneurship from an alumni perspective and inspire students to seek out this hidden path and never look back. Hopefully I can save one poor student from a fate of boredom and that will be well worth it.

Upcoming events

If you are interested, check out the Cal Poly Entrepreneurship Forum on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 5 p.m. You can get more details and register at CalPolyEntrepreneurship.com.

Jesse Dundon graduated from Cal Poly with a BS in Industrial Technology in 2007 and an MS in Industrial Technology in 2008. He is co-founder and CEO of HATHWAY, a creative agency that leverages open-source technology to provide Web design, development and marketing services for businesses across the world.

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1 Comment

  1. Under the WTF? section, there is a very big logical fallacy. It is a hasty generalization to say that no body likes “working” and nobody likes “jobs”. I honestly like to work, I enjoy what I do, I am a farmer, I work long hours and unfortunately not enough money in return, but I enjoy the manual labor. There is also another logical fallacy in WTF?. You say that entrepreneurship… it drives this world. This is an oversimplification. Entrepreneurship does not drive this world, there are many different contributors that drive this world, and it cannot be narrowed down to one thing.

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