The Shameless Paycheck: Returning to a Job After Being a Founder
Nancy 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.