Entrepreneur to Employee
Last month, I wrote about the difficulties in making the entrepreneur to an employee transition.
I want to tell you the story of Tom, who is making the entrepreneur to employee transition.
Tom was raised by a set of traditional parents. Like most would-be entrepreneurs, Tom was different—in a good way.
- Tom is cause-driven. When he finds something he cares about, he becomes passionate.
- Tom is a people person. Tom is an introvert, but he is also a very good communicator. He relates to people very well. He is empathetic and really enjoys helping people.
- Tom is a geek! Tom understands technical issues and loves to solve complex problems.
Tom is a cause-driven, people oriented, geek! I told you he was different.
Tom moved to Austin with his family and needed a job. His last entrepreneurial venture was on hold, so he now had a problem most of us can relate to: he needed a paycheck!
I am working with more and more Gen Xers who, for one reason or another, need to abandon their entrepreneurial paths to acquire a paycheck.
Entrepreneur to Employee Transition
He found employment, but it was definitely a J-O-B. Remember, he is cause-driven.
Tom came to me we went into full diagnosis mode.
- We started with a Career Pivot Evaluation. Through the use of the Birkman assessment, he learned about what made him different. There were multiple aha moments.
- Once the evaluation was complete, we started the personal branding process. One of the first tasks was for Tom to ask three people he trusted to give him a set of words and phrases that described him. He was shocked!
Tom had no idea that people saw him that way. What they told him was true, but he had no idea that people viewed him like that.
Lesson #1 – We do not see ourselves the way other people see us.
We built what his ideal work environment would look like.
Targeted Job Search
Making the leap from entrepreneur to an employee is difficult. Tom could now identify what he wanted in his next position and ask for it. The key was that he could clearly articulate what he wanted.
- The employer’s mission had to be one that Tom identified with
- The environment had to be team oriented
- He would get to solve problems and, more importantly, problems that an impact on people’s lives
- He wanted a flexible work environment
Tom then built an extensive list of companies in the Austin area that could possibly meet these criteria. He started vetting the companies by working through the processes I laid out for him using LinkedIn.
- He identified who he knew in each company or who he knew that could introduce him to someone within the company
- Using a one on one approach, he met with employees on his target list (remember he is an introvert). He asked for AIR – Advice, Insights and Recommendations.
After meeting with one contact at Company A, he was able to remove company A from his list. As he met with others, he was able to remove more from the list.
As I expected, out of the blue, one of his contacts told him about an open position at a company based in Austin that met Tom’s criteria. His contact passed his resume to the hiring manager and, within a month, he had an offer in hand.
Lesson #2 – You have no control over the timing and the opportunity will come through a relationship.
I had a contact who had previously worked for the hiring company. He told us how finances and benefits were packaged, which allowed Tom to negotiate a better deal.
Cultural fit is incredibly important in the entrepreneur to employee transition. Tom defined the culture he wanted and set out to find it.
Companies are always looking to see if potential hire will be a good cultural fit. You need to do the same. Especially, in the entrepreneur to employee transition.
What do you want and can you articulate it?Marc Miller
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