Transferable Skills for Changing Careers

Thinking About a Career Change? Here Are the Skills That Will Make You Hirable Across the Board.

by Nicole Degi

Have you been thinking of making a career change for quite some time? Have your fears and sense of familiarity been holding you back? Have you been asking yourself, “How do I know when it is time to make the change?” and, “How do I know if I have the correct skillsets to make this change?” If so, you are not alone.  I was right there with you, just a few months ago. In fact, I battled with the thought of changing careers for years.

When making a career change, there are a few things that were helpful to me when understanding how I could stand out amongst other candidates. First, it is important to not let the fear of being comfortable hold you back and the fears of not knowing the ins and outs of an industry hold you back. It is also important to know that there are some key skills called transferable skills, and they apply to all occupations. These are the skills that make you highly hirable, no matter your career. If you can adopt the skills listed below, you will set yourself up for success and will be a viable candidate across multiple professions.

Communication

This is key. How many times have you heard someone with in your organization say, “we are not good at communication” and how many times have you thought to yourself this is frustrating? I know I have been one of these people many times. If you can focus on a few vital communication skills, they will take you far in any company. Focus on listening to understand rather than just waiting for the next thing to say. Focus on thinking through what you say and how you say it. Also, having an understanding about how your communication comes across in writing is very essential.

Technical

Stay current with technology!  Teach yourself basic technical skills and office programs that majority of companies use. This will help you grow professionally and give you stability.

Critical Thinking

Problem-solving skills has been a vital skill set since grade school. Utilize them to think professionally, to problem solve and come up with logical solutions.  Ask questions, create pro & con lists, and think about key factors to help create effective results.

Teamwork

This will vary from person to person. Some people enjoy working more independently than others and there is nothing wrong with that! What is important is making sure that you have an understanding that a team is made up of many different background and personality types and how important it is to be respectful of that. Remember that everyone is important to the organization so teach yourself how to efficiently work with multiple people.

Multitasking

Multitasking is a very desirable skill amongst hiring managers. If you can stay organized and establish priorities, you will feel accomplished at the end of the day. This will look different for everyone. For me I love to make lists, in fact the more lists the better! Lists help me stay on track; I like to physically cross things off a list to feel accomplished at the end of the day. I also utilize my calendar a lot! I add tasks to my calendar in blocked out times which helps me stay organized and get the multiple things I need to get done in a day done.

Creativity

I would suggest thinking to yourself: Can you allow yourself to think outside of the box? Can you affectively bring these ideas to the table for your organization and will these ideas produce results?

Leadership

This is the most in-depth skill amongst them all because it varies not only from person to person but also between every organization. This will ultimately be a combination of all the above skills. Leadership takes hard work and dedication. One key thing to think about is: are your actions inspiring others to learn, act and grow?

Embrace these skills and reflect on how your strengths and weaknesses can adapt to them and you will go a long way when making a career change. You will become a candidate that is appealing to multiple industries! Reference how these skills are reflective of you when you are interviewing and how they will be used in the day to day of your new career.

These are a few things that helped me make a career change, the skills may look a little different for everyone, but they are key ingredients to becoming a successful employee!

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