How Transferable Skills Can Help You Change Careers and how to Identify Them
Ever wondered how your skills will play off in a new job, in a different industry? If you haven’t, then now is the right time to see how the skills you use in the present job could relate to a different job.
It could be that you are not playing to your strengths, and if at all you feel bored by the nature of work, or think you could do it in your sleep, or if you feel like you do someone else’s job, a career change maybe what you are longing for.
But say in the most unfortunate event COVID took you by surprise with its infamous negative effects; a layoff or termination, you might be actively looking for a new job or changing your career altogether. Given that you are looking for a suitable job, you may be looking for skills that you could take with you to the next position, that is what I mean by transferable skills. Although ticking all boxes in the Job description might be the spot where the shoe pinches here’s what you need to know to keep your job search relevant.
Obviously, when you are venturing out into a new career, you will fall short as far as experience is concerned but if you could lean into your transferable skills, you could make up for the shortage. Wondering how?
Transferable skills aren’t necessarily the skills that you pick in your workplace neither are they limited to one job or industry. It could be something that comes naturally to you, say leadership. When you have the potential to lead a team; take ideas and opinions into consideration to make educated decisions, why be a follower in a job that’s not relevant rather than lead a daring team.
But say you are a customer care officer and you deal with many complaints daily, hence your transferable skill could be problem-solving and by all means, you are bound to be a good communicator, which ticks another box on the transferable skills set. But if you are working as a receptionist, although communication skills and problems solving skills may come into play, the use of the respective skills differ. It’s a thin line that separates these two positions. No matter what don’t let your job undermine your skills, rather let it give the room for growth.
Discover the skills that set you apart
Run through the entire professional tool kit you have. Sometimes you could overlook some skills that you naturally possess as something common with everybody. Take communication, for instance, we all communicate but find out what is it that sets you apart from another communicator. Reminisce any previous situation where you came to the rescue when everybody else was dumbfounded.
Ask your manager or previous employer, they have an uncanny ability to spot your skills and maybe they could recommend you a better career that you’d be well off.
Understand how your skills relate
It is highly important that you understand the new role before you try to transfer your skills to the new role. Recruiters and hiring Manager are more inclined towards candidates who have had a linear path in their career, and when you pop into the new industry with no experience, it always better if you could connect the dots or find answers to the question, “Why this job?”
Leverage your online portfolio
Get your resume, cover letter, or portfolio tailored to portray the cross-functional skills. Your resume can carry your work history, the turning point, and the trajectory to the destination while your cover letter and portfolio can explain why you are important to the company. It could be something of a different blend you bring to the table which could benefit the company than a conventional person. You never know, you could be better off with a different career if you know what you are good at.