The entrepreneurial skills gained in start-up ventures are second to none when it comes to seeking a high executive-level position. Whether or not you have ever begun your own business, these following skills are vital at all levels of an organization and can determine the speed in which you climb to the highest positions.

  1. Those starting a business know that financial knowledge is the most important key to driving successful business whether in start-ups or well-established companies. Even if your job does not involve direct financial control, possessing this knowledge will immediately increase your standing within the organization and allow you opportunities that your colleagues may not spot. If possible, take a local or online class to gain this vital ability.
  2. Starting a business requires a plan. However, a well-established company will often begin relying on experience and immediate opportunities and events to move forward. Make sure your business has a written plan at all times and that it is kept up to date. If your company already has a plan, draw up a personal plan regarding how you will personally drive the business forward. Adopting both a short term and long term approach will ensure that you are always moving forward and your vision is likely to get you noticed by those in charge.
  3. Many entrepreneurs know the importance of tapping into the knowledge of their peers and mentors in areas that they aren’t as experienced.  Never be ashamed to actively seek others people’s knowledge and, in return for dinner, have them impart their advice to you.
  4. Never become complacent. Although you may have reached all your targets and fulfilled your duties at the highest level, always seek new challenges and projects. Your willingness to constantly go further will push the company forward whilst making you indispensable as an employee.
  5. Research, research, research. You can never know too much about the region and industry you work in. One great ways to gain an initial idea of your market is to join the trade or professional association for the industry. Use your commute to keep on top of changes and trends in your market. This knowledge will enable you to inform and advise others in the company, making you a mentor figure to your subordinates and a right-hand man or woman to your superiors.
  6. Never underestimate the power of personal marketing and networking, so begin these activities early and invest heavily in them with both time and money. Having strong professional relationships within your industry will place your name on shortlists for both promotions and job opportunities.

Clara Widdison This article was written by Clara Widdison of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).
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