Breaking into Tech after Entrepreneurship

I have spent the last 8 years sharpening my skills in an incredibly challenging startup business in an demanding industry. I have grit and boundless problem solving skills, and I am a remarkably quick study. I want a job with flexibility, repsectable pay, and rewarding challenges.

After working with a mentor and talking to many friends who work in tech, I am pretty sure I am a product manager at heart. I've applied for hundreds of jobs and just can't land one. I am looking for any suggestions, networking opportunities, feedback... anything that gets me a little traction.

Hey Amber! What was your startup in and what happened to it / is it still running? Asking because if you effectively shut down you could reach out to some of your customers or at least those you built a really strong relationship with and see if they are hiring?Given you have at least 8 years of experience, youre not exactly an entry-level candidate so my sense is that you should overinvest in your network
I closed it down at the end of last year. It was an event furniture rental company that was event-focused. I am trying to escape the event world because I just can't do the erratic schedule any longer. We survived the immediate impacts that COVID created in the industry, but when I finally got to regroup, the outlook for the business just wasn't what I was working toward. We went out on top and on our own terms, so leaning into my network is definitely a good idea. I am struggling to find my voice after choosing to walk away from what I thought was my life's calling.
Hi Amber, thanks for sharing this and congrats on sticking with it for so long! So much to be proud of :)What did you think your life calling was: the event world? Having your own company? Something else?I feel like this might be a good time to reflect a bit more on what this life calling is and why you thought it was because perhaps the life calling isn't so much the thing itself but what it brings to you.To give an example, I majored in international affairs and poli sci, i was dead set on going to work for the public service, international organisations , and in international development and i did start my career at the un. Without going into depth, I did a few career moves and I'm now in venture capital which feels radically different but in many ways the reason I was so into public service was because of my passion for closing the socioeconomic gap and improving the way we as humans live. I share this because it might be a good idea to reflect on what outcomes you want for yourself and where you might be able to get that. You're already a step ahead because you've identified PM as your potential next functional/career move so it will mostly be about connecting that "life calling" and the role of PM. This will also help you when you do interviews and such.More practically, yes 100% network!
Why thank you! You ask some really excellent questions, and I think you are right. I am looking to step out of defining myself by what I do, and that is a somewhat scary thing. The more time I put between myself and my business, the less I understand what part of it drove me. I have been doing a lot of reflection, and found myself staring into a much deeper pond than I expected! It's hard not to have answers. Thank you for sharing your story, I really appreciate knowing more about non-linear career moves, because they seem so mysterious from an outside perspective.
You're so welcome!! You got this :)
Oh I feel for you. I had a similar experience and for me the most important thing was despite having worn many hats, to pick one of my responsibilities. Looks like you have done just that. Product manager. Great! Next you have to reconstruct your resume and remove most other titles and responsibilities. Recruiters, I am now one after having had many technical and non technical roles, will try to check as many boxes as they can. Recruiters or hiring teams for that matter, will not parse your resume looking for clues that you can do the job. It has to be painfully obvious that you are T shaped and the depth is in your target role. Finally, Iynna has absolutely a great advice. Use your network and also make it easy for them by taking the steps I shared above. Good luck.
Thank you so much. I think I have done a good job with this, but I always continue to revisit my resume, and tailor it for each application. Zooming in on one responsibility is such a good thing to be reminded of. When you run your own business, you have a million responsibilities, so looking focused suddenly becomes the challenge, I guess. Can I ask how you found your next opportunity?