Are You Prepared For the Job Marketplace of 2020? Check Using This Tool.

A few weeks ago I wrote my best article ever. It didn’t perform well (less than 5% the claps this article on design got).

That article was about the 10 skills every entrepreneur needs to develop to succeed competitively by 2020.

But I believe firmly the entrepreneurial skillset of continuous innovation, leadership, problem-solving, empathy, and human-centric design is one anyone, from any walk of life can benefit from.

Based on that research I’ve designed a tool anyone can use to assess how prepared they are skill-wise for the work marketplace of 2020.

Disclaimer* The research is based off these models: the O*Net Content Model, the EU EntreComp Framework, and the specific skill names were taken from the World Economic Forum report on the subject.
How can you be the crayon that stands out?

Introducing the Entrepreneurship Competency Map

This tool is known as a spider map. It maps your proficiency in 10 different skills to one of four proficiency levels. Using those levels you can determine your overall experience in one of three quadrants.

The skills are:

  1. Complex-Problem Solving
  2. Critical Thinking
  3. Creativity
  4. People Management
  5. Coordinating With Others
  6. Emotional Intelligence
  7. Judgement and Decision Making
  8. Service Orientation
  9. Negotiation
  10. Cognitive Flexibility

In this article I go through a detailed description of each skill, and a list of tools you can use to develop each one. Here’s the podcast on the same subject.

Each of these skills has one of four skill levels.

  1. Novice: A person new to or inexperienced in a field or situation.
  2. Apprentice: Some practical experience or competence.
  3. Journeyman: Competent, experienced professional.
  4. Expert: Able to lead others in this domain. A true master.

Here’s an example of how my filled competency maps looks.

Notice I’m a complete novice at negotiation, but am creative, and cognitively flexible. I’m proficient at leadership, service orientation and EQ. I could definitely use some experience, and guidance in complex problem-solving, and coordination.

Notice how these skills map to three quadrants.

  1. Thinking Skills
  2. People Skills
  3. Growth Skills

Based off my results I’m a proficient thinker, moderately skilled with people and lacking in growth skills. This represents who I am pretty deeply. Through years of academic pursuits, studying philosophy and so on I’ve become a skilled thinker (not an expert by any means, but proficient).

Through leading my startup PlantBox — I’ve gotten some experience with people management, and leadership (3 years in the CAF as a combat engineer helps as well).

However my growth skills are weak. I struggle to maintain a growth mindset, and get overwhelmed and burnt out easily.

The value of this tool is it’s flexible and responsive enough that anyone can get value from filling it out and seeing for themselves where their strength and weaknesses lie.

Implications For the Entrepreneurship Competency Map

I see 3 potential use cases for this map, listed below.

  1. Self Evaluation: Check your own skills and see where your strong and where you’re weak.
  2. Test Others: Employees, peers, clients. This specific competency map is valuable because it tracks the high level skills entrepreneurs, employees, and leaders will need in the job marketplace of 2020 and beyond.
  3. Make It Your Own: This tool is highly adaptable to the skills you value. Perhaps as a sales manager you value communication, coordination and empathy. Rework the skills and quadrants to evaluate your employees in a far more meaningful way than open ended questions asking candidates to name their 3 biggest weaknesses.


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Comment how you’re using the competency map. I’d love to hear some cases and know how some of you are getting value from this tool, or recommendations for tools to come.

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