UK: EDITORIAL - BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS ON A FALSE TRAIL.

UK: EDITORIAL - BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS ON A FALSE TRAIL. - You're a bright young graduate with heady ambitions for your working life. You want to build, make money, be successful. The choice you make at this point is likely to be critical. Where are you goi

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

You're a bright young graduate with heady ambitions for your working life. You want to build, make money, be successful. The choice you make at this point is likely to be critical. Where are you going to start? Naturally, in the City or the media, or perhaps in the professions. The prospects are indeed seductive. You can expect a decent salary while you serve your apprenticeship. Thereafter your abilities should carry you rapidly to the top. If, for some reason, you find yourself blocked you can always walk out and found your own ad agency, say. But the very ease with which you can walk away, possibly taking with you a portfolio of clients is the reason why your youthful ambitions will continually be thwarted.

It has been seen time and again in people businesses. A firm is founded, it grows, flourishes briefly - and fissiparates. The supposed capital value is nowhere to be found. Even where fission doesn't take place, the creation of value is elusive. People businesses need to pay high salaries in order to retain value within the organisation. So profits turn into staff bonuses - and value still fails to accumulate. Indeed it is noticeable how margins tend to wither as people businesses mature. The talented and ambitious young graduates must not be seduced by the people business: they should head straight into industry.

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