Entrepreneurial and financial skills get jobs

A nation-wide survey of employers found personal financial responsibility and entrepreneurial skills as an emerging area of need for new hires

Do you think that your knowledge of how to balance a checkbook or create a budget will help you get a job? Are skills in risk-taking, initiative or other entrepreneurial and financial management skills critical to have in getting a job? If you answered “yes” to both questions, you understand one of the emerging critical areas found by the “Are They Really Ready to Work” report.

The report surveyed more than 400 nation-wide employers in 2006. They found that more than 70 percent of employers identified “Exercise personal financial responsibility and use entrepreneurial skills to enhance workplace productivity and career options” as an emerging content area for new employees.

While many employers may offer some basic information on financial planning (including retirement planning) and career training, the shift is moving toward personal responsibility in this area. Having employees who are skilled and knowledgeable in these topics prior to hiring means that the company has to invest less fiscal resources into training those staff and those skills are generally transferable to other work areas (i.e. budgets, planning, realistic career path goals, etc in their work role). The role and responsibility for professional development is becoming more focused on the individual and less on the organization.

As an individual, here is what you can do to enhance your skills in this emerging content area:

  • Take financial education classes at community colleges, financial institutions, with Michigan State University (MSU) Extension or other community-based organizations.
  • Take a business or entrepreneur class; many are offered through business colleges or MSU Extension.
  • Read articles or watch online videos that cover entrepreneurship or financial education topics.
  • See a financial professional at a financial institution to learn more about ways to make your money work for you.
  • Attend sessions on retirement planning, budgeting or saving during events such as Money Smart Week or America Saves Week.
  • Create a budget of your personal finances; you can use this knowledge and this experience as a reference to your skill in this area.
  • Attend a Michigan 4-H Youth Development Entrepreneur, Career Exploration, or Financial Education program in your local community or at the Kettunen Center or during Exploration Days.
  • Check out and engage in learning with the resources on the Michigan 4-H Youth Development website for entrepreneurship, financial education and career exploration. These sites contain great tools for youth to use or for adults to use with youth.
  • Participate in Global Entrepreneurship Week if you are a youth. If you are an adult, check out the site and hold an event or use activities from the site during this week to help improve youth’s entrepreneurial skills.

The “Are They Really Ready to Work” report found financial management and entrepreneurial efforts as a needed skill for new graduates. Professional development, both before and during a career, is becoming a personal responsibility. Take the steps to learn about these emerging content areas today!

Related MSU Extension news article: Health and wellness an emerging skill for graduates searching for jobs

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