MyStartr Skills Ladder: Overview 

February 02, 2023 · 4 minute read

The MyStartr Skills Ladder highlights 10 capabilities and traits that are really important when you’re just starting out — and that you’ll keep on improving and strengthening as you move ahead in your employment journey.

How do we know this? Because they’re the skills that leading employers tell us are crucial when they’re hiring young people for entry-level and early-career roles. So they matter right now. And then each time you come back to work on further steps in the Skills Ladder, you only add to your value in the eyes of potential employers.

Even if you have little or no formal work experience, chances are you’ve already started developing many of these skills — at school, in sports and through other extracurricular activities.

We’ve organized the Skills Ladder into four main themes:

  • Invest in yourself
  • Do great work
  • Connect and collaborate

Each theme brings together skills that complement and build off each other. We’ve tried to keep the explanations brief, providing examples and exercises that will help you better understand the value of a particular skill, why it makes you more job-ready and how you can develop it by building on your existing strengths.

You don’t have to move through the Skills Ladder steps in order — especially if you already have some work experience and are coming back to enhance specific skills. But we encourage young people at all career stages to return regularly and invest a bit more time in defining, better than ever, who you are and what you have to offer.


Invest in yourself

Of the 10 personal and professional development areas highlighted in the MyStartr Skills Ladder, employers recommend starting with The Big Three:

  • Building confidence
  • Pitching yourself
  • Ready to grow

These are the building blocks of outlook and commitment that enable you to present yourself effectively, to take on challenges and to find the resilience to keep on pushing when things don’t come easily.

Do great work

Once you’ve made The Big Three self-investments, you can grow that foundation with two more building blocks:

  • Business Knowledge
  • Technical skills

The learning curve begins as you start researching potential employers and prepping for interviews, and it carries on right through orientation when you land a job. 

Connect and collaborate

A big part of joining any organization is being able to work well with others — and that starts with having strong interpersonal skills. You’ve probably done much of the groundwork already, through years of interacting with family, friends, classmates and teammates. This section goes deeper on three key dimensions of connecting and collaborating:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Customer focus

Bring your best

We all understand when a coach, teacher or anyone we admire talks about bringing your best — even if we can’t define exactly what the phrase means. In a work context, it’s about showing how committed you are to your role, to your colleagues and to the organization generally. And as you progress through the MyStartr Skills Ladder, it’s where all the other job-readiness steps converge in two final dimensions:

  • Professionalism
  • Creative problem-solving

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