by Michelle Keefe | March 30, 2023

How to Transition Out of Entrepreneurship Into a 9-5

Whether you sell your business, decide that entrepreneurship is no longer the right fit for your lifestyle and needs, or realize that you may need some income from a 9-5 to support your side hustle, transitioning out of self-employment and into the corporate world is a new and exciting opportunity for you. This change can feel intimidating, especially if you had never been a part of it before or have been out of it for several years, but it’s absolutely doable.

If you’re thinking about joining an organization as an employee, keep these tips in mind to help make the transition a smooth one.


How to Join the Corporate World After Leaving Entrepreneurship
Give Yourself Time to Adjust

Going from being your own boss to having a boss is a big transition, which means that it may take a little bit of time for you to get used to this new role — and that’s okay. If your situation allows, consider giving yourself a break in between closing up shop and starting your new job to ease the stress of this big change. If leaving the entrepreneurship world was a really tough and emotional decision, having time to grieve is important. Especially after working hard for several years as a business owner, you deserve a chance to recharge, relax, and prepare for what’s to come.

Entering your new job feeling excited and refreshed will easily set you up for success. This will also give you time to make adjustments to your routine, which is particularly helpful if you used to work nontraditional hours in your business but will now be working the typical Monday-Friday, 9 am - 5 pm schedule.

Polish Your Resume and Cover Letters

Some experts say to avoid showing that you were a business owner on your resume because a potential employer may worry that you’re not a “team player,” according to Entrepreneur. However, being an entrepreneur reveals the experience you have of being able to take initiative, adapt, and be innovative, which are all qualities that employers value. You can position yourself as someone who is looking forward to being a part of a team and collaborating while also emphasizing how much of a go-getter you really are and highlighting all of the transferable skills you have.

Remember that no two employers are the same, so some employers may feel that hiring a former entrepreneur is a big opportunity for them! It’s all about how you look at it, and don’t hesitate to tweak your resume and cover letters accordingly, based on the position and organization.

Be Intentional with Finding the Right Role

Finding the right role undoubtedly may be the hardest part of this process. Especially if you’re someone who has worn many hats and played plenty of roles, you may feel like you’re out of place when entering the corporate world — and that’s okay. The most important thing to remember is to take your time with job searching rather than jumping into the first opportunity you come across.

If you’re not sure where to start with knowing which career is the best fit for you, try one (or all!) of these methods:

  • Determine your favorite responsibilities and tasks from your business: What did you enjoy doing the most in your business? Make a list of all of the tasks that you looked forward to completing, and then seek organizations or roles that may have those job responsibilities.
  • List your skills and accomplishments: It’s no secret that being a business owner brought you a lot of skills and achievements! Brainstorm what they are and write them all down. From there, you can start to group some of them together to think about what careers might involve those talents or qualities.
  • Take a career quiz: These types of quizzes aren’t completely personalized, as they’re put together based on an algorithm, but it may be interesting to see which results you get. It may have you thinking about pursuing a career that never crossed your mind before!

Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to do right away. This process is something that should take time, so allow yourself to sit with your thoughts and determine what you want out of your next career before making any type of decision.

Turn to to Your Network

Sometimes, it’s not always what you know, but who you know! Your network is one of the best resources to leverage when you’re looking for a new role or even advice. Especially as a former business owner, your clients, employees, and colleagues are all great people to turn to when you’re in need of referrals, recommendations, or tips. If you know someone who has a role or is in an industry similar to what you’re interested in, they would be the perfect person to talk with about what your next steps might look like.

You may feel worried about how it might look when you share with these individuals that you’re leaving your business and jumping into the corporate world, but remember that this is a bold, brave decision, and those who are in your circle will be just as excited about this new opportunity as you are!

Work with a Recruiter
Leaning on MomUp for Support

At MomUp, we celebrate all kinds of career transitions, whether you’ve been in the corporate world for a long time or you’re just getting started in it. Working with a recruiter is especially helpful when you’re leaving entrepreneurship, as they have the connections and opportunities to point you in the right direction and can prepare you for what’s next.

Get started with MomUp today!