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The Shameless Paycheck: Returning to a Job After Being a Founder

nancy-slotnickNancy Slotnick (see bio, below) considers herself a “backwards entrepreneur.”

After starting several successful ventures and writing a book, Nancy decided to get a job again. We chatted about the fact that women should never feel ashamed when they make the decision to leave an entrepreneurial life for a steadier cash flow and a spirit of team work. Some employers are skittish about hiring an entrepreneur, but Nancy has cracked the code on returning to the workforce. Here is her story:

In Nancy’s Words…

“Does anyone remember that Enjoli commercial from the ‘70s with the sexy young woman singing ‘I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never never never let you forget you’re a man.  ‘Cuz I’m a woman.  Enjoli.'”

Project Bacon: I’m out of college for about 25 years and I just recently took a “real job.” I guess I did the entrepreneurial thing backwards.  Most people spend their half their lives working the grind of the work force, and they then finally decide to follow their dream.  I followed my dream at the ripe old age of 27.  It was a dream come true, but I didn’t make millions.  Hundreds of thousands, yes.  Passion about my career, yes.  Feeling of making a difference, yes.  But financial security, health benefits, 401k, not so much.

I decided that now would be the right time to trade in my chops as a solopreneur for a chance to work in my industry on a grander scale.  Simultaneously I would relieve the pressure of working for myself.

Having been a headhunter in the beginning of my career, I knew that such a move would not be a piece of cake.  However, I have been coaching women for the past two decades in how to find a dream man.  There’s not much that could be harder than that.  I took a lesson from my strategies in work and in love and I landed my dream job in under two months.  Here are three important tips on how I did it and what you should do if you are planning to do the same:

  1. Hustle the Interview– I knew that my resume would not be rising to the top of the pile in today’s market.  The skills of being an entrepreneur are extremely marketable.  However, on paper I looked like a stay-at-home-mom with a side business.  Not cool.  I did not rest on my laurels of submitting a resume. I used the job posting sites as a way to see where the jobs were and then I worked my network like crazy to get a warm intro.  This process included the fun game “guess someone’s email,” which is not a hard game to win.
  2. Have Stories– Interviewers want to have a clear picture of your skills and they will ask you for examples of your experience.  If you haven’t done the exact job for which you are applying, you should have a few great accomplishment stories in your repertoire.  Plan them out in advance and be prepared to massage them into the conversation whether they exactly fit or not.
  3. Be Humble– One of the best things I did (ok, maybe I’m not being humble here) was admitting that my resume didn’t look the part.  I also acknowledged that I would be working for men and women younger than I.  In this way I was able to show that I didn’t have a chip on my shoulder and that was important.  Otherwise my age and prior independence would have been an elephant in the room.  There’s nothing worse than being “overqualified” for a job.”

Nancy Slotnick is a dating expert at Cablight.com and Product Marketing Manager at Snap Interactive. Nancy is a Harvard graduate and author of the book Turn Your Cablight On: Get Your Dream Man in 6 Months or Less, published by Penguin.