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Fitting Back In: Rebounding Back to Corporate After Entrepreneurship

Fitting Back In: Rebounding Back to Corporate After Entrepreneurship

 

Owning your own business is hard work. It is definitely not something everyone can do — even the best business ideas don’t come through. Going back to a corporate job after owning your own business can feel like you’re giving up, but there are also advantages to making that change. When trying to fit back into the corporate puzzle, make sure you think through all of your options and determine exactly what you want.

THINGS TO CONSIDER FOR JOB SEARCH FOR ENTREPRENEURS

ONE: Many business owners quit entrepreneurship because they are tired of wearing all the hats from CEO to janitor. Entrepreneurs work longer and harder hours because they must fulfill every job role for the company unless they are able to hire other employees. As an entrepreneur, you aren’t just implementing someone else’s business model. You:

  • Create the business model
  • Network with clients
  • Make and take the phone calls
  • Implement plans
  • Take out the trash

Corporate jobs offer stability and direction of position. Many factors can play into leaving a self-started business such as a drastic life change or just simply not wanting to do it anymore.

TWO: When you do decide to go back to corporate, know how your skills translate to the job you want. More than likely you will try to go back to a desk job at the level or position title previously held. While that is well and good, you need to make sure all of your new skills from owning your own business are also applied to your repertoire. Prepare your resume with those skills, be proud of your accomplishments, and any knowledge you have gained. Don’t promote yourself as the ‘CEO’ but use a title that best describes your position — what you actually did during your business.

THREE: Make sure you address the pink elephant — the question that needs to be answered, not ignored. Why did you leave your business? You should be thinking about this long before your first interview. It should be a well prepared explanation and make the company feel at ease instead of worrying about how long you will be with them. You want to prove that you can and will be an asset and a member of their team. Make them realize you do have value, skills they need, and are not just looking for a rebound job. Don’t be overly detailed in explaining why you are leaving entrepreneurship, but give enough information to indicate your current and future intentions. If the business failed, own up to it, you tried, you put yourself on the line and did the best you could have done. State accomplishments and take what you have learned from the crash and use it to better yourself and the company you want to work for.

FOUR: Do your research. When you go back to corporate, you don’t want just any job. There was a reason you decided to pursue an entrepreneurship and you should follow the path you are passionate about.

  • Fitting Back In Rebounding Back to Corporate After Entrepreneurship Image by iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

    Fitting Back In Rebounding Back to Corporate After Entrepreneurship
    Image by iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

    Take advantage of networking opportunities with former colleagues and supervisors.

  • Find companies of interest and reach out to people who work there.
  • Schedule informational meetings and interviews.
  • Have a concise description of what you are looking for.

FIVE: You may encounter the grief roadblock — feel like you’re ‘selling out’ or ashamed of leaving your own business. Try your best to be positive and focus on your accomplishments, not your failures. Plan for a change in environment and adjust accordingly.

SIX: You need to learn as must as you can. Don’t walk into the job thinking that you already know everything about the position. There will be things you need to learn and things you have never heard of before. Pay attention to things that will give you an edge and how you can effectively cooperate in this new job. Conversely, you may be able to teach them something from your own experiences owning your business. Offer creative and constructive suggestions in a way that doesn’t make you sound like you know better than the boss.

Navigating back to a corporate job is challenging. You need to re-market yourself, rework your resume, and present yourself in a way that fits into a corporate lifestyle. You’ve gotten used to working for yourself — being laid back about some things and taking your time on projects but a corporation does not operate that way. You need to figure out how to work effectively on a 9-to-5 schedule and leave work knowing you were productive and worked hard. Knowing the culture of the company you are moving into can help you adjust more easily as well as let the company know your motives align with theirs. Once you have worked through all of the details, you will be able to see how every piece fits together and your function as one part of the corporate picture.

By Kaley Buck, Five Strengths Contributor

3 Career Change Strategies for Former Entrepreneurs

3 Career Change Strategies for Former Entrepreneurs

As the economy fluctuates, many entrepreneurs consider their long careers and successes in the companies they built. We hear of high-tech leaders who built companies from their basements, and we hear of manufacturing leaders who built product suites appealing to the mass market. If you are an entrepreneur with a company that has potentially maxed it out its life cycle or that is about to be sold, you might be considering entering the paid workforce as an employee in another company. Read on for three career advancement strategies for former entrepreneurs that you can use right now to build a smart plan for your career transition.

1. Define your network.

Of course, as an entrepreneur, you know lots of people. You meet them in business meetings, in your Chamber of Commerce, through friends, and through friends of friends. However, have you ever approach any of them with critical business questions? It is even less likely that you have approached this network with questions about your own career advancement. Now is the time to revive old relationships. Building out the number of people on whom you can call to ask about opportunities in other industries or other companies is going to be an essential if difficult part of this process.

2. Assess your own skill set.

As an entrepreneur, you likely wear many hats. Depending on the type of fire you are putting out, you might be CFO, CEO, or CIO on any given day. You might also be sales executive, human resources executive, or the guy who has to run to the hardware store to pick up a new light switch. Other entrepreneurs would sympathize with how thinly you have been stretched. They would also understand that you might find it hard to identify the skills you want to build on in a new role. Thus, it would be wise for you to take an hour or two and inventory what you love about your job, what you hate about it, and where your skills fit in to what you want to be doing next. If you have no idea where your assets might be of value in a corporate environment, now is the time to speak with an expert, such as an executive career consultant, who can help you make that determination.

