February 2, 2018

Reinventing your career with transferable skills

Have you outgrown your job? Perhaps you want a whole different career? It can be challenging when so many job specs seem to require previous experience in a similar position. However, with a few key strategies it’s possible to reinvent your career using the experience and skills you already have.

Decide what you want to do

This may seem like an obvious first step but it’s one that is often overlooked. Be as specific or as general as you want. Perhaps you’re looking at a type of job or just want to work in a different industry.

If you’re not really sure and just want a change, think about tasks you do in your current job that you enjoy and are skilled at. Make a list of three or four responsibilities you’d like. For example: “I enjoy mentoring new employees” or “I’m the person in the office everyone comes to when they have a computer problem and the IT staff are busy”.

Now that you’ve thought about the tasks you want to do, think about the critical things you must have to thrive. Make a separate list. These could include opportunity for growth, salary, supportive work environment, job satisfaction, or opportunities to contribute to society in a positive way.

Find the job

Once you have an idea of what you require to be happy in a job and what activities you’d like to fill your days with, browse job listings for positions that match. Now look at the qualifications for these jobs. Determine whether or not you have the basic qualifications required to get the job. Does it require specific education, a certification or a specialty skill?

Evaluate your skills and experience

Make a list of all of the skills, attributes and experience you have that fit the job requirements. Be sure to cover the basics but don’t forget those extra skills and experiences that make you an ideal candidate for the job. Soft skills, such as the ability to listen carefully, are important as are the hard or technical skills.

Is a gap in skills really a gap?

This is where transferable skills come in. These are skills that transition between industries and job roles. The tricky part is when different industries have different names for the same activity. A few examples include:

  • trainer/mentor/coach
  • manager/team leader/supervisor/director
  • project manager/account manager/project lead
  • developing curriculum/lesson planning/programme building

Even if you haven’t had jobs that include these titles, you can highlight the skills you have demonstrated used by people within these roles.  It’s always a good practice to use the same terminology used in the job listing, as long as it accurately reflects your experience.

Do you need additional skills? If you find any holes, look for an opportunity in your current job to develop the skills or experience you need, take a certification course or volunteer in an industry you’d like to move to.

Make a lateral move

One of the easiest ways to change your career is to take on a similar job in a different industry. You will be using the same day-to-day skills but in a different setting. Often this is a lateral move so check opportunities for advancement before taking this step.

Join our talent pool today to see how you could reinvent your career.