Creativity, Self-promotion, Resilience… What are the entrepreneurial skills and how can students develop them today #MyNextSteps

What are the essential knowledge, attributes, skills and experiences that can make a real difference in today’s changing working world? Read on advice and professional insights from Rebecca Hallam, our entrepreneurial freelance career consultant and today’s guest blogger. 

different coloured balloons against a blue sky
Photo by Andreas Weiland on Unsplash


What does being entrepreneurial mean to you?  The word ‘entrepreneur’ often conjures up ideas of successful, innovative individuals:  Mark Zuckerberg, Sir Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey… the list goes on.  However, being entrepreneurial is a skill that will benefit you in all aspects of your career, whether you are self-employed, freelance, employed or throughout University!


The rising need for entrepreneurial skillsets

Entrepreneurial skills are needed more than ever.  The workforce now reaches beyond the restrictions of a traditional office environment, and this has been greatly accelerated by the pandemic.  Over the last year, we have all gained an insight into what it means to work independently, with an increased need for self-motivation and networking, and in doing so we have all developed valuable entrepreneurial skills.

The World Economic Forum report on the new world of work after the pandemic argues for a new culture of work dominated by flexibility and a portfolio-based approach. The growing trend is for teams to be put together based on their specialist skills, and as such the emphasis on managing your expertise and skills as a commodity is greater.  So, even if you don’t think of yourself as an entrepreneur, ‘entrepreneurial skills’ are definitely something that will benefit you in the future!


Entrepreneurial skills: what are they?

Think of it like this:  You are the product.  You need to develop your product and sell it successfully… So, what are the skills we need to do this?



Having a clear idea of your interests, strengths and values is key.  The more you understand what motivates you and what you’re good at, the easier it will be to discover opportunities that match this and to sell these abilities to future employers. To support your self-knowledge development, explore our Discover KEATS section for e-courses, information and videos.



It can be difficult to know where to start with job hunting and gaining work experience and this is where your creativity can make a real difference.  Go beyond the obvious jobsites and big recruiters.  With a little creativity and thought, you may be able to create tailor-made opportunities that suit your needs and reduce the competition!  We can help you with some creative job-hunting strategies, as well as in-depth information on different areas of work for you to create your own opportunities.



Networking is an important entrepreneurial skill.  Think about your current network; it is often bigger than you think!  Is there anyone you know who does a job you are interested in?  Can you reach out politely to ask for advice?  The value you can gain from your network can be huge: It can range from small pieces of advice all the way through to work experience opportunities and job-roles.  Learn more about how you can build, maintain and utilise your network via our KEATS e-learning page.



In an ever-changing world of work, being adaptable can ensure you’re able to seize opportunities when they arise and contribute successfully when change is going on around you.  When you’re job-hunting, it can help to be adaptable too; if you are open and willing to take on challenges it can increase the likelihood of you gaining valuable experience and developing transferrable skills vital for the workplace.  Find out more about how your personal skills can make you more employable through our curated online course.



The ability to bounce back after a setback is vital to careers success.  Job hunting can be stressful, and there are often a few rejections before the ‘yes’.  The ability to keep going, learn from any disappointments and persevere is the key to success.  Looking to learn more about resilience? Check out our KEATS resources. 



As any successful entrepreneur will tell you, believing in your ‘product’ and being able to talk about it in depth in a positive way will ensure it is success.  In your career, YOU are the product and the same goes for you.  Think about what you have to offer and provide details to employers about your areas of expertise, your strengths and how you have developed them.  Find out more about how you can market yourself to future employers on our KEATS pages. 




What Is the Future of Work? | Modern Workforce Trends | SAP Insights

The Great Reset: The new world of work after the pandemic | World Economic Forum (

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