by Kathy McAuliffe
You were laid off from your last position and now are assessing your skills for today’s marketplace. Are you including your entrepreneurial skills?
“Entrepreneurial?” you say. “I don’t want to start my own company!” OK, maybe you’re not starting a business, but entrepreneurial skills will also make you a more valued employee.
In this article we look at skills that make you “entrepreneurial,” and therefore more attractive to employers.
Take a look at the skills listed below. If you have some or all of those skills, you are an entrepreneur in an employee’s clothing. When you interview, mention that you have such skills and how you have used them. The interviewer will immediately sit up and take notice!
Your entrepreneurial skills might include:
Active listening skills are practical and make you more effective. They allow you to answer questions intelligently, because they show you understand what the other person is saying and how it fits into the purpose of the conversation.
Active listening also helps you uncover the deeper meaning of what others are saying. And, because it reflects your interest in the person, it helps you build rapport and resolve problems with co-workers, bosses and clients
You are likable and take the time to get to know people
When people like each other, everything runs more smoothly. It affects the morale of employees and bosses to look forward to working with you and be glad they had the chance to. When you care enough to get to know people, they appreciate it, feel important to you, and want to work with you.
You respect others’ opinions
Respect encourages people’s feedback and openness, inviting more ideas and possibilities into the process. It allows for honesty and encourages stronger relationships that inspire confidence and bring out the best in people.
You are a natural analyst
You regularly look for gaps in the business that if filled would help it function more efficiently and productively. You might notice, for example, gaps in skillsets among employees, or gaps in the staff’s understanding of their goals, roles or assignments. You might notice redundancies or gaps in the business process. You might even discover critical missing technological capabilities of the company.
A boss can’t see everything that is or should be happening. Making use of your analytical skills could make your boss look really, really good, and help your business flourish. Let your would-be boss know about this strength of yours. As long as you don’t appear to be a compulsive meddler, it will be great news!
You are aware, curious and well informed enough to make good decisions
You know how to use social media and the internet to maximize your knowledge and reach, and you stay on top of trends in your industry. You read, attend seminars, or take a class once in a while. You are involved with a professional association that helps you stay current.
You organize, track and propose ideas
You don’t let ideas drop. In fact, you keep lists of them. You realize that “you never know” when an idea will meet its perfect time to blossom. You bring up ideas that have merit. You bring them up again. You modify them according to conversations and feedback. You stay on top of the list and take enough notes on the idea that you could stand up and present it to management.
You have clear verbal and written communications skills
You help people understand the tasks at hand, the status of a project, problems that must be addressed, the importance of an issue, the reason something is being done a certain way, what their roles are, specific assignments and deadlines, and so on.
You know how to deal with stress
You know the value of doing the most important, most energy-demanding tasks at your most productive time of day. You make lists and tackle items on the list one at a time, to avoid feeling overwhelmed. You take breaks from demanding tasks. You might do this by going for a walk, taking a day off, getting up and stretching, going out to lunch…whatever it takes to refill your energy and refresh your perspective so you can be productive when you get back to it.
You have strong coordinating and project management skills
You are skilled at tracking budgets and activities. Maybe you are skilled at managing people. Let your interviewer know this!
You focus on the importance of “the customer” to your business
The most important customer, of course, is the customer that buys from you or uses your services. But, you should also take a “customer service” approach to working with your boss, your coworkers, or someone from another department in the company.
Such a customer-centric attitude is very attractive to employers – be sure indicate to your interviewer that you keep all these customers in mind as an you work.
Show Your Entrepreneurial Skills
Hopefully the above list will evoke ideas of your own entrepreneurial skills. Be sure to talk about them in your cover letter and resume. The employer will quickly sense your potential value and hopefully contact you about an interview!
Technical Skills Are Important Too!
Do you lack technical skills or certifications that are in demand? We may be able to help. Our federally-funded WIOA grants can help you get the skills or certifications you need to be more competitive on the job market.