How did you get back to full time job after failed startup?

My startup is not doing well & I would like to go back to a full-time job after having left job more than 4 yrs ago as a lead developer. I did not raise any money, I can still code & I am above 40yrs old.

I applied for a few jobs (putting last 4 yrs as the founder of 2 startups ) but did not get any interview calls.

Wondering how to get a full-time job now & handle last 4-year gap.

Any input would be much appreciated.


  • As an exercise you could ask yourself “why would someone be right not to hire me?”. What is the narrative they would have when looking at your history?

    That might help you to position yourself and decide which companies/jobs to go for.

    • OP here: “why would someone be right not to hire me?” – 2 reasons i can think of age or gap (as my startup used web based langauges & i am not a web developer).

  • First analyse why your startup failed: did the development go wrong, or are you just a bad businessman, but a good technician ?

  • Have you considered working for a firm at no cost in order to establish relevance and competence within their system.

    After which you can initiate conversations about getting paid

  • As I write this I sincerely hope you have found something worthwhile already. However in case you have not I am guessing with your experience you can still go on to be

    A) something like a product architect somewhere in a big firm

    B) A strategy/ senior role in a startup but working as an employee

    C) Try your luck again at a startup ( 3 could be the charm)

    Pushing 40 and coming from a startup background is tough. I know since I was involved in quite a few and they are all gone. Ultimately i ended up learn things like python, SQL, SPSS and stats in my late thirties so I could apply for and be relevant in my current role in a firm (i’m an employee now ).

    It’s a lot of luck, and constant persistence to get back into the mainstream. However it does happen over time . Some steps which could help you are

    A) increase your visibility to any potential employers via any tools available

    B) Increase your appeal to them which helps them see value

    C) A and B done right will cause them to ask around about you at least.

    D) A,B and C done right might result in an offer

    Good Luck

  • Nothing to seriously worry. It will take time. I have been there, done that (age, startup and transition to corporate) and the journey is empty-hollow-hearted but paychecks come in.

    Most of my bosses are psycho and sociopaths. Fit for nothing, you scratch my back and I will yours as a part of collaboration. All ideas have to come from them any subordinates are there to give them those ideas they can claim as theirs.

    If you can project you myself as idea and execution junkie, you will be hired in no time.

    Good luck

  • I am also in a similar situation & finding it hard to get interviews, Did you guys have to pad your resume with some kind of fake experience?

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