Failure does not vouch for your inability to do something. Especially in the tricky waters of entrepreneurship, an unsuccessful attempt in business cannot be linked with the incompetence of the initiator. When people start a business and for some reason they fail, they think it as a stigma on their career and that it will barricade their chances of success in their future.
I, however, think just the opposite of it. Initiating an entrepreneurial endeavor takes a lot courage and commitment. Also, the success of a startup banks on a number of factors that may or may not include the entrepreneur himself.
In this article I am going to discuss as how you can use your failed attempt of a business startup to convince the potential employer of your abilities while applying for a job.
1. You’ve got Unique Experience
The world out there is full of experienced professionals looking for a job, and many of them have an experience much greater than yours. However, when you go out into the job market there will be only a handful of people (and in some cases, none at all) who can match the kind of experience you have in fathering a startup.
You can highlight the fact that unlike the other applicants, your experience goes beyond coming to office in the morning to do the same job every day. Your experience is rather versatile, owing to entrepreneurial responsibilities you undertook while establishing your startup.
Your potential employer would see your overlapping experience of (for instance) being a financial manager and a creative professional at the same time; as you being a multi-tasker and poly-skilled professional.
2. You are a go-getter
I have heard so many employers and business managers complain about how their employees lack the ability to take an initiative. Peeping into the psychology of business owners, we will see that most of them are go-getter types and so they appreciate the people who like to take initiatives.
Coming from the entrepreneurial background you are automatically characterized as someone who had the guts to start a business, regardless of its failure.
If you highlight this point, your potential employer could take you as a professional who would welcome new ideas and business initiatives as compared to other employees.
3. You are Reasonably Resourceful
Establishing a startup involves tapping a number of resources. You connect with people in the niche market and work with different professionals like; communication designers, corporate lawyers, secretarial staff etc.
So even though the enterprise you establish does not go as it should, you make a good number of contacts along the way. Your potential employer could see you as a resourceful and well-connected person as compared to rest of his employees.
Although business owners and employers are quite sufficient in their own resources, however, it is always good to have a few more, through you.
4. You can Put Yourself in their Shoes
Employees cannot understand the position of the business owner and the difficult decisions he has to make daily, not unless someone has been into almost the same situation as them. This is something that makes you, a former entrepreneur, different than other run-of-the-mill employees.
If, for instance, your boss takes a certain decision that apparently seems bad to the employees, you will be able to see through things and have a better understanding about the decision, because you may have been in a similar position previously as an entrepreneur. This aspect of yours, if marketed correctly, is something your potential employer would really like.
5. You are accustomed to Work Challenges
In the life of an entrepreneur every single day is a challenge, especially when you are trying to build a business. The whole process runs like an obstacle course.
These inter-laced tasks brush up your problem solving skills as well as the ability to work under pressure, and these are the exact characteristics job opening ads ask in the applicant. Being through the process of establishing a business, your potential employer would see you as the one who is accustomed to professional challenges and would not hesitate to take up new ones.
6. You are not the ‘giving up’ Sort
To start a business with great zeal and then see your dream fall apart is a matter of great psychological pain. Not to mention all that loss of time and money.
Even after such disappointment, if a person gathers himself up and shows willingness to take part in other endeavors, it certainly shows that he is not ready to drop out of the race as yet.
Willingness to start over is considered a valuable feature in an employee and this is what you show when you apply for a job after having a failed startup. You can convince your potential employer that when you did not stop working after such a major set-back, you will certainly not stop when trying to overcome the obstacles in your job.
After experiencing a failed startup, when you go out looking for a job, you should have no reason to shy away from your entrepreneurial attempt. One should rather build on this experience and make the most of it.
After all, a startup can fail to take off for any reason. There are many cases in which the person who initiated the startup was hardworking and visionary, however he may not have been able to get suitable people to help them or may have faced a lack of resources, and so the business landed in a pitfall.
In Silicon Valley they say, failure is a feature, not a bug. Therefore, when applying for a job, you can take your unsuccessful attempt in entrepreneurship as a blessing in disguise because unlike other applicants, your cover letter would not just ‘say’ such things as "multi-tasker", "team player" and "can work under pressure". Your entrepreneurial background would certainly vouch for it too.