Career Change

5 Signs Your Next Career Move Should Be Starting A Business

5 Signs Your Next Career Move Should Be Starting A Business

Almost everyone has had that moment, that idea, that feeling that he or she needs to strike out on his/her own. Many suppress it, others wait until it passes. Starting a business can be intimidating, while working for other people often feels like it's safer and there is more security. Related: 5 Tips For Planning A Career Change Starting a business does not necessarily have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Many people nowadays start business part-time or on the side as a supplement to their income or “regular” job. There are lots of people who maintain this arrangement, while others eventually turn the side job into their full-time job./ A major difference in 2016 versus any other time in history is that the United States’ economy has become what many call a “gig” economy. Fewer people work for companies, coveting the traditional security and benefits. Many have transitioned to freelance work and consulting, taking on “gigs.” People with varying levels of experience and expertise can make their income providing services to others in the form of writing, marketing, and driving, just to name a few. For many entrepreneurs, knowing when to start a business can be difficult. It is a major life decision, made only more complicated the more demands one has on his or her time and life. Sometimes, however, it is time to strike out on one’s own, and here are a five ways to tell when the next career move should be starting a business.


Professionals can reach levels of expertise a couple of different ways. Many work a long time in a field or discipline, which gives them the experience and insight to be considered an expert. Others immerse themselves in order to reach that level. While it is hard to beat decades of experience, both routes are valuable. No matter what the field or discipline, it is possible to turn that expertise into a business. If you are someone that others seek out for advice or counsel on a subject matter, there is a good chance that your expertise could be leveraged into a business opportunity.

Passionate About Something

People that have a passion for something are said to never have to work a day in their lives. Why not turn that passion into a career? Look at areas where you are willing to spend considerable time and resources to get nothing back except enjoyment. How can that be translated into a business? Artists can sell their wares; enthusiasts can begin sharing their wisdom through blogging, writing and consulting; and tinkerers’ can invent. People that are able to tap into their passions in life never have to worry about motivation. One caution is to make sure that by turning your passion into work that the burning desire won’t wear off.

Burned Out

Eventually the grind gets to everyone. It’s how people respond that makes all the difference. With all the tools available to avoid burnout, from yoga to vacations to sabbaticals to flexible working arrangements, sometimes work and a career can take its toll. For many, this is an opportunity to assess the situation and go into business for yourself. It is still working, but it is working on your terms for your goals, which can add an element of motivation hard to attain working for someone else.

An Itch To Go Against The Grain

If you are in a position or organization that feels constraining, there is a good chance you need to start your own business. Conventional wisdom rules a lot of businesses and industries, but the world needs alternatives. Many organizations promote the creativity and counter culture mindset that many people crave, but definitely not all. It is possible to go against the grain within someone else’s organization, but there are often opportunities to bring a different product or service to the marketplace by being the alternative.

Comfort Being Uncomfortable

For those that are comfortable with being uncomfortable, you may have just what it takes to successfully start a business. Starting something from scratch can be scary. Where will the clients come from? When will I start making money? Was this the right move? It is only natural to have these thoughts, but embracing the discomfort and using confidence to overcome it is a sign of an entrepreneur. Business owners are going to have to talk to a lot of people and make a tons of connections to build relationships with clients. That can mean talking to strangers and a fair amount of rejection. If this isn’t a deterrent, or better yet, it’s a motivator, the entrepreneurial route may be the way to go.

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About the author

Michelle Riklan gained extensive HR leadership experience at Fortune 500 companies such as Sony Entertainment and John Wiley & Sons. With a combined 20 years of in-house corporate and targeted consulting experience, Michelle currently services large corporations, small businesses, and individuals in all aspects of Human Resources and Career Management. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter or call her at 800.540.3609 for more information. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.Photo Credit: Shutterstock