Saturday, June 16, 2012

Acquiring Entrepreneurship

I've notice a lot of advice lately for job seekers to ascertain what skills are being sought by companies, then set to work acquiring those skills. There's a good deal of chatter in the political economics domain about schools being reorganized to address the skills gaps companies identify.

What a different way to look at things. It's interesting to me the implication that those job-seekers who hesitate to learn new skills in this way are too lazy to get a job. Underlying this is the presumption that somewhere out there, outside ourselves--in the hands of HR professionals and hiring managers--is the description and definition of an ideal career, and all we need to do is remake ourselves to match that ideal. It reminds me of "The Stepford Wives". Not my ideal!

One aspect of this that may easily be overlooked is that the skills pre-identified by companies, HR departments and hiring managers are likely those required to maintain the status quo. They may be known and proven, but they are unlikely the skills needed to make breakthroughs and foster innovation.

As an entrepreneur, I've worked to understand my talents, and passions, my skills and interests. The aim has not been to acquire skills that others have identified, but rather those that serve my purpose. Where my talents are weakest, the choice has been between learning new skills myself or relying on others to supplement those areas, always driven with my own goals in mind.

I have joked that my weakness as a job candidate, my inability to convince others to hire me, led to my entrepreneurship. If noone else will give me the job I want, then I'll just have to create it myself. I begin to understand that the worldview that underlies that attitude is what has prevented me from becoming a good employee and has driven me to be the entrepreneur that I am.

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