How To Leverage On Transferable Skills To Change Jobs

How To Leverage On Transferable Skills To Change Jobs

What Are Transferable Skills?

Transferable skills are also known as portable skills. They are skills that can be transferred from one job to another. Highlighting your transferable skills is very important when changing jobs or industries. Transferable skills can be used to position yourself as the best candidate for a job when applying for a new job, especially if it’s in a different industry.

Job candidates/employees usually think about his/her transferable skills when applying for a job or when thinking about changing a career. Employers often look for employees who possess a  good set of transferable skills.

Types Of Transferrable Skills

As an employee or a job candidate, before you apply for a new job, take your time to consider the skills you currently have that can be transferred to a new organization/company. If you are not sure, read a few job descriptions for the role you are applying for, and pay close attention to their required skills and experience.

The following are types of transferable skills:

  1. Communication: Communication is the process of passing information to others by speaking, writing, or in another medium. Having good communication skills helps you know when and how to ask questions, how to read different body languages, and how to talk to people from different dispensations. In the workplace, employers value employees with strong communication skills.

Examples of transferable communication skills include:

    • Written communication
    • Active listening
    • Verbal communication
    • Confidence
    • Responsiveness
    • Nonverbal communication
  1. Teamwork: According to multiple Deloitte studies, organizations have identified the benefits of team-centric and network-based organizational models and are working to adapt them for themselves. Working with a team involves working with others towards achieving a desired goal and objective. Effective teamwork comprises several other qualities such as active listening, empathy, and strong communication.

Demonstrating the ability to work with other co-workers will help to reassure the employer/hiring manager that you will be a perfect match for the organization.

Use examples from your previous work experience to show your employer that you’re the right person for the job and that making you a part of the organization will increase the growth of the organization.

As an employee or a job candidate, providing successful teamwork examples during interviews can help employers understand how you will work with others in their company.

Examples of transferable teamwork skills include:

  1. Organization:  An employee that is organized typically meets deadlines, communicates with other co-workers in a timely manner, and adheres to instructions appropriately. An employer wants to employ an organized job candidate that he/she can trust to meet up with deadlines, and ensure the completion and execution of projects.

Examples of transferable organization skills include:

  1. Adaptability: For an employee to effectively perform his/her designated job role(s) in a new environment, he or she must possess adaptability skills. Employers like to hire employees who can quickly adjust to the ever-changing workforce by learning new skills to ensure work is done on time and with a positive attitude.

Examples of transferable adaptability skills include:

    • Positive attitude
    • Creativity
    • Flexibility
    • Patience
  1. Leadership: Leadership skills include strong communication, relationship building, and dependability. As an employee, you can transfer leadership skills to different organizations because most employers respect and value an employee who can organize teams to achieve a certain goal.

Examples of transferable leadership skills include:

  1. Empathy: Showing empathy and emotional intelligence in the workplace promotes a healthy work environment and boosts a strong relationship with clients and co-workers. As many jobs involve interaction with other people, having empathy is a skill that is important to employers.

Examples of transferable empathy skills include:

    • Listening skills
    • Perspective-taking
    • Curiosity
  1. Problem-solving: Businesses and companies always encounter problems, if you have the ability to solve problems, this will be a bonus point for your job application.
  2. Critical thinking: Critical thinking in the workplace involves using all valid and reliable sources of information to understand a problem and make the right decisions. Transferable skills drive innovation and productivity.
  3. Creativity and Innovation: Creativity and innovation are not just skills relegated to a product developer or graphics designer. Employers like to hire an employee who is creative enough to assess a problem or project and look for effective ways to solve a problem before he/she will be assigned or told to do so.
  4. Resourcefulness: Employers do not want to employ the services of someone that will not be instrumental to the growth of his/her organization. A resourceful employee who can find practical and effective ways to achieve a goal using limited resources that are available is a valuable asset to any company or organization.


Importance Of Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are globally important and accepted. They do not only contribute to your success as an individual, but also to the success of a team or organization. Transferable skills can be acquired through experience and development opportunities.

As a job candidate or employee, if you want to secure a job, you have to demonstrate a specific set of skills that are needed for the role that you are applying for.

The following are the importance of transferable skills:

  1. Flexibility: The competition in the job market is tough. An employer wants to employ a job candidate that can complete multiple tasks. When you have a diverse skill set, it will set you apart from other job applicants.
  2. Portability: Transferable skills are portable in nature. You can take it alongside you when changing jobs.
  3. Diversity: The more transferable skills you possess, the more diversity you can give/offer to your prospective company. The experiences that you have accumulated over time from diverse industries can be put to good use in any role.
  4. Employability: If you have little or no work experience, building a strong resume around your transferable skills will strengthen your chances of getting a job.


How To Leverage On Transferable Skills To Change Jobs

Transferable skills are one of the most crucial/essential things to highlight when changing careers.

The following are steps are how you can leverage transferable skills to change jobs:

  1. Use past work experience(s): The first step to leverage when changing a job is to make a comprehensive list of the skills and experiences that you got from your previous work.

Bring out your old resume and write down the skills that you still possess. Think of the skills you have gained since you last updated your resume and add the skills to the new list. There are skills that are easily transferable between different industries. The skills include soft skills and technological skills.

Technological skills such as coding and app development are important in almost every industry. Out of 5 industries, 3 industries use technological tools to control the activities of their organization. It is important to keep these skills up-to-date and relevant due to the fast-changing nature of technology. Soft skills that are highly in demand include leadership skills, interpersonal skills, written and oral communication skills, and time management

  1. Evaluate the skills needed for your new career: After making a list of the skills that you have, the next step is to look into the skills that are needed or required for the new job that you are applying for. You can identify these skills in different ways by analyzing the job postings similar to the position that you have an interest in and see what skills are required of you to have.

If your new industry requires a few skills you do not have, try your best to obtain them.

For example, you can attend courses that are relevant and essential in the new industry and earn certifications which will be a plus to your new resume. Volunteering is also a great way of gaining new skills. According to Elbert Hubbard, Volunteer work can not only help you develop needed skills, but it can also serve as solid experience on your resume, so don’t discount it. Remember that you must “Work to become, not to acquire.”

  1. Highlight the skills on your resume: When you are through documenting your skills and evaluating them, it is now time to draft your resume. When drafting your resume, do not put anything on your resume that you cannot defend or prove. Do not claim to have expertise in a skill that you have no knowledge of, if the hiring manager or employer senses your ingenuity, you may not get the position that you are applying for.

Even if you get hired, the truth will certainly be revealed sooner or later when it becomes visible that you do not have the abilities you noted on your resume. This act may get you fired alongside stain your reputation. By all means, you should state only what you are capable of doing. Do not exaggerate.

  1. Use cover letters: Often-times, hiring managers do not have all the time to go through resumes especially when there are different resumes submitted for the job role. As a job candidate, your cover letter is your selling point.

As a job candidate, your cover letter is very important than your resume when changing careers, this is because a cover letter gives you the opportunity to explain the skills you have and how you used them for the development and growth of your previous company.

Have in-depth knowledge about the company’s goals and objectives so that you can identify the areas where your skills will be very relevant and state how you can use your skills to project the message and image of the new company.

  1. Mention relevant skills in interviews: In interviews, you will need to rely on your experience and transferable skills to show that you are the best candidate for the job.

In conclusion, transferable skills are a specific set of skills that do not belong to a particular industry or niche. They are general skills that can be transferred from one job to another. It is crucial to leverage your transferable skills to the maximum level when changing careers. This will increase your chances of success in finding a new job.

Transferable skills can never be “old fashion” they will follow and support your career success as long as you invest and put effort into honing them.

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