Dr. Sundar ParthasarathyGuest Author

After MBA – a job or a startup?

By | Dr. Sundar Parthasarathy | Helping you with insights and actions for success

“Which way do I go? Should I go for a job after my MBA, or should I go for my own startup?”

I hear this question often in my conversations with bright, soon-to-be MBA grads.

Here’s what I tell them.

1) Know yourself. What kind of a person are you deep down? What motivates you? What energizes you? What comes to you easily? What do you struggle with?

In part, this is about reflecting, and having the honesty and courage to acknowledge what you see/find.

Also vital will be the conversations that you can have with a few people (who are your well-wishers, and know you well as a person – think long-time friends and people who have known you for a while that you look up to as your mentors).

Talking to a good counselor who uses robust means (conversations, process, and assessment tools) to help you know yourself, can prove to be invaluable!

2) If you are more inclined to land a job right after your graduation, and are going to keep the startup as a “future possibility” – then your approach is like that of many founders of ventures who have taken a similar path. However, you may have to look at some questions/considerations, that are given below, at that later point in time.

3) If you are feeling a very strong pull to set up your venture – and perhaps, you have set it up even as you are going through the rough and tumble of your B-school academics – then here are some things you must consider seriously:

a) What you read/hear/see about successful startups, unicorns (or soon-to-be unicorns), game-changing disruptors, etc., is only the tip of the iceberg. The stories, the story-telling, and the narrative are all disproportionately biased towards success! That’s the way our world is!!

You will be advised to find out more about what lies beneath (remember – the iceberg!). About the trials and tribulations of being an entrepreneur. And, enough stories are waiting to be found – only if you seek!

This will help you arrive at, in your perception, the full picture of what it takes to be an entrepreneur

b) Now, put it all together – knowing who you are; knowing what excites/energizes you to be an entrepreneur; and, being clear about the challenges an entrepreneur faces – and move towards taking a final call.

Making trade-offs is something entrepreneurs do all the time. Remember to ask yourself, “What is the ‘price’ I am going to pay for going down this road?” There is no escaping this question – while failure is a real possibility (just as in anything else), the consequences of failure must be considered.

It is like being at a fork on the road. But remember, whichever of the two paths you choose, you are choosing the path that works for you – and never see one path as being inferior to the other!

Finally, it helps to have a view that life is a series of experiments. But, wait a minute! I am not for reckless experiments. You are in a B-school. So, when you make important decisions in life, use that analytical ability that you got recognized for! Some experiments work well. Some don’t. What will matter is the ability to hit the reset button when needed and move on.

Republished with permission and originally published at Dr. Sundar Parthasarathy’s LinkedIn

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