3. Prepare your resume and career portfolio.

If you know exactly what you want to be doing in a new company, now is the time to have your executive resume prepared. (If you are still in decision-making mode, go back to number 2 on this list. Preparing yourself for a new career but taking the steps out of order will result only in your mounting frustration.) If you have done the research, then you know what goes into writing a resume for a former entrepreneur that resonates with hiring executives in the current market. You’ll know how to enhance your marketability to somebody who is scanning your document in perhaps 20 seconds or less. You can find many resources in the library or on the Internet that will explain how to write, organize, and design the modern executive resume. At the same time, do not neglect to prepare an effective LinkedIn profile that will get you found by the hiring executives and recruiters who are looking for experts like yourself. For certain, if you find the resume and career portfolio writing process daunting, as many executives in your situation do, then engaging a career management consultant who knows how to do this might be a wise choice for you.

Looking for Work Is Now Your Full-Time Job

Would You Hire Yourself during Your Job Search: Looking for Work Is Now Your Full-Time Job

If you’re unemployed, looking for work should be your full-time job. Although your effort to look for work in this touch economy isn’t something you can put on a resume, your job search has to be your main focus, and that means up to 40 hours per week.

Does a 40-hour weekly investment seem too much? Think about it this way. If you worked for a company and didn’t spend every valuable moment doing something profitable and productive, you’d get yourself fired. If, in a perfect world, you could hire someone else to find you a job, and that person failed, you would fire him/her as well for failure to perform. Thus, if you’re not looking for work some standard number of hours every work week in effort to find yourself a job, you should probably fire that persona and take on a new, successful job search strategy.

If You Worked only 22 Minutes per Day, You’d Be Fired

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Creative Commons License photo credit: pj_vanf

A recent white paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research* reported on what the unemployed generally do instead of looking for work. It turns out people sleep more, work on their houses more, and attend to their medical care. But they don’t spend a great deal of time looking for work. Surprisingly, they spend only 1% of their time in job search mode. If a typical work week is about 37 hours (down about 9% over the last couple of years), this means that the average unemployed person is spending 22 minutes per day looking for work.

Your Job Search Plan of Attack

Every hour, every minute you spend on some other activity during work time is unrecoverable time lost that you could be using productively as you are looking for work. Use this list to jump-start your new daily grind:

  • Join a Job Club. There are in-person job clubs, virtual job clubs, formal and informal job clubs—and all are designed to help you as you are looking for work. If you live in the Salt Lake City area, come to the Salt Lake City Job Club—it’s free. Call me at 801-810-JOBS to participate.
  • Get training. You’ve got the time, so go take a class in something you can talk about in your next interview. It also fills that gap on the resume since your last position while you are looking for work.
  • Shadow someone in a new industry or position for a day. Learn what they do. Ask questions. Pay attention. This might be your job target.
  • Network with people you know—and people you don’t know. Expand your circle. Become visible.
  • Apply intelligently for jobs. Your resume is one of the keys to your success. Tweak it for choice positions. Don’t know how? Don’t have a killer resume? Not getting those interviews? Call me at 801-810-JOBS.

Don’t just “do” something. Everything you do in your job search should have a purpose. If you don’t have a strategy and have no idea what the best use of your time is while you are looking for work, call me.

What do you while you are looking for work? Comments welcome.

* “Time Use During Recessions,” NBER, July 2011, http://www.nber.org/papers/w17259.pdf.

Entrepreneurs Need a Resume and a Professional Biography

Entrepreneurs Need a Resume and a Professional Biography

I’ve written in the past about resume writing for business owners. But it’s not enough for entrepreneurs to have a resume. Entrepreneurs who are thinking about transitioning back into the corporate world also need a professional biography.

What Is a Professional Biography?

A professional biography is not a resume. A professional bio is a one-page statement of who you are from a branding perspective—a marketing document that is content-heavy, attractive, and readable. It’s purpose is to convince a hiring manager that you have the substance and experience to make interviewing you worth their while.

Constructing and Professional Biography from the Ground Up

As a business owner, you probably feel like your business is your life. But your business owner experience is not the same as your life story. So your professional biography will likely start somewhere around the time that you developed your idea for your company. If that was while you were in college, great—use that to your advantage. But the fact that this document is called a biography doesn’t mean you need to collect your personal history starting from your childhood. Remember: Everything you present to a future hiring manager counts, and this needs to be clean, professional, content-laden, and well written to get a jaded hiring manager’s attention.

Key Sections of a Professional Biography

There are many formats that will work for a professional bio; you might want to research what your potential colleagues have developed. Likely they will all contain the following elements:

  • A history of how you got to the point at which you are seeking to make the transition to corporate life.
  • A brief discussion of your skill set, detailing a few stories of accomplishments specifically related to your target role.
  • Your educational history.
  • Your contact information.
    Your photo, if you choose.
  • Recommendations or testimonials from clients and vendors.
  • Speaking engagements or publications related to your industry.
  • Related interests and hobbies, if appropriate.

How to Use a Professional Biography

Certainly, you must have a resume if you are applying for jobs. However, as you network into companies and work with recruiters, you might want to have copies of your professional biography ready to present. Because your bio will be lighter and eminently readable yet still contain the essential elements of your brand, you might find that recruiters and hiring managers are likely to read this document to get a broader sense of the person behind the words—you, the professional ready to tackle a corporate positions successfully.

If you’re an entrepreneur who is trying to break into a traditional corporate job, learn how an executive resume writing service can help you make that transition here.