When entering the industry, as a fresh out of varsity graduate, you will reach a first t-junction within your careers. You can either choose to turn left or you can turn right. To the left you see a journey of entrepreneurship and to the right you see a direct road leading to the gates of the corporate world. Which do you choose?

With this debate circling within my mind, I decided to look at the advantages and disadvantages within the corporate environment and in the world of entrepreneurship.

The corporate world is one of routine and security. It offers a day-to-day job where you are responsible to carry out duties that pertain to your job description, while receiving monthly numeration.  Advantages include, financial security with added benefits such as a pension, medical aid, perhaps a car allowance or even incentives. It allows you to obtain work experience and to widen your knowledge within your particular field while promoting specialization. Disadvantages include limited personal growth in terms of promotion and widening your knowledge beyond your area of expertise, having to always answer to your superior, not being able to have flexible hours to explore other personal ideas or dreams and you run the risk of becoming susceptible to disliking your job, ultimately making you unhappy. Lastly remember once within the corporate world many people find it extremely difficult to get out!

Entrepreneurship, on the other hand, is one of creativity and risk. It offers a change to create your own business. Advantages include, a broader knowledge of holistic business matters and greater experience in all sectors of problem solving, a chance to learn many valuable lessons that are experienced first hand, complete control over business decisions and control over the running and operations side, as well as the advantage of expansion and realizing your dreams and goals. Disadvantages comprise of financial risk and the difficultly of capital funding and a lack of time to focus on your area of expertise as you begin to have to deal with all the other business aspects. You may also face large amounts of personal stress as well as financial stress for the first five or more years while your business is in the process of establishing roots. This journey can be very emotionally tiring.

With these advantages and disadvantages pointed out, it must be realized that these points occur in varying degrees depending on what part of the fashion industry you are entering, therefore it is extremely important to research your chosen road! From experience, the entrepreneur side of starting up your own label is a very difficult journey, especially when you as the designer are running the entire operations side. It leaves little time to focus on design!

Ultimately, whether deciding to turn right or left, it is inevitable that you will face times of hardship as well as times of success. It’s up to you, as an individual, to decide which turn lends itself to your personality, to your current personal and financial position and lastly to the opportunities that surround you. Remember in life many future career t-junctions await us, and that this is just the beginning. As difficult as it many be to make this decision, find hope in the fact that u-turns are always an option!

Add your comment (1)
written by Kelly Cherian, March 04, 2012

I am Kelly a South African fashion designer, lecturer, project business trainer and a successful businesswoman. Now based in India with a company in natural jewelery designing and manufacturing . What started as a hobby flourished into a profitable business. However there is no business without its heralds - the up and down moments. But the fun of taking every decision to make a business grow is exciting.
I am the buyer,creative designer, the manager, the sale rep and the boss. Since my husband is returning to South Africa to expand his company, I am offered a good buy out which is in process.
Coming back to South Africa, I do not wish to pursue the entrepreneur course but go back into the corporate world where my skills can be used. To enhance the industry I love.
I am looking for an opportunity to use my creative and business skills. I love to work with charity groups or back in the fashion industry in Western Cape.