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Former Business Owner Seeking a New Job? 5 Tips Inside!

It can be tough to rejoin the workforce after being an entrepreneur. These five tips for former business owners seeking a new job will help you out!

Most people in the world of entrepreneurship have a hard time transitioning back to working for someone else. They’re used to being their own boss and having complete control over their lives and careers.

Yet, there is still an enormous need for qualified and motivated entrepreneurs to take on the responsibility of leading a team or company. If you’ve recently left the “entrepreneur” game to rejoin the workforce as an employee, there’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that you likely have a ton of skills to bring to the table. That’ll give you an advantage. The bad news? It’s going to take some work, and you’re going to have to make some adjustments.

Here’s everything you need to know as a former business owner trying to get a job.

Settle In

First things first. If you’re dealing with the disappointment of stepping down as a business owner: You need to turn this disappointment into positive action.

There’s a very real set of emotions that come with such a drastic life and mindset change. And at first, you may struggle to get back into a positive state of mind.

You may be kicking yourself for “not succeeding” at your business. Or, it may excite you to realize that entrepreneurism isn’t your game. But that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy to transition back into an employee role.

So give yourself some time to adjust. Consider taking a short trip, going on a retreat, or spending a weekend to unwind and recalibrate yourself. It’s time to get your head into the right space, to bring your seasoned business skills back into the job market.

Transition From Self-Employed To Employee

The first thing to do when transitioning from self-employed to an employee is to take stock of your future goals and where you want to end up in life.

Is this job going to be a new career? Or is it just a stepping stone to get to where you truly want to be?

Understanding the difference between a “job” and a “career” is essential in this case. If you have larger aspirations than working for someone else, you don’t want to lose your way in the process.

Know What You’re Looking For In Your Next Position

Before heading out to apply for jobs, take stock of what you’re trying to accomplish.

If possible, focus on job opportunities that fit better into your long-term plan.

Ask yourself; are you hoping to:

  • Find a managerial position?
  • Gain access to new or different skill sets?
  • Learn about a particular industry?
  • Gain business contacts that’ll help you to grow your career later on?

This new job-seeking opportunity can help you turn this season into a massive time for growth, learning, networking, and financial potential.

Consider Taking Classes To Expand Your Skill Sets

This may also be the perfect time to go back to school. Maybe there’s a new skill, trade, craft, or degree that could help you progress in your career. Of course, the same rules apply.

Try to figure out what’ll actually help you achieve your long-term plan. Don’t be afraid to make significant changes to your professional skillset if doing so will get you to the level you’re aiming for.

Revamp Your Resume

There are a few crucial “technical” steps that you’ll need to take in transitioning to getting a job after being an entrepreneur. And creating/updating your resume is one of them.

Update Your Resume

Updating your resume is the number one thing to get right in transitioning from owning your own business to re-entering the job market.

Some businesses are leery of employee prospects with “entrepreneurial” points on their resume. Therefore, it’s important to frame this experience in such a way as not to scare off potential employers.

Should I Put My Small Business On My Resume?

You don’t need to include it if your small business:

  1. Was just a side-hustle
  2. Never really generated significant income
  3. Isn’t at all relevant to the position you’re currently applying for

But if your small business was (or is) a big part of your life, and/or if it constituted either a full-time income or a significant part-time income, then it’s important to include it.

You may also want to include it if you believe that it’s relevant in any way to the position you’re applying for. You want to give yourself every possible advantage.

How Do You List “Business Owner” On A Resume?

Listing your “business owner” status on a resume can be a tricky thing to get right.

Here are some tips to help you maximize your potential for success:

  • Focus on how owning that business provided you with skills that’ll help you in the position you’re applying for
  • Reiterate your commitment to relevant fields, skills, or industries
  • Double-down on how being a business owner in that field prepared you to be the perfect candidate for the job you’re applying for

Alright. Now that you’ve got your resume nailed down, it’s time to get out there and “pound the pavement!”

Take Action

The next step is to put your new resume to the test, and:

Start Applying

Start with more attractive job prospects first. Prioritize positions that align with your future professional goals.

Then, work your way down the list. You may need to turn in a lot of applications. That’s ok. Cast a wide net.


Consider going to conferences, business networking events, and other professional gatherings to rub shoulders with movers and shakers in your industry.

Bring along plenty of cards. That way, you’ll be ready to exchange contact information with people who might either be looking for talent like yours or who may know people who are.

Don’t be afraid to be up-front about the fact that you’re looking for a new team. You may be someone’s dream prospect!

Make Use Of Digital Job Boards

Use job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, and Glassdoor to get a leg-up on the competition.

For best results, use several (or all) of these options. Make sure that your resume is getting in front of as many people as possible.

Stay Positive

One more piece of advice. Stay positive. This isn’t always an easy transition to make.

First off, you’re dealing with the emotional challenges of walking away from being a business owner. Secondly, you’ve also got the technical hurdle of trying to sell someone on your worth as an employee.

These things, when put together, can take an emotional toll on you. But it’s imperative to remember that you’re capable of doing extraordinary things. Don’t let these big life changes get you down or discourage you. Instead, look at it as a new opportunity to do bigger and better things.

If you keep going and don’t give up, you’ll come through this experience better, stronger, and more successful than ever.


This may not have been the path you chose when you first started your business. But it’s not the end of the road, either. It’s a new and exciting stepping-stone on your journey to success. And whether this ends up being temporary or permanent, your mindset will dictate everything.

So stay positive, take it one day at a time, and do what you need to get over this hurdle and on with your future. Just stick with it. And remember, you’ve got what it takes to succeed at anything you put your mind to.


[Author bio]

Ryan Sundling is a Group Marketing Manager at Cardinal Group Management. He has over ten years of experience in the conventional housing industry and works with The Proper on a daily basis to help them with their marketing efforts.