Transferable Skills

When considering a job opportunity, it is always beneficial to stop and take the time to ponder one’s potential in the workplace. We as individuals have so much to offer and most of the time when you read a job description, you might not check all of the boxes. But there are so many skills that can be transferable to a new role or industry.

Here’s an example: Say you worked in the food industry. You are a server at a very busy establishment and must remain alert, attentive, positive, and flexible as you take orders from a multitude of people. You are ready to step into the professional space and work in an office. Some might look at a resume and see the skills required, get intimidated, and log off – completely missing the opportunity that might be perfect for them. DO NOT DO THIS. Instead, consider how the skills you have developed apply to the role you are seeking. You are working under pressure, multitasking, and providing customer service. You would be surprised how much value people with these skills can bring to the professional world. In its evaluation of the causes of talent scarcity, Gartner concluded that companies are seeking candidates that, in addition to specific technical or business experiences, demonstrate adaptability, collaboration, decisiveness, political savviness, and a strong customer relations mindset. Applying for administrative roles, executive assistant roles, and anything customer service oriented could be a great transition for you.

According to a article, workers “across a wide array of industries tend to value a similar range of foundational skills, including communication, teamwork and collaboration, and problem-solving. Other valuable skills and attributes to be demonstrated include:

  • Analytical thinking
  • Dependability
  • Organization
  • Adaptability
  • Leadership
  • Initiative
  • Passion, motivation, and work ethic
  • Technology literacy

Of course, the gap between what the hiring manager is looking for and what you have previously done or can do cannot be so broad that you lose credibility.  LinkedIn recommends that if you do not meet 75% of the stated criteria for the position you should not bother to apply.  However, there is a way to narrow that gap. There are plenty of workshops, skill builders, and online courses available that can help you achieve the level of knowledge you’d like to obtain. There are also websites like Upwork and Catchafire that are oriented toward freelance work that can help you build out your resume and experience before finding a job that is more permanent. In responsibly to a job ad or crafting your resume, consider how you can give concrete examples that demonstrate these skills.  Remember, you must sell yourself to the hiring manager so that your application doesn’t end up on the bottom of the pile.  There are so many options out there for those looking to transfer your skills into a new role. Check out our YouTube video to hear how one woman leveraged her skills to make a major career change.