Friday, February 23, 2007

From Self-Employment to Employment

I have had a sporadic and unproductive work life. At 43 I have no children or a marriage as an excuse.

I have worked independently as a massage therapist and yoga instructor for the past seven years. Now, I want very much to do something else.

I am working on a resume to submit to Stony Brook University to do something managerial. Considering I had my own business [massage/yoga] what would I head that work experience as?
-- Valerie

by Richard Yadon, Health Career Professionals, President/CEO

Your question is as much about resume writing as it is managing your career. Let’s tackle the resume question for now.

Keep in mind that your resume is really nothing more than your marketing brochure. You are the product and the salesperson. Your resume has to quickly, very quickly, grab the attention of the hiring manager or human resources representative. If they can’t readily find a connection between what they need and what you offer they will move on to the next resume in their stack. How you head and describe your past business experience is dependent upon what the University is looking for.

For instance:
If they are looking for someone to manage clerical people you might want to list the heading like this:
Manager/Owner, Massage & Yoga Business

If they want someone to manage a specific program, you might list the heading like this:
Program Manager/Owner, Yoga Therapy Programs

I recommend you take the following steps:
1) Try to find out to whom the position reports.
2) Call this person, tell them you are interested in the position, but you’d like to know more about the duties and responsibilities. Listen carefully because you will learn the needs of this hiring manager. If you can’t talk with the hiring manager, see if Human Resources can give you this information.
3) Make a list of your business ownership responsibilities and compare it to the duties of the job to which you are applying.
4) Find the correlations between the two lists and construct a heading that will grab the attention of the hiring manager or HR representative. Your heading must demonstrate experience with the kind of management they need.

Richard Yardon's firm, Health Career Professionals, is an executive search and employee development company focused in the healthcare industry. If you'd like Richard to help with your job search, email him.

Susan Ireland's Two Cents
Valerie, I searched online to find some good posts/articles about entrepreneurs switching to employment. They were hard to find! There were a gazillion articles about transitioning from employment to self-employment but very few on the reverse. Yet, I know you are not alone. Many consultants and other self-employed folks are moving back into employment because self-employment simply isn’t the right thing for them.

Here’s a comment by Repique to a post on Ask the Readers: Find the Right Career?, which I think says it well.

Job Lounger, do you have a question? Email ( it to me and I’ll post your question and an expert’s answer here in The Job Lounge.

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