People Who Couldn’t Find Jobs and Went to Create Their Own Company

It’s May 2020 and I can’t blame enough to COVID-19 for the low number of job hiring in Ireland. Today, I received yet another job rejection. However, this was harsh and kind of ate up my spirit. I applied to Medtronic at 2 AM in the night for the position of ‘Design Engineer’ and went to bed. Waking up at 8:15 AM in the morning, I had a rejection mail in my inbox. I wasn’t able to beat the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) yet again.

It has been quite some time now that I have been working on a project with the potential of a startup. Yes, just like a lot of average person out there, I have a crazy lots of ideas. However, I had been procrastinating for a while. I wanted to get a job, work in a MedTech company for a while and start on my own. However, now I believe that I just have to start.

Entrepreneurship is a tough journey. But you look up to people who have thrived the lonely journey and made it. There is an opportunity in every crisis.

Successful companies like Uber, Instagram, Whatsapp, Venmo, and Slack were founded during the Great Recession of 2008-09. Here is a graph outlining the number of technology startups in the US that have received funding over $100 million.

Startups during COVID-19
Source: Mattermark

However, the founders of these great companies had the experience of working in other companies. They kind of had the idea where the industry was headed and they had the technical know-how.

Therefore, this article focuses on some people who made it big when they couldn’t find a job or their dream jobs after college.

1. Elon Musk

Elon Musk (Source: CNBC)

If you are reading this, you know Elon Musk. Who doesn’t? He is perhaps one of the greatest entrepreneurs that the world has ever witnessed.

Musk started Zip2 in 1995 at the age of 24. At the time of writing this post, I am also 24. Ha ha! I am just trying to draw a parallel to derive motivation. Don’t judge me.

Okay, 4 years later Zip2 was sold to Compaq for $307 million in cash along with $34 million in stocks. Then he went to cofound PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX, and Solar City. Everyone knows it. So, I am not going to write further.

What you may not know is Musk applied for a job at Netscape in 1997 after graduating from grad school. However, he didn’t make it. Before joining grad school in 1992, Musk used to work on odd manual intensive jobs like farming and cleaning a boiler room.

2. Peter Thiel

3. Brian Acton

4. Mary Kay Ash

Mary Kay Ash started Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc. and at the time of her death, her net worth was over $98 million.


Guys and girls, if you can’t find a job, start a business. Yes, I know that it’s easier said than done. But you need to keep the wheel moving. Find that one thing where you are really good at. Of course, this is the skill which you thought would help you get the job. Entrepreneurship using that skill set will help you hone that skill and who knows you will make it BIG.


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