Is it possible for a former startup founder that is now working as software engineer to transition to a project manager career?

I worked on my own startup for 2 years, released a product and then had to stop working on it as I was not having enough revenue.

I then moved into software engineering (I was previously a software enginner).

Now I found an interesting managerial position that is related to my software engineering specialisation. However the requirements are:

  • 3+ years of experience managing software engineering teams
  • background in product management for consumer services in the software industry with a track record of delivering products


  • I did not have employees in the startup but only freelancer collaborators, so I can't claim that I managed a large team before

Many of the applications will have a managerial role.

What is the best way to present my CV to be able to be selected as valid candidate based on my startup experience?

I have also worked on a couple of other projects in my free time.


1 Answer 1


Leading a team of collaborators has more similarities with managing a team of employees than differences.

  1. Identifying Talent - did you find and select these people? This is important if you will be involved in hiring decisions.
  2. Negotiating Fees - Similar but not exactly like a salary because of other benefits involved.
  3. Evaluating Work - Were you able to monitor these collaborators and make sure they contributed? How did you handle those that did not? You'll need to do this as you manage a team.
  4. Distributing Work - With collaborators they tend to specialize, so it may be clear who does what, but there may be overlap that you've had to contend with. It can be more difficult to manage this type of team since you have to coordinate when one part is finished and another person needs to start their part.

There should be many situations that you will have to confront as a team leader that occurred while managing your startup. What you may find is you will not have as much control over your team in hiring, firing, disciplining, etc. Let them know you understand this and can adapt your management strategies to work within the framework of the company.

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