Lower sights to return to office

August 24, 2008
Filed under: Coach's Corner — Tags: , , — jonimar @ 5:00 pm

Q: I’ve been self-employed for the last 10 years. I’m 55 and I miss working in a traditional business environment and I want to return to the office setting again. Where should I start?

A: After 10 years of self-employment, switching gears may test your resolve. The scope of activities in an organization is typically more limited than in your own business. List your top priorities for returning to work as well as the tasks you are most passionate about doing. Focus on roles that satisfy both.

Next, take stock of where you excel and the results generated during self-employment. Highlight three to five of your biggest successes in your resumé, outlining briefly what it took to accomplish these results. This demonstrates your distinctive brand of creativity, initiative and perseverance for a prospective employer to envision how your skills align with the organization.

Now it’s time to check out the market. Just like starting out in your own business, look for allies who will promote you in new arenas. Contact businesses that link closely to where your unique skills and experience would be most appreciated. Conduct informational interviews with individuals whose job interests you for an inside glimpse without the pressure of a job interview. Scrutinize the daily role. If it seems like a promising fit, request a job interview.

Once there, carve out a role for yourself. Present how your specific combination of skills would benefit the organization — companies do create jobs for an ideal candidate, but it may require patience. 

Finally, don’t be offended if you are temporarily offered a slightly lower position than you expect. If it puts you on a direct path to the role you want, it may be beneficial as you acclimatize to the company. From the inside, it’s easier to design your next move.

Originally printed in The Province on August 24, 2008


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