Which way is the job market going and what skills should one build to be in demand a few years from now?
The best way to learn to be an entrepreneur is to start being one! Start small - consulting, part-time entrepreneurship or freelancing. Find what works for you and what your customers are willing to pay for.
I first started freelance résumé writing more than a decade ago. I never dreamed that it would enable me to start a successful business, to write a best-seller, to be invited to The White House and ultimately to teach others about how to pitch their ideas, innovations and inventions.
Entrepreneurship is hard of course, but it's lots of fun! It's also a great component of a comprehensive plan you can build for an uncertain job market. You can always develop new skills, build new relationships and grow your career options - and you can do it all working for yourself. If you offer something that folks need in any economic environment, you'll find you're building your own job security, even if it's part-time at the beginning. Start today!
In my experience, the unique skillset required to be a successful entrepreneur isn't something which can be learned through working a variety of jobs as you've described. Yes, it's true that an entrepreneur needs skills in all of these areas- but HOW MUCH and in WHAT CAPACITY is something that only other entrepreneurs can really teach you. Sometimes having a generalist's understanding of a particular area is enough to make meaningful progress, while in other situations your particular niche might require a "deep dive" to really become an expert. I've spent over 10 years creating businesses and making many missteps along the way (let's call them learning experiences!) and the most valuable lessons I've learned have come from more successful entrepreneurs who were willing to listen to my challenges and offer their perspective and wisdom. My advice would be to gain a mentor like this, learn as much as you can, and then start applying what you've learned towards a new endeavor ASAP. I wish you every success!
Each individual will bring something different to a startup team. Often, a founder will have experience in the particular subject matter e.g. nutrition, personal training, adventure, software, real estate, etc but lack broader expertise in sales and marketing or accounting. I recently worked with a startup in which one co-founder used to be a TV director - so he was great at making beautiful video content for the website and for social media - and the other was great at sourcing products from Asia, but neither really knew how to market the business. I myself come from a background in big multi-nationals so I know how to build a brand and how to market a product but I’ve had to adapt to smaller teams and smaller budgets. Consulting is also great for getting exposure to different industries and companies.
Of course the best experience in terms of being an entrepreneur comes from actually launching a business and learning from that experience! Getting a mentor is definitely a great idea, as well as devouring books and relevant courses in the areas in which you know you lack experience.