Owning your own business has become the ideal dream for many people.
However, new data shows that 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years, and many entrepreneurs struggle with growing their business. As a result, many entrepreneurs may decide to transition back into the workforce after starting a business.
To help navigate the transition from entrepreneur to employee, Mogul Millennial sat down with Career Coach and Leadership Expert, Julia Rock of Rock Career Development for some tips. Julia is a career-transition coach who works with entrepreneurs and others seeking to transition to a new position through her own company Rock Career Development.
Here, Julia shares suggestions on how entrepreneurs should position themselves when transitioning back into the workforce.
What are some things entrepreneurs should know or do before re-entering the workforce?
- Assess your transferable skills. What skills are in demand today that align with what you have developed during your time in entrepreneurship?
- Network. Who in your network is hiring? What connections have you made in your entrepreneurial journey that you can now leverage? How can you use the networking skills you developed to grow your company to now help you find the right contacts to secure a new position?
- Reframe your brand. When you are seeking a new opportunity in the workforce, you will have to reposition yourself as someone looking to add value to a company. This may be a difficult shift given up to this point your focus has been on adding value to your own brand, but it's important to highlight what skills and expertise you are now ready to bring to an employer.
- Potentially progress additional academic/education programs. Depending on your existing skills and the career opportunities you want to pursue, new degrees/certifications/qualifications may help improve marketability.
What are some common obstacles entrepreneurs face re-entering the workforce?
- Mindset. After being your own boss for a period of time, the idea of re-entering the workforce feels like a step back or a failure.
- Lack of positioning. Many entrepreneurs struggle with articulating their business experiences and how it successfully positions them for new career opportunities. So it can take a while to secure the role they're looking for.
- The actual job search process. Entrepreneurs are used to being in control and being able to get things done on their timeline. However, they have no control over the job search and recruiting processes at companies they've applied to, so there may be some exasperation with navigating the process and waiting for results of the applications and if they get an interview.
- When they finally get the roles, readjusting to life on the clock. After being able to set your own schedule, take vacation when you want etc., getting back on someone else's clock can seem frustrating.
How can entrepreneurs rediscover or maintain balance while re-entering the workforce?
The main thing here is to recalibrate on what's important. I don't even call it balance really, but rather prioritization. You've got to think about what needs to be done first, what's top priority, and what are the non-negotiables. Outlining those critical items first will allow entrepreneurs to keep their lifestyles in check while still performing well at work.
How do you prepare a resume to highlight your entrepreneurial experience without scaring off potential employers?
Entrepreneurship is a strength, not something to be afraid of.
Having an entrepreneurial background enables you to showcase your ability to be innovative, strategic, creative, and execution focused. You have built expertise in a variety of different areas and know what it means to be a leader. All of this should be highlighted on your resume. The key here is to show employers that you want to bring this expertise and experience to their company. You can utilize your resume summary section as well as your cover letter to show your interest in transitioning from entrepreneurship to deliver results for this organization.
Once you decide that you're going to hang up the entrepreneur life and head back to a 9-5, how should you approach figuring out what to do next?
Take time for clarity.
Step back and evaluate what you actually want next. Ask yourself what success looks like to you NOW after an entrepreneurial journey, what skills you want to develop or strengthen, what's important to you in life now after exiting entrepreneurship, etc.
All of these questions are essential before just sending out job applications. You want to create intention around your next step, so that you aren't applying aimlessly and getting overwhelmed in the process.
How do you answer the question of why you want to join a company after working for yourself?
That answer can be different for everyone. But you can talk about the passion you have had, and now that you've been able to bring it to life on your own, you want to bring that knowledge and expertise to companies to help them achieve goals in that specific area. You can talk about how your entrepreneurship experience has enriched your career, and you're ready for your next chapter.