The Millennial’s Dilemma: Creativity vs. Comfort
I’m sure you’ve heard of the Innovator’s Dilemma. The one about disruptive technologies vs. established incumbents. However in today’s world, millennials face a different dilemma... millennials want to be their own boss.
Our stereotype says that we’re unfit for jobs in large corporations because we don’t like taking orders, working a fixed schedule, taking notes by hand, etc. The list goes on. Being an entrepreneur means being your own boss, and that’s often a millennial’s dream. Ask anyone and they can probably list the qualities of a great entrepreneur, as they are quite intuitive. They must have creativity, passion, drive, curiosity, and risk-tolerance. Seems simple, right?
During my time in undergrad, I’ve met countless people who checked off most of these qualities. They’re talented, passionate, motivated, and are asking all the right questions to all the right people that could potentially bring their business idea to the next level. I’ve met people who got full-rides to college, and therefore can use the money that was saved up for higher education as capital for a business idea. I have friends who have won local shark tanks and received funding to pursue a new venture. I even know some college students who have turned their passion in photography into a side business that makes hundreds of dollars each week.
But most of these people will not be pursuing what I just described. They are interviewing with established firms and getting ready to enter the dreaded Corporate America.
The fact of the matter is... working for a Fortune 500 company is, in our millennial perspective, safer. It’s much more comfortable knowing that you will receive paychecks on a monthly basis, and this decision often comes at the expense of foregoing the opportunity to be one’s own boss.
As someone who also fits into this category of millennials who chose comfort over pursuing a creative venture, I often find myself having second thoughts. I go back and forth between wanting to pursue my blog full-time to really give it a shot, and being excited for my consulting job. At the end of the day, I think that all of the other qualities strips away and it really just comes down to your risk tolerance. Knowing my own risk-profile, I wouldn’t be happy in a job that lacks security, even if it offered more freedom and flexibility.
If you want to be an entrepreneur or pursue a career in the creative fields, ask yourself how comfortable are you with the idea of lacking comfort? If your risk profile is high enough, you might just find yourself to be the next Mark Zuckerberg or the next Aimee Song.
— Cyndi Huang