What does it take to succeed in your career today? Being excellent at your job is no longer enough. As major companies and whole sectors of the economy become obsolete, no job is entirely secure.
Young professionals can thrive amid uncertainty by developing their entrepreneurship skills. In this webinar, André Delafontaine, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Business School Lausanne (BSL), explains how.
“Thrilling and a little bit scary”: the hypergrowth economy
Due to accelerating technological change, there are huge opportunities to innovate and succeed today. Over the past century, leading companies have been growing ever faster. While electricity took 50 years to reach mass adoption, the smartphone took only a few.
The time is ripe for innovation and entrepreneurship. But the rising generation of young professionals also faces tremendous challenges. Nobody can predict where opportunity lies, and failure is likely. As technological innovations are adopted worldwide at lightning speed, the chances of entering any given field before competitors take over are slim. This high-opportunity, high-risk situation is “thrilling and a little bit scary”, André says.
How should young professionals prepare for and start a career in this unpredictable world?
Using entrepreneurship skills to build a career
The secret to success, according to André, is to develop a new kind of mindset. Rather than just striving for excellence in a certain field or role, today’s young professionals need to stay open-minded and flexible. They need to accept failure as part of their path. And, most importantly, they should be ready to work on multiple projects at once. Because nobody can predict how exactly the economy, a particular company, or an individual career will develop, the only way to guarantee success is to keep trying out different ideas to discover what works.
The problem is that few people have the skills needed to thrive in such an unpredictable environment. The current educational system instills beliefs and behaviors that are detrimental to entrepreneurship. For example, children learn that there is only one right answer to each problem, and that failure is unacceptable. These principles can limit their personal growth, André cautions.
In the webinar, André outlines what young professionals and job seekers need to do to ensure success. His suggestions include:
- Be open to seizing new opportunities, even in difficult situations such as the crisis created by Covid-19. Question what seems obvious.
- Instead of avoiding risk at all costs, evaluate risks relative to the potential rewards. It is much better to fail early and often than to focus your entire career on something that appears secure and then fail later.
- Seek collaborators. “There’s always more knowledge outside of the room than within,” André advises. Even as a professor, he is open to ideas and growth: “In my classes, I expect to learn at least as much from the participants as the participants learn from me. … The second I stop learning, that’s the end of my career.”
The good news is that entrepreneurship can be taught. Even if you are not used to approaching your career with an entrepreneurial mindset, business school can be the perfect environment to experiment and grow.
Entrepreneurship can be taught
Are you ready to learn the skills needed to secure a stable career in an unpredictable world? In the second part of the webinar, Melanie Le Chêne, Head of Student Recruitment & Admissions at BSL, explains what it takes to get admitted to business school and bring your career to the next level.
Watch the full webinar to learn more about life as a business school student and the opportunities afterwards. You will get answers to the following questions:
- Who should I ask for letters of recommendation?
- Is an internship part of the business school program, and does my visa allow it?
- Does applying early increase my chances of getting a scholarship?