Friday, July 22, 2011

The Employer’s View of Entrepreneurial Experience

If you’ve acquired entrepreneurial work experience and are, or will be, pursuing employment, it helps to be aware of how employers may view entrepreneurial experience. Although every employer and hiring manager is different, following are some positive views and common objections employers may share regarding entrepreneurial experience.

The Positives

Many employers see great value in job candidates who have entrepreneurial experience. In general, entrepreneurs are viewed as hard working, highly motivated, independent, and/or creative thinkers. They are often considered visionaries, leaders, and problem solvers who are not afraid to take risks. Since entrepreneurs frequently have to manage a broad range of responsibilities, they are often thought of as generalists who are likely to have developed a multitude of practical business skills.

The Negatives

There are employers who can be leery of hiring entrepreneurs. Typically, they have questions like the following: Can an entrepreneur work successfully in a more structured organizational environment? Does this person have specialized skills necessary for the position being pursued? Can an entrepreneur work well on a team? Will he or she be able to successfully adapt to the company culture and navigate the corporate politics?

Position Your Skills Well

In any interview, your goal is to convey your existing work experience in ways that address the needs of the employer. This may be more challenging for entrepreneurs who must translate a wide range of responsibilities into specific functional and soft skills valued by employers. Also prepare to explain why you’re interested in transitioning from entrepreneur to employee. Keep in mind that some employers might want an explanation for why an entrepreneurial endeavor ended and what lessons you learned from it.

By selling your unique entrepreneurial experience and skills and anticipating and preparing for common employer objections, you may end up having an edge over other candidates.

No comments:

Post a Comment