Career & Education

How do I transition back to my 9-to-5?

Career Advisor

Carolyn Marie Smith

Sunday, January 07, 2018

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Dear Career Advisor:

I have been operating a small business for almost 10 years. Though the business is stable, the market in which I operate is not dynamic and therefore the operation is not thriving as I envisioned it would. I am thinking of closing the operation or selling it as a going concern and returning to being an employer in the new year. After completing my undergraduate degree, I held a progressive and successful position in the corporate world. Truthfully, I sometimes miss the excitement of the corporate world; new targets, management training, teamwork, etc. But I fear that transitioning back to employed status will be difficult. What suggestions do you have?



Dear Brad:

It is natural to experience some level of trepidation in relation to transitioning from owner/manager to employee. However, instead of focusing on the challenges, galvanise your energies towards strategising for a very successful career change.

Here are a few suggestions that might be useful for your consideration:

• Self-confidence — Let your first priority be to be personally convinced that you are ready for this move; that this is what you really want to do and that it is not just a phase which might soon pass when the entrepreneurship bug returns.

• Mental adjustment — Transitioning from being your own boss to being a subordinate will require a significant mental adjustment.

• Skill Identification — Identify your specific employability skills, particularly those you have honed during your entrepreneurship journey. Undoubtedly, management, planning and organising, teamwork, and leadership will be among your most workplace desirable skills.

• Preparation for the competition — Be aware that you will be rejoining the pool of young, energetic, aspiring and highly motivated job-seekers already in the job-hunt fray.

• Re-entry level — It is likely that you have been serving as head-cook and bottle washer. It is now important for you to determine the level of the corporate ladder to which your skillset will be most beneficial and where you desire to serve.

• Sharpen interviewing skills — Undoubtedly, you would have served as interviewer of scores of people. The shoe will now be on the other foot. You will now need to present compelling reasons why you are the most suitable person for the position for which you desire to be engaged.

• Job Search — Strategise for your job-search, preparing application documents, etc. Do not forget to utilise your network linkages. Lastly, ensure that your professional, social media profile includes endorsements from credible managers.

Trust you will find these suggestions useful as you strategise for this transition.


Career Advisor

Carolyn Marie Smith is associate vice-president of student services at Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, Manchester. Submit your questions to her at




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