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Ask The Expert: How to Successfully Transition from Self-Employment to a Corporate Position

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Ask The Expert

September: Expert Career Transistion
This Month's Career Expert: Liz Rubin

Liz Rubin - Executive Search Expert
Elizabeth Rubin,
Career Advisor


Liz Rubin has 20 years of professional experience in the areas of Executive Search, Government, Mental Health Counseling and Career Management. As a Certified Executive Coach, Ms. Rubin has coached professionals in Fortune 500 business corporations and major philanthropic organizations.

Q. I spent four years in a Big Eight CPA firm followed by a 21 year career with a NYSE retailer, the last ten of which as SVP - Chief Administrative Officer. In 2003 I was replaced and pursued an entrepreneurial career developing residential communities in Central Florida. In light of the slow down in the residential marketplace that overtook the industry in 2006, I have decided to return to a position of employment in the corporate world. What challenges do you foresee for me in transitioning back in to the corporate world after five years?

A. I think the main challenge will be convincing your prospective employer that you are ready to re-enter the corporate world after getting a taste of an “entrepreneurial career”. They will be interested to learn why you left and what assurance you can give them that once the market picks up you won’t leave to take up a new venture again.

Finding a corporate job where all your experience is valuable perhaps in real estate management in a large corporation may be a good idea for you. Given that this is a difficult job market you will be competing against candidates who might, on the surface, appear more qualified who did not leave the industry. But you should use your experience to your advantage and choose a firm that values your entrepreneurial experience and appetite for risk and ability to tolerate uncertainty. The latter seems to be a characteristic that could serve you very well given the economic times we are currently living in.

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