Owning a business isn’t right for everyone, and what may have been right for you at one point may no longer be a good fit for you. Market changes, technology changes, health issues, elder care or childcare responsibilities – any of these may impact your interest or ability to run your business. 

I had the absolute joy of doing a LinkedIn Live with career coach and job search expert Teegan Bartos of Jolt Your Career and we dove deep into what business owners, and specifically consultants, need to do to position themselves as strong candidates for corporate jobs. 

Teegan kicked it off describing how during the pandemic many professionals opted to (or were forced to due to lack of jobs) start consulting.

This may or may not have worked out well. As a consultant they may have gotten some good traction, or may have only worked with one or two clients. 

My opinion is that it doesn’t matter whether you “crushed it” or not because you learned a ton. You probably created a brand for your business, wrote a business plan, put up a website, created a pitch deck, generated proposals, etc. All of this is valuable experience. 

And you likely did work with some people, even if it was not at full rate. Even pro bono work counts.

I believe you have to be honest because everything is verifiable. If you have some people who will say they got value from working with you, that is all you need. How much you charged or if you charged is nobody’s business. The big consulting firms do projects for cheap or free to win business in the future. There’s no shame in that.  

Even if all you learned was that you’re an extrovert who needs to be with people and “living the dream” of working alone in your pajamas was definitely not for you, say that. It’s honest and will get you past the things your potential employer is thinking, but may not explicitly ask about. 

As a candidate, you need to talk directly to an employer’s concerns that you will just be padding your pockets for some period of time and then quitting to start another business. You also need to make it clear that you know how to fall into a hierarchy, can take direction, and will play nicely with others. 

If you are dying to brainstorm and work with A-level talent that you couldn’t afford to hire on your own, or if you love to mentor and manage people, say it loud and say it proud. It may get you a job offer!

In this fast-paced interview we answered some sticky questions that people texted us. Watch it if you need it, or forward it to someone who needs it.