For many employees, it is a dream aim to set up a company and be their boss. However, some people face the challenge of having to deal with the exact opposite, namely leaving behind their start-up to join an established commercial enterprise.
There could be many reasons for doing so, including anything from having built a successful business one-handed and being head-hunted by a major corporation, through to dealing with the fallout from the other end of the scale and leaving behind an idea that didn’t quite work out.
Whatever the reasons for the change, many of the dilemmas and difficulties will be the same. Thankfully they are all easy to deal with if you arm yourself with the knowledge of how to do so well in advance.
There are numerous business start-ups each year, and sadly a high proportion of them fail. If you’ve built a successful business from the ground up, you can take pride in what you have achieved, knowing that many others have not been able to do the same.
Even the most single-minded venture will have had some degree of collaboration along the way, perhaps in helping with the initial angel financing stage where someone like John Cestar, the Business Development specialist on the APAC Senior Team at EPAM Systems, may well have played a vital role.
Having sold his own company Jointech to EPAM in 2014, Cestar has firsthand experience of how to make a successful transition from a start-up to working at a major corporation. Although it might be more common than you think, it’s also a move that needs careful consideration and contemplation.
Making the move
Being your own boss can be a habit that is hard to shake, but moving to a bigger commercial enterprise need not necessarily cause too many problems.
If your start-up has been bought out by a larger rival, or you have joined forces with a competitor to form a bigger outfit, you’ll most likely have negotiated a leading boardroom position. That means you would still have considerable influence, even though it might mean becoming used to being more of a team player.
If you have been ‘head hunted’ for a role due to the success of your venture, it might mean you have simply come to a point where you realize your skills might be better suited to having a focus on the work itself, leaving other aspects of commercial activities to specialists in their fields. Of course, moving from a successful start-up to a corporate role will usually mean that you have worked out that you will be financially better off, so for many, it is a win-win situation.
Although it would be nice to think that every move from a start-up to another company comes on the back of success, that often isn’t the case in the real world. It’s a sad fact that many new businesses fail, often not through any fault of their own but sometimes due to macro-economic changes or hostile market environments.
The current coronavirus pandemic is a perfect example of how unforeseen circumstances can bring changes so drastic that it sounds the death knell for a business.
Although a start-up that ceases trading might be seen by some as a failure, all successful entrepreneurs will most likely have been there themselves and see it as a valuable learning experience.
That’s why there is no shame in admitting that your concept has run its course because the skills and experience you have gained will prove invaluable in helping you move forward into a position with another commercial enterprise.
The challenges involved in making a move from your start-up to a role within another company can come in many different forms other than a feeling of loss of control.
Adapting to new working practices is something that will be familiar to anyone starting a new job. However, when it involves moving away from a working environment and a schedule that was mostly of your making, it can be even more difficult.
Likewise, the work itself may take on a different aspect, which in some cases can be beneficial. For instance, you may be moving from a single-handed start-up to a role where you have assistants or certain aspects of the work is handled by others. That can be something of a real eye-opener for anyone who has grown used to dealing with everything on their own.
Ultimately any career move such as this is likely to mean an increase in earnings and a boost to your financial position. For someone who might have been involved in a struggling start-up, this can be an immense relief, and for anyone who is leaving behind a fruitful venture, financial rewards are almost certainly guaranteed.