From Self-Employed Back into Employment

There’s a big trend at the moment towards being the entrepreneur, having your own business and being your own boss and in the previous article, we looked at how this might be right for you. But this isn’t right for everyone and there may come a time where you decide to go back into employment having been self-employed. For recruiters, this can be an unusual proposition where you can easily fall into the trap of thinking someone ‘failed’ and now need a job. So how do both sides handle going from self-employment back into employment?

As a Candidate

When you are the one seeking a job after a period of self-employment, then you need to prepare your CV accordingly. One of the important things to include is what CV writing experts call a mission statement – this is a paragraph that deals with why you want to come back into employment. Make it positive and accurate so if you found that working for yourself meant you missed the team environment, use this. Or maybe technology meant your business idea didn’t work so you want to return to work and test yourself in a new area.

Being self-employed means you have a range of skills that are very appealing to employers. For starters, you can work on your own, are self-motivated and can organise your own schedule. You can work without supervision and achieve aims without someone standing over you. You can also build client relationships and have a range of skills from the type of business you were running that might include IT, software, online skills or even bookkeeping.

As a Recruiter

There are lots of reasons that a person can return to employment after a period of self-employment and few are negative. Maybe they found working on their own all the time demoralising or not suited to their personality – which means they will be a good team member and work well with others. Maybe they found working all those hours left no time for a life – so a job with a reasonably set working pattern will suit them.

Never assume someone’s business failed and that they weren’t good at what they did just because they return to employment. There are lots of reasons why someone would choose to do this and several these can be entirely out of their hands. A spouse’ redundancy meaning they need a guarantee wage is just one example – they are still good at what they were doing but need a steady income.


For both parties, returning to employment can be a bit strange. Some recruiters fall into the habit of thinking there is something wrong with the person for not wanting to be self-employed but this is rarely the case. Being self-employed doesn’t suit everyone and it is better to realise this and make the move than to simply continue in a bad situation. This shows good judgement and a responsible attitude that will make them a good employee for any business going forward.