How to Fight the Recession



Graduate Fog loves a flash of entrepreneurial spirit — but we worry about the practicalities. True, several schemes have been launched recently to help young people start their own businesses, many with government backing. It all sounds like a good idea — but does that mean it is a good idea?

Hmm. For us, the jury is out. A nagging thought won’t leave us alone – and that is: If even older people with years of solid commercial experience find it difficult to run their own business, is it really smart first step for a graduate with pretty much no experience?

A sceptic might also suspect that these ‘Why not start your own business?’ schemes could simply be an attempt by the government to move graduates off the ‘unemployed’ numbers. If they can count you as ‘self-employed’ you’re no longer ‘unemployed’, even if you aren’t making any real money. As yet, Graduate Fog hasn’t seen any strong evidence — unless you count the occasional Alan Sugar Mini Me — that it’s a sensible move for graduates to set up their own business.

If you’re really serious about being an entrepreneur, we think it’s a far better idea to find a really good boss to work for, first. Learn everything you can from them (and make all your mistakes while they’re paying you!). If you still want to do your own thing in a couple of years, go for it. But again this is only our opinion. By all means investigate further — you’re free to disagree.

There is an exception to this – we have seen many graduates make a success of setting themselves up as freelancers, particularly if they already have a skill that lends itself well to this kind of set-up. For example, several of you say you’ve had great success after setting up as freelance translators.


Before you do anything, read How to Decide about Further Study

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