In our increasingly diversified world, it’s not uncommon for people to work multiple jobs or have the skills necessary for numerous jobs. Where 50 years ago a college graduate accepted a job that became the source of their golden watch, today a college graduate will change jobs between 5-7 times during their career. On top of that, they won’t necessarily remain in the same field or industry their entire career. One might say that those entering the work force are required to be a “jack of all trades,” meaning job seekers today must possess the skills necessary to be valuable in numerous different job markets, industries, and atmospheres.
An entrepreneurial spirit encompasses many of these skills and is increasingly valued by employers.
In an article from PBS.org, headhunter Nick Corcodilos took a few reader comments and questions concerning the job search. In particular, one reader commented on the benefit of starting a small business, and Nick chimed in gleefully:
“Starting a business is a good risk nowadays. But in the process of trying to start a business, people unknowingly do most of the things they should be doing to find a job. That is, doing the work to start a business can lead to job offers. This happened to me once– and I took the job!…The research you must do puts you in contact with industry insiders…Doing a business plan makes you hone your presentation about your business ideas…So, thinking about starting a business is really another way to network and land a great new job.”
While “entrepreneur” can be defined in many ways, possibly the chief way is as an individual who begins a small business. As mentioned above, the tasks of beginning, maintaining, and growing a business can engender skills and experience needed to be competitive in the job market, such as the following:
An individual doesn’t go into business for themselves without passion, knowledge, and the motivation to be a self-starter, whatever their reasons may be. Being able to self-propel your career is an advantageous trait.
Inevitably, small business ownership means meeting a lot of obstacles and most likely some failure. The true mettle of an individual is shown in their actions immediately following challenges. Do they hide in a corner and lick their wounds or take on the Edison persona of “we now know 999 ways not to make a lightbulb?”
Adaptability and Problem Solving
The market changes suddenly; the demand shifts; your vision changes to focus on a new clientele. What are your next steps? Can you face situations fairly, evenly, and methodically? Your willingness and ability to adapt your ideas and methods to challenging situations will show how you might manage yourself in a new and constantly changing workplace.
At some point during the process of beginning a business, you must show others that your idea is viable. This not only takes excellent communication skills, but can be broken down further into presentation skills, writing skills, and sales skills- all of which are valuable in today’s workplace.
All rolled into one, these traits create a self-sufficient, confident, and hard-working job seeker.
So you see, having an entrepreneurial mindset is a great advantage in today’s job market. Even if your own business didn’t flourish, you still have a myriad of viable skills that employers search for in candidates.
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by NikonFilm35