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Transferable Skills Can Take You Anywhere!

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The bookend to a year – December and January – are typically times where people take a long hard look at their careers.  Am I happy doing what I do?  Am I still enthusiastic about the industry I work for?  Where else can I add value?   

One of the biggest challenges we see when talking to candidates is the perception by employers about long tenure in one industry.  “Oh, you’ve been a teacher all your life – I don’t see how you can be an event manager”.   This is where the magic of a transferable skill set is critical.  Transferable skills are exactly what they sound like – the skills that you use in every job, no matter the title or field.  Some transferable skills are hard skills like coding, data analysis or other technical skills – and some are soft skills like communication and relationship building. Think of transferable skills as part of your career tool belt!

When you’re considering shifting from one career field to a very different one, identifying your transferable skills will help match your career to new opportunities without the fear of matching one title to another.   These are the key skills you should be promoting at the beginning of your CV.   Transferable skills can help you land a new job – no matter how ‘unmatched’ your skill set might appear to be.

Though every employee has transferable skills, employers do seek out certain transferable skills more than others.   For example, leadership is a skill that most companies will be looking for at every level in their business.  Now on the face of it you might not think you’ve been a leader – but dig deeper – have you coached sports teams?  Have you ever had to take the lead on a project and get a team to follow through and accomplish shared goals?  Leadership skills aren’t only your ability to supervise and manage a team – and they often connect with other key skills like communication, problem solving and relationship building.

With a global talent shortage, it’s vital that employers too pursue non-traditional candidates to expand their talent pipeline.  Companies can no longer meet their talent needs through previous methods – they need to look beyond a direct career match or industry experience.  To fill critical roles in 2023 businesses will need to be more comfortable assessing candidates on their abilities to perform in their role and their transferable skills, not just their credentials and prior experience.

If you’re thinking about a career shift or simply looking for a new role, now is a great time to brainstorm and create the list of transferable skills you have. Update your CV and seek advice if you need some support to identify the tools in your toolbelt!

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About Author

Senga Allen

Human Resource Specialist and Managing Director, Everest People. Waikato and BOP people and culture specialists. www.everestpeople.co.nz