Track Your Transferable Skills for Career Success
Transferable skills are all important to identify if you’re looking to move jobs, take on a new project, get a promotion and so on. They are especially important if you’re coming back into the workforce after a gap or are starting out in a completely new field.
So what are transferable skills?
It’s not too difficult to figure out; they are the skills that you have gained in one part of your life which can be transferred to and used in another situation.
Let’s take an example; you would like to be promoted to a management position in your department and you have all the required skills and qualifications except for financial and budgeting skills. What do you do? Not apply for the job? NO! First look at where you might already be able to demonstrate that you possess these skills – are you a parent who successfully balances the family budget? Have you been treasurer of your local hockey club or similar? Do you organise jumble sales for your local charity, taking money and cashing up at the end of the day?
Secondly, if you really don’t have the skills, think about how you can acquire these skills in time for the interview and only thirdly, think about rejecting the opportunity!
Do employers take these skills seriously?
I can hear you asking me that question, and it’s a good one. You might think that your experience as a mother has nothing to do with wanting to be a team leader but you’d be wrong (think of all the leadership skills you demonstrate with your home ‘team’, your organisational abilities, communication skills, delegation abilities and so on). It depends how you present this in a convincing way to an employer and in the majority of cases, it will be taken into account. If you have direct work experience, even from another walk of life, then present that first as it’s easier for employer s to see the connection, but if you don’t, then make out a good case for the validity of this experience gained outside the working world to the vacancy you’re going after.
If an employer is looking for an innovative person, this approach can even count in your favour. The same can be said for jobs that require flexibility and creativity.
How to identify your transferable skills
You have to do an analysis of each and every ‘job’ you’ve had (including home, voluntary, hobbies and soon outside work). Most job titles don’t reflect accurately the content of the job, so go through each situation you’ve had and write down all the task you undertook, then skills you’ve used to complete these tasks.
Make the time to do this as it is worthwhile and an excellent addition to your profile.