By Sean Wetselaar
Let’s be honest, if you’ve spent any amount of time in university the past few years, you’ll probably keel over if you hear one more person tell you that getting jobs are hard.
The truth is that it’s bad out there, real bad. Especially if you’ve made the choice that everyone at this paper has made, and entered a creative industry. The economic downturn in the wake of 2008 — which some have now started calling the Time of Shedding and Cold Rocks — may be behind us in some ways, but our cohort faces a job market that is far from ideal to put things mildly.
So what’s the good news?
The good news is that your university, at least in part, has an answer for you: be your own boss.
If you’re worried about poor job prospects in an industry that you want to help to shape and move into the future, then just take matters into your own hands and do it your own way.
The term entrepreneur has become something of a clichéd buzz-word to a generation of students that never want to hear the word innovator again. But there’s a value to our obsession with starting our own ventures.
A lot of bright minds of our generation have waxed and waned about what it means to be a snake person, and I won’t dive into that quagmire here. But I will say that our generation has the odds stacked against us when it comes to our professional futures, and that entrepreneurship is our way of taking matters into our own hands and giving ourselves a fighting chance.
Ryerson happens to be a pretty good place to make that happen.
It seems that we have more incubators than most students can count — riding the immensely successful coattails of the DMZ. Ryerson’s push for zone-based learning has been a major part of its educational strategy in the past years, and increasingly whatever your passion may be, Ryerson has a place where you can launch the business of your dreams.
It’s true that there are barriers to striking out on your own. As you’ll read in our business section this week, simply acquiring the money you’ll need to get up and running can be an oddysey in and of itself. But the rewards — the opportunity to pursue your career on your own terms, among others — are enormous.
These options are not just limited to the classic archetypes of the incubators — business students, or tech protegés. Whether or not you’ve thought of yourself as an entrepreneur, you have the makings of a great one.
The bottom line is that some schools have sprawling, ivey-covered campuses, expensive libraries and a pedigree dating back to the 19th century. But our school, while lacking in the history, has this. We have incubators and you should take advantage of them.
I won’t go so far as to write that everyone should follow their dreams — you’ve heard that before and I’m not your dad.
But if you’ve got an idea, a lot of passion and a work ethic to match, maybe you should think about entrepreneurship. Because, frankly, there’s never been a better time, or a better place to try to make your dreams a reality.