THE BLOG

Don't Take a Job, Make a Job

04/12/2013 11:50 am ET | Updated Jun 12, 2013

That's what I love about entrepreneurship. You don't just take a job, you make a job and create.

I ran a company for 20 years with significant autonomy. The biggest competitor was doing better than we did last year and keeping up with market trends and shifts. The biggest outcome, helping youth exit poverty and changing their family trajectories.

The greatest threats were the illegal drug industry and high school drop out trends, standing by always like hungry tigers and ready to pounce on America's youth, especially those who live under the poverty line. I saw many of the kids I personally taught get pounced on and a much larger persevere with new marketable skills and dreams.

To lead you had to be pretty fearless. You had to build a small army. No job was beneath you and you had to triage a lot. You had many who would join forces and help you and the goodwill was off the charts, inspiring you to do better, to be better, to work smarter. You couldn't hone one skill, you had to be a jack of many trades.

A year ago I had a 'blink' moment and decided to join the private sector and build again. It had to be something that would also make a difference or I would likely fail in selling it. It had to be awesomely entrepreneurial.

I joined a tech company and it hit so many of my passions: tech, helping people get jobs, building without an exact playbook, building channel partnerships, selling, dreaming big, having partners...

The rollercoaster ride was awesome and we ultimately derailed too quickly due to cash flow constraints. I learned about failing early and that some branches that you grab onto SNAP and you continue on your journey.

The challenge as I commenced a thoughtful job search eight weeks ago became do I 'take a job,' at a big company where I would get a great salary, benefits, work with smart people, nice fancy office and hone one skill i.e. marketing or business development or do I go for another entrepreneurial venture?

Recruiters demanded that I choose on piece if I wanted to join a big corporation. Revise my resume for a VP of Marketing Job or a VP of Business Development.

It was a painful proposition to almost sign the dotted line on one offer knowing full well in taking that job, I would be burying a lot of the leader in me and finding some way to be an effective cog in the wheel. Would a big paycheck fill the void? NO! I didn't sign. And the mortgage company was calling now every day...

A dear friend and mentor building something BIG contacted me two weeks ago about building with her. I couldn't understand it all so I just went into the office, met the team and started working. Great joy swept in as I realized this might be 'IT' and that this could leverage so much more of me and what matters...

We are making my job together right now. We are building a plan and I start officially in two weeks. "Julie, if you get invited onto a rocket ship, get on, don't ask where your seat is," said one of my friends and advisors Alex P after assessing the opportunity I shared with him. I feel like I am about to board a rocket ship of potential and the sky is not the limit. I am when I get boxed in professionally. I have a big job to make now in building America's STEM Workforce.