Did you leave your corporate job to follow the siren-song of entrepreneurship - by choice, or by necessity after job loss (not uncommon today!)? Are you glad you did most days?
Or are you like some who begin to feel the pull of a corporate job, a “steady” paycheck, and benefits? Are you just weary and/or bored by running your company? Or, have you sold a successful venture and find yourself in search of a new position?
If you are like many entrepreneurs in transition you are likely in your prime working years, have significant accomplishments, and would be a top-performer in a corporate setting.
And if you are like many entrepreneurs in transition you are finding it surprisingly difficult to get traction in today’s job market, to obtain interviews, and to secure offers.
Many companies are looking for 100%+ fit, won’t hire “outside of the box,” and don’t know how to translate entrepreneurial accomplishments into corporate terms. These are tough challenges, yet you can overcome them with the same creativity and drive you’ve brought to everything you do.
Use these 12 strategies and resources for success in back-to-corporate transitions:
1. Define and refine your executive brand so that your value proposition is strong, understandable, and relevant to your targets. A coach trained in branding can be very helpful in this critical process. (Reach Personal Branding is the premier source for Certified Personal Brand Strategists)
2. Don’t rely solely on Internet job postings and executive recruiters. Career transitions generally don’t fit into these models and the success rate is low. So the time you spend with them should be low, too.
3. Use your network! Focus your pursuit strategy on tapping into (or building) your network to become a prime source of information and introductions to decision makers.
4. Learn the jargon of your target industry or field. Not knowing current buzzwords and “corporate speak” will brand you as an outsider.
5. Be proactive! Research possible companies, develop an employment proposal around key issues, and use your network to manage introductions into the company.
5. Join senior executive communities like Netshare or Execunet where highly selective recruiters and companies pay to post positions and where you can join on-line forums and network with people at your level.
7. Develop a team of advocates for your success – people who understand you, like you, respect you, and will be happy to give you PR.
8. Consider using an executive talent agent if your transition is especially difficult, if you are severely time constrained, of if your search is highly confidential. Check out Job Whiz (profiled in Forbes) for information.
9. Be sure that your career communications (bio, LinkedInprofile, resume etc) reflect your brand and ROI-value proposition (your Why-Buy-ROITM) and build a “fit” before you even interview.
10. Focus on building your interview skills and knowledge of your targets. Remember your resume is just a tool; don't be like many peole and use it as a crutch or excuse for inaction. Your resume cannot land you a job - only YOU can do that. Interviewing well by showing how you would perform in the new position will land you on the sort list and help get the offer. I highly recommend Ask the Headhunter’s strategies.
11. Build your on-line presence by posting your profile on sites like LinkedIn, Google+, Namz, About.me, and others.
12. Create an executive portfolio, web portfolio, and blog – you’ll be differentiated and you’ll be in control of your online identity.
With a clear personal brand, viable targets, and a powerful ROI message, you will be primed to go to the next level!