Careers: Had a Career Setback? Consider Becoming an Entrepreneur


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Had a Career Setback? Consider Becoming an Entrepreneur

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A career setback can be a blow to your confidence, but it doesn’t have to be: if you’ve recently lost a job or been furloughed, consider starting your own business to gain back self-efficacy. Becoming an entrepreneur can be empowering, helping you take back the reins on your career path. Here’s how to do that in a way that is productive and successful.

Coping with a career setback

Losing a job—even if it’s due to external circumstances like the pandemic recession—is always disappointing. It’s okay to be frustrated and sad, but eventually, you will bounce back and channel that disappointment into something new. Starting a new business after losing your job could be a great way to find fresh motivation and to regain control over your career.

One significant silver lining to losing your job is having more freedom and time to yourself. This is a great opportunity to reassess your interests and goals and to allow creativity to set in. Giving your mind a rest from the 9-5 will allow for a newfound perspective and will likely help you determine what’s important to you. Take note of any moments of inspiration during this time, and write down your ideas for the future.

Starting a new business

As Entrepreneur explains, it’s not uncommon for the recently unemployed to become entrepreneurs. While starting a new business may seem like a massive undertaking, it can be as simple as starting a freelance career in your industry.

For example, if you’re a copywriter who was recently laid off, finding freelance writing jobs is the first step to starting your own writing business. To help you gain clients, start a website with your portfolio and your rates, and begin looking on online job boards or freelance communities to broaden your network. Before you know it, you’ll have a thriving business that allows you far more freedom than your office job afforded.

If you’ve worked in sales for most of your career, The Balance explains that you could start a sales business. It requires a fair amount of research at the get-go, but if you have a knack for sales, you’ll use your skills to help other companies market products or services that need more exposure.

Or, if you love interior design, starting a design company could be a great way to turn your passion into your career. Pair your interests with a certificate in design and you’ll have clients before you know it.

Upskilling and further education

While you might be an expert in your field, not everyone has the chops to start and maintain a successful business. If you have the resources, consider going back to school to get a business degree online. Not only will you develop your business acumen, but you’ll also gain confidence as a new entrepreneur. Depending on your interests, you can choose from programs such as business management, management and leadership, or marketing.

If you don’t want to commit to a full business degree, you can opt to study particular subjects or skills in a DIY-style manner. For instance, if you want to enhance your leadership capabilities, you can listen to podcasts, read books, and attend a group like Toastmasters. Think through what will most benefit your personal goals, and go from there.

While losing a job will sting, try to focus on the bigger picture and think about ways you can channel your passions, skills, and interests into a viable business. If you need to, go back to school to learn some business skills, or carve your own path to help you upskill in a particular area. Soon, you’ll have your entrepreneurial path well-established and be savoring the success you're dreaming of!

About the Author:

Brad Krause

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