Back To Career News

12 Unique Skills Startup Employees Need for Faster Promotions

Q: What's one unusual skill employees need to get promoted faster at a startup or small biz?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

1. Selective Blinders

Kelly AzevedoThe ability to focus and execute is essent ial in a startup business, and the employees who can ignore bright, shiny objects and accomplish their objectives are golden. It's a balancing act, surely, but the essential and well-executed project is more valuable than a dozen could-have-been-great and abandoned projects.
Kelly AzevedoShe's Got Systems

Do You Know What You're Worth?

2. Professional Friendliness

Lisa Nicole BellMany people, especially Millennials, want to work with their friends. Knowing how to share or take a joke and balancing openness with professionalism are both important in making the work environment comfortable and sustainable.
Lisa Nicole BellInspired Life Media Group

3. The Complete Package

Nathan LustigIn Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood's character says "I finish things, that's what I do." That's what I want in a startup employee. I want them to start a project and then finish it. If it's successful, even better, but if it fails, that's fine too. Just start and finish. If you do that, you'll go far.
Nathan LustigEntrustet

4. Can You Use Google?

Victor WongAt a startup, employees are constantly needing to grow their skill set so they can manage more projects, clients, and other employees. Much of the time, their managers or the founders don't have the time to teach everything, so an employee who can look up how to do a lot of things proves to be invaluable. That employee also is well positioned to do more and be recognized for it.
Victor WongPaperG

5. Abilities in Ambiguity

Alexandra Levit 2The most successful startup employees are comfortable with uncertainty and the likelihood that circumstances can and will change on a dime. They thrive on the pressure of doin g the best work they can in the moment.
Alexandra LevitInspiration at Work

6. Sell, Sell, Sell!

Doreen-blochOne of the most important yet hard-to-find skills for startup employees is sales. If an employee can sell — whether to customers, investors or fellow employees — s/he will be more likely to get promoted. If you're looking to get promoted, sharpen your selling prowess; it will serve you well throughout your career, and especially at a startup where all sales are an uphill battle.
Doreen BlochPoshly Inc.

7. Where's Your Initiative?

Vanessa NornbergApples don't usually fall off trees into waiting baskets — and neither do opportunities. If employees want to get promoted quickly, they should show initiative by seeking out opportunities actively — in everything they do. Initiative is especially fundamental quality for a startup or small business because there is always more to be done, and never enough people to do those things.
Vanessa NornbergMetal Mafia

8. Project Management, Please!

Logan LenzAs an employee, if you show your attention to detail when juggling multiple projects at once, you will be in a better position to get noticed and promoted quickly. Moving up the ladder means more responsibilities and more "management" and overseeing of projects. That's why management and organization are so important as you move up to higher levels in the company.
Logan LenzEndagon

9. The Opportunity Magnet

John HallEmployees should try to be an opportunity magnet. Employees that bring value to a startup or small business are the ones that are promoted. If you bring opportunities in t he form of clients, partnerships, or valuable connections, your boss will know that you are a future leader of the company.
John HallDigital Talent Agents

10. "Insanity" Management Skills

Justin beegelI can only speak for my business, but I'd imagine other startups experience those insane days, weeks and months when things are not going to plan, deadlines are tight and approaching, and the only way to have enough hours and get everything done is by inventing a time machine. Show me you can weather the storm and perform under pressure, and you will grow with us.
Justin BeegelInfographic World, Inc.

11. Ideas for Change

Brent BeshoreYou must have the ability to solve problems. Most people can execute fairly well when told what to do, but very few people can valuably decide what needs to be done.
Brent BeshoreAdVentures

12. Problem Solving Skills

Lucas SommerBeing able to work independently and solve problems is crucial to success at a ny startup. If you want to be promoted, come up with solutions you weren't expected to deliver. Using the excuse "I couldn't get it to work," is not acceptable at a startup! Building problem solving skills and confidence is the fastest way to a promotion in a startup culture.
Lucas SommerAudimated

Matt Schneider
Read more from Matt

Leave a Reply

Notify of
What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.