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Why Career Professionals Need a Portfolio of Entrepreneurial Skills



You may have pulled together a career portfolio in the past, maybe while in college or to land your current job. A solid career portfolio can differentiate you in the marketplace by highlighting your transferable skills and expertise, establish or strengthen your personal brand, and trace your personal development—something that a resume or CV can't fully capture. 

Entrepreneurial skills will increasingly play a role in differentiating you in the marketplace; helping you land that next job, leadership opportunity, or client. Here are three reasons why you need a portfolio of entrepreneurial skills.


1. Entrepreneurial Thinkers and Do-ers have an Edge

Today's business environments require entrepreneurial skills that go well beyond a mindset. Entrepreneurial thinking needs to include do-er skills as well—you must be adept at translating your thinking into action. One particular challenge is that companies don't always know what entrepreneurial behavior needs to look like for their environments and within their company culture, so spinning wheels and a state of ambiguity all too often become the norm.

And because the formal education pipeline doesn’t yet include practical entrepreneurial training for large scale companies (at least here in the U.S.), these two challenges—ambiguity in motion and limited training—present opportunities for career professionals.

If you can think on your feet, skillfully assess and adapt to the evolving entrepreneurial needs of your employer, client or customer, all the while continuing to move the needle for the business, you’ll position yourself as a go-to person for these disruptive times.

An interview with Google’s SVP of People Operations, Laszlo Bock, highlights how a company that once obsessed over where candidates went to school, and how well they performed while they were there, disrupted their own hiring process after discovering that someone’s university “pedigree” was no reflection on how well someone did at the company.

Google now assesses candidates based on how well someone performs during the interview using work sample tests (how well they think on their feet) and their cognitive abilities (brain-based skills for managing simple or complex tasks, problem solving, and focus).

Exactly the types of skills entrepreneurial thinkers and do-ers possess.

 2. Entrepreneurial Thinkers and Do-ers Land on their Feet

Shifts happen. Beginnings and endings. Innovation in itself disrupts. If you're an employee, honing your entrepreneurial skills with the safety net of having a regular paycheck, doing so helps you to land on your feet should you need to unexpectedly pivot. You may decide to go into business for yourself or startup a company—by choice or by necessity. If you're a consultant, vendor, or someone who operates their own business today, you have a real opportunity to differentiate yourself for today’s disruptive times.


3. Entrepreneurial Thinkers and Do-ers Connect the Dots

In the new world of business you are your job security. You must establish short term and longer term career and business strategies, first by paying attention to what’s happening today in the world, in your country, state, and local community. This is what I refer to as “career futuring” where you connect the dots in order to get a sense of the bigger shifts occurring—culturally, socially, economically, and industry-wide. Paying attention to the undercurrents of change helps you make adjustments in your own career or business in order to remain competitive.


Have you ever used a career portfolio to find a job or land a promotion?


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