Here are five tips for making a smooth transition from self-employment to employment.
- Seek a position where you can either work independently (for example, as an outside sales rep), or where you can be a leader (for example, project manager).
- Privately, give yourself a timeline for working at your new job (for example, two years), with the understanding that during that time, you'll give 100 percent of your professional energy to your employer. Your commitment (even if you don't tell your employer about your timeline) will help you be an earnest employee, knowing you haven't committed to be at that job forever. Meanwhile, the timeline will hold open the possibility of going back into business for yourself, should you decide you want to in the future.
- Stay in touch with your former business network if possible, being careful not to cross any ethical lines with your new employer (for example, don't take on clients for your new employer with the expectation of taking them with you, should you decide to go back to self-employment).
- If you're closing your small business and looking for employment, ask one of your former customers if she would serve as a reference to your potential employer.
- On the resume for your new role as an employee, avoid referring to yourself as owner of your former company. Use a job title such as General Manager or President – something that demonstrates your skills without saying, "I'm going to be hard to manage because I like being the captain of any ship I'm on."
Financial security is hard to find in this economy. If making a career change from self-employment to employment is what you need to do, check out these posts on handling self-employment in the work history section of your resume: