Monday, January 22, 2007

Trapped in the corporate comfort zone?

"I wanna be an entrepreneur." That's what I said a couple years ago when I was in early years of undergrad. Yeah right, and see what came next ? I had no gut to become one as I graduated and ended up in corporate 'slavery' at the mercy of capitalist. (wow... harsh comment right?)

That's why I admire people who stayed with their idealism and took the chance to become an entrepreneur. Some became successful, some didn't and ended up like me.. a 'corporate slave'. Well, there's nothing bad about being an employee, really. You can learn so much from these big corporations. Your intellectual capability will be continuously challenged. And the hefty amount of payment for some people was simply irresistable. Above all, the highest temptation of corporate world is the safety, called comfort zone.

I don't mean to say that working for a company has no risk. A person could be fired anytime if economy went bad or he/she blew things up. But still, the risk of starting up own business without the guarantee that it's going to work out is the biggest trait. Some people don't have to past through the awful start up phase coz they're just continuing what their families are doing. That's OK, but not many people were born that lucky, huh? Others were doing the start up, but they're provided the safety net from their beloved families. Though it doesn't moderate the risk, it can disregard the existence of risk.
I had a conversation a couple weeks ago with a friend who started up without any safety net. He just jumped in and took all the chance. It's a point of no return : success or die. As far as I know, he's successful. Two thumbs up, my friend!!

While people like me, who'd been trapped in the comfort zone, taking risk seemed too frightening. I've been accustomed to fixed (or sometimes flexible) working hours, nice seat, provided work, didn't care whether the company could go bankrupt or not because of me (of course not, silly..), paycheck on my account every month, employee benefits, hoping (and thinking hard) that I'm going to reach a top position of the company... What a wonderful world! How could I be able to get out of this comfort zone? Or should I just stay in the corporate track and work hard, hoping someday I could be one of those CEOs (yeah right...CEO??)?

Any advice? Or do you want to share the same experience?



Carol said...

I too am in what you define as a "comfort zone". In fact, I am in a "secured zone" in a sense that I am in the civil service. Not that it is an iron rice bowl anymore (it is still performance based), but then it is comparatively more stable than the private sector.

I guess the choice of being an entreprenuer has also to do with one's goal in life, e.g. is one prepared to start a family young and devote her life (I am putting this more from a woman's perspective, 'cos women tend to look at the issue from more angles since we have multiple roles!), or is prepared to venture out to the exciting world of entrepreneurship for the first few years after uni, & continue to put in lots of efforts into pursuring one's dream.
(I don't believe that one can put in many hours at work and still have a quality family life. One may think that spending quality time of say half an hour with the kids a day is sufficient, but that's not true. Or rather, I don't believe in it one bit.)

For me, I met hubby in uni, and decided that we are in for life. So even though we were not married while in uni, we had an agreement that he could go into the private sector and venture out to do whatever he wants, while I will build my career in the civil service 'cos I believe that 1 parent needs to stay rooted in the family (and I believe, and still believe, that being a civil servant helps to a certain extent).

My dreams are less "corporate" or "me-centred" now; rather it is to raise my 2 girls up to find their purpose in life and be able to contribute positively to society. That is just as fulfilling!

Anonymous said...

tania dear, perhaps you can take your current
"comfort zone" as the perfect chance to learn the ropes of what it takes to be a real entrepeneur... many have failed because they jumped in too soon, with mighty zeal and passion, but inadequate in preparation. Being an entrepreneur takes time - and some sparks of inspiration. if it is still your dream to be your own lady boss, just take this time to gear yourself up financially, mentally, and emotionally so that you're ready when the inspiration comes.

however, if you're happy where you are now, waiting to be crowned CEO... maybe entrepreneurship was just a childhood/teenage dream you grew out of sometime ago. :)

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