That old adage of risk and reward seems as relevant today as ever.

The company I worked with went bust as a result of the economic crash in 2008. The idea of going solo felt scary but it was something I knew I had to try.

Career shift: how to make an entrepreneurial leap

Would my inner entrepreneur magically appear (did I even have one)? Or would the uncertainty of no longer relying on the monthly paycheck be too stressful? Eight years on and the chance I took on myself has been rewarding in all senses. It has also relied on others taking a chance on me.

What makes chance a fine thing in a career shift?

These are common fears when contemplating a career or job change.

Sometimes you have to leap and learn as you go along, as well as learning before leaping. Much depends on your preferred style.

The degree of risk is another factor – what are the known and unknown consequences of failing or succeeding?

Nothing gained, nothing ventured, and tales of the unexpected.

Entrepreneurial vs. Employable

You have more going for you than you think when you shift from an employee to an entrepreneur.

Employability and entrepreneurship are two sides of a coin.

Being employable involves being entrepreneurial because businesses need enterprising employees. And being a successful business owner employing people requires an understanding of what motivates them and what it takes to be employable.

The common ground includes a sense of purpose, a need for achievement, a need for autonomy, persistence, flexibility, commercial savvy, creativity, risk-taking, living with uncertainty, self-belief, and interpersonal comfort.

Tap into your strengths in these areas when making a career shift to being an entrepreneur.

Experience is the best form of learning.

You can talk, observe, study and plan as much as you like, but it’s not until the rubber hits the road that you find out what works and what doesn’t, what you are capable of and where you struggle.

7 career shift insights

Here are some more insights based on my personal and professional career shift to going solo:

  • Doing something creates momentum and opens doors. Don’t wait for something to happen.
  • Iteration follows failing fast. Redefine, reframe, and reboot.
  • Build support around you. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean being on your own.
  • Professional identity is dynamic. Reinvent and be relevant. Pivot if necessary.
  • Your purpose is the rocket fuel driving strategy and tactics. Clarity, focus, and energy.
  • Your story is an evergreen and evolving asset. Use it to light fires and build relationships.
  • Success relates to personal values. Examine what it means for you. You might be surprised.

Making a decision to career shift is the starting point, whether you jump or get pushed.

Whether or not you take the entrepreneurial route, take a chance on yourself so that others want to take a chance on you.

The chances are you won’t regret it.

Take the next step and explore these bite-size online courses Discover Your Purpose and Your Personal Values.

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