As you navigate your career journey, you’ll discover a mix of soft and hard skills that are vital for thriving in your career. If you’re just starting a new role or taking on additional responsibilities, you might harbor concerns about lacking applicable skills. However, you are likely more capable than you realize. Simply by living life and interacting with others, you’ve acquired transferable skills that can accompany you throughout your professional endeavors.
What are transferable skills?
Transferable skills are a set of versatile abilities applicable in various contexts. These skills can seamlessly transition from one job to another and can even find relevance beyond the workplace. They possess adaptability and value across diverse fields, industries, and environments.
A few examples of transferable skills include:
Where have you developed your skills in the past?
Think about what you’ve done in past jobs, or in your personal life that required you to develop and practice valuable and transferable skill sets. For example:
- You used to work as a server in a busy restaurant. Think about the skills you had to practice to succeed in that position:
- Customer Service: Ensuring exceptional service, addressing customer requests, and handling inquiries or complaints.
- Teamwork: Collaborating with fellow staff members to deliver a smooth dining experience.
- Time Management: Efficiently handling multiple tasks, such as taking orders, serving food, and managing busy periods.
- Adaptability: Quickly adjusting to changing circumstances and handling high-pressure situations.
- Attention to Detail: Ensuring accurate order taking, proper food presentation, and adhering to health and safety standards.
- You’ve participated in your child’s school’s Parent Teacher Association. Think what you contribute to each meeting and project:
- Leadership: Taking on roles within the association, organizing events, and guiding other parents in fulfilling their responsibilities.
- Communication: Effectively communicating with parents, teachers, and school administrators to facilitate collaboration and address concerns.
- Planning: Organizing fundraisers, meetings, and social events (also demonstrating skills in budgeting and coordination.)
- Collaboration: Working as part of a team to achieve shared goals and promote a supportive school community.
You can find transferable skills hidden in each and every job and activity you’ve done so far – you just have to take a moment to think about it!
The importance of transferrable skills at work.
Transferable skills can be a valuable asset, regardless of your position. By developing a robust repertoire of skills, you become better equipped to handle the demands of everyday professional life.
Possessing established skills allows new hires to swiftly complete training sessions. These individuals possess a knack for rapid learning and adapt effectively to evolving work environments, distinguishing themselves from those not applying their transferable skills.
Management teams appreciate employees who demonstrate independence and self-management capabilities. This attribute proves especially valuable for individuals who thrive in autonomous work settings, as it showcases your proactive nature and optimizes everyone’s time during training periods.
If your aspiration is to ascend to a leadership role, honing and consistently leveraging your transferable skills can be instrumental in transforming your ambition into reality. When managers seek potential leaders, they look for professionals who excel in effective communication, collaboration, acceptance of feedback, dedication to personal growth, and the ability to meet deadlines amidst a demanding schedule. Maintaining a comprehensive list of your transferable skills can be a powerful tool to impress decision-makers at a moment’s notice.
How do you leverage your skills in your career?
The initial and most crucial step involves identifying and acknowledging your strengths and capabilities. Direct your focus toward areas where you excel and actively apply those skills in the workplace.
It’s important to remember that you need not strive for mastery in every domain, nor should you attempt to do so. Rather, your objective is to make your standout skills shine within your routine work processes. Consistently deliver high-quality work and make a concerted effort to highlight your exceptional skills
Transferable skills empower you to excel in a wide array of positions and navigate various tasks that might otherwise pose challenges. By consistently practicing these general activities and cultivating a professional mindset, you’ll possess the tools to thrive in any role that aligns with your unique personality. So, remember to embrace and harness the power of your transferable skills, allowing them to propel you toward success in the professional realm.