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Career direction

How to make a career change when you are an entrepreneur

By Sarah Kearns

Being an entrepreneur is often seen as a dream career, so many people might wonder why anyone would ever want to change out of it. However, there are a lot of problems with being an entrepreneur too - like the long hours, the possibility of failure, and the required levels of drive and leadership. If you want to switch to a new career, here's how to go about it.

Spruce up your resume

Right now, your resume might look a bit bare. You probably have a large gap where you were working for yourself, building your business, and even going through multiple failed start-ups.

Fill this gap by listing that experience as you would any other job. You don't necessarily have to go into what happened or why the business failed. Just list your responsibilities and the skills you used that are relevant to your new career. You can talk about the positions at more length during the interview if they ask.

As with any career change, you will probably need to change things around a little. Keep your new career in mind whilst editing everything, and make sure it is all as relevant as possible. Highlight the skills that you have used in perhaps abstract ways: for example, convincing investors to buy into your company might be evidence of your salesmanship.

Go freelance

If you love what you do, but not running a business, then you might want to scale things down a bit. Sell your business, but keep hold of your contacts and your position in the industry. Use those to set yourself up as a freelancer.

Any skills you acquired during your time as an entrepreneur might be viable: marketing, accounting, problem-solving, writing, customer service - these are all things you can do freelance. Once you are unencumbered by your business, you can get to work building a regular client list.

Set yourself up with a new website showcasing your portfolio and contact details, and consider adding a blog to position yourself as an expert. Mentioning your experience as an entrepreneur will be a plus point, as it will show you have the knowledge and skills your clients are after. You could even end up freelancing for the company you founded!

Get back into education

If you don't have the necessary skills for the career you are thinking of, or your experience is lacking, it's a good idea to get yourself back into education. There are options ranging from short courses to full-time degrees, all of which will give you a new qualification to work with.

Apprenticeships and internships are also great ways to get yourself back on the career ladder. These provide learning experiences as well as experience on the job, - many companies like to choose their newest talent from the ranks of the trainees.

Going the education route is also a great way to test the waters. You may find that you don't enjoy the career you thought would be the next step after all - in which case you can easily drop out and start again.

Being an entrepreneur isn't easy, and if you're ready to make a change, there's no reason why you can't pull it off. As with any career move, you just need three things to do it: experience, ability, and confidence. All of these can be gained if you don't have them just yet!

Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, an online resource with information about businesses in the UK. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.

What Color Is Your Parachute?

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2022: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers
by Richard Nelson Bolles and Katherine Brooks
With more than 10 million copies sold in 28 countries, the world's most popular job-search book is updated for 2022. Katherine Brooks tailors the late Richard Bolles's long-trusted guidance with up-to-the-minute information and advice for today's job-hunters and career-changers.
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