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Leveraging Your Transferable Skills

From One Career to Another: Leveraging Your Transferable Skills

Today’s volatile job market often lends itself to individuals having to make career pivots. The reasons for these drastic changes can range from a search for greater fulfillment, a need for a new challenge, or even a shift in personal or professional priorities. Regardless of reasoning, with the right mindset and approach, it’s entirely possible to make a successful transition. One key element that can make a huge difference when it comes to pivoting your career is having transferable skills. 

What are Transferable Skills? 

Transferable skills (sometimes referred to as PowerSkills) are abilities and expertise that can be utilized in multiple contexts, regardless of the industry or position. These skills can include communication, problem-solving, teamwork, leadership, and time management, among others. Sharpening these transferable skills can provide an advantage when it comes to making a career shift, as they enable individuals to adapt to new environments and responsibilities more effectively. 

So how does one sharpen their transferable skills? Here are some tips to get started: 

  1. Assess your current skills: Before you can begin to hone your transferable skills, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you already possess. Consider the skills you’ve acquired in your current or previous roles, as well as any experiences you’ve had outside of work that may be relevant. Take an inventory of these skills and identify any areas where you could improve. 
  2. Seek out opportunities to practice: Once you’ve identified areas where you could improve, look for opportunities to put those skills into practice. This could include taking on new responsibilities in your current job, volunteering for projects outside of work, or pursuing additional education or training. By actively seeking out opportunities to practice and develop your skills, you can gain valuable experience that will serve you well in a career pivot. 
  3. Build your network: Building a strong professional network can be invaluable when it comes to making a career pivot. Networking can help you connect with individuals who may be able to provide insight or opportunities in your target industry or role. Additionally, by networking with professionals from different industries or backgrounds, you can gain exposure to new ideas and perspectives that can enhance your transferable skills. 
  4. Be open to feedback: Constructive feedback can be a valuable tool when it comes to honing your transferable skills. Seek out feedback from colleagues, mentors, or other professionals to gain insights into areas where you could improve. Remember to approach feedback with an open mind and a willingness to learn and grow. 

Not sure where to start? Try focusing your energy on three of the most important transferable skills communication, leadership, and problem-solving.  

  • Communication: Being able to clearly articulate ideas, listen actively, and adapt communication styles to different situations can help you establish credibility and build relationships with colleagues and clients.  
  • Leadership: The ability to inspire and motivate teams, delegate tasks effectively, and make strategic decisions, can also be invaluable in a variety of career paths.  
  • Problem-solving: Strong problem-solving skills can help individuals identify opportunities, navigate challenges, and make data-driven decisions that drive business results.  

A career pivot can be a challenging but rewarding process, and developing transferable skills can make it easier and more successful. Transferable skills can provide a strong foundation for career transitions by allowing individuals to leverage their existing strengths and apply them to new contexts. To effectively develop transferable skills, you must find opportunities for practice and step out of your comfort zone. By prioritizing the development of transferable skills and taking a proactive and intentional approach to career pivots, you can position yourself for success and achieve your career goals. 

Contact us today to learn how our talent management solutions can help you plan and develop your employees career goals.

Karla Vallecillo is a Business Development Manager with TalentQuest. She is responsible for seeking, developing and defining close business relationships with potential business partners. After eight years in K-12 education, she joined the TalentQuest team but continues her fierce advocacy…

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