The Strength of Transferable SkillsPosted: 4th of February 2015 by
You may have a good idea as to your career goals – whether you are already in work, doing an Apprenticeship, or planning on going to University. Whatever your desired destination it is worth considering your skills and which ones could prove to be useful if you don’t manage to land your dream job right away. It may be that there are no vacancies in your desired job sector right now, and the need to earn some money means that you have to get a job as soon as possible. This may seem like a waste of time as you plan to move to your dream career as soon as you can, but there is no need to write off this time as, instead, you could look to gain some transferable skills.
Transferable skills are those that can be used across a variety of different employment sectors – the sort of everyday skills that can be used in a number of jobs and can prove useful when it comes time to apply for that dream career. These skills can be built up in a job that is totally unrelated to your desired role, yet prove useful when it comes to trying to land a position in your preferred profession.
So, what constitutes a transferable skill?
There are many different skills that can be used in many different roles and can be gained in almost any employment. Among these are communication skills, which are of use whether dealing with customers, clients, or other employees. Strong communication skills are desired by many employers, and show that you can communicate clearly and effectively with others – whether face-to-face, on the telephone, or even in writing (by email perhaps?). Communication is, of course, a two-way street, and good skills in this area will also mean an ability to listen, build rapport with others, and negotiate where your views differ.
Another example of a transferable skill is to be able to be organised. This may mean organising your own time to meet deadlines, working as part of a team, and sticking to any rules and regulations required for your work. Showing that you are an efficient, organised employee will certainly prove to be a boon when it comes to landing a job, and being able to follow instructions clearly will also prove beneficial.
Being organised will also help you with the next of our transferable skills – planning and analysing. Being able to identify and solve problems is useful regardless of your desired profession, and planning and analysing will help with this. It will also give you a head-start when it comes to looking over data, developing new ideas, and setting goals and targets for the future.
At the top end of the transferable skills list are those relating to leadership and management. Even if you are not a manager at the moment you can still develop the skills that can be used in these types of role. Being able to co-ordinate group activities, resolve workplace conflicts, manage resources, make decisions, and delegate tasks accordingly are all useful transferable skills.
You can develop these type of skills in a variety of jobs, and showing that you are willing to take on extra responsibility will also help you to develop those skills that are higher up the list. Make sure to list these skills, as they are relevant, on your C.V. – and show that you are gaining the skills to stand out from the crowd – even if you are still waiting on your dream appointment.
There is no need to feel you are wasting your time as you wait for your dream career opening to appear – instead gain some transferable skills and get ahead of the competition while you wait!
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