Talkin’ ‘Bout Those Transferable Skills

You may be dissatisfied with your current career and looking to make a change. It’s a big decision, enough to put a few butterflies in the stomach of the most unflappable person, especially is you’re worried about how your current job skills will – or won’t – transfer. How do you get started, and what do you need to do? Here are a few tips.

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  1. Reflect

The first step is to examine your motivations. Why exactly do you want to make a switch? Are your reasons compelling enough to warrant such a big change in your life? For example, you may be dissatisfied with your current job because of a bad boss or work environment, or lack of growth opportunities in your current job. These problems can often be addressed without launching into a new career.

Think about the aspects of your job that you find most and least satisfying. Would your new career increase your job satisfaction where it is lacking now? What are you most passionate about, and will the new career allow you to fulfill your passion? Finally, how are you situated financially as you make the transition?

  1. Research

You need to do a lot of this. First, you need to find out as much as you can about your new career. You may have a pretty good idea about what it involves, but you need to get into the weeds and learn about what it is really like to do the job.

These days, there is no lack of resources to help you do this. You can look at journals and books or check out the many different resources online. Websites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor are invaluable resources to make connections with people who work in your prospective career. Pick their brains for information about the job and ideas for making the transition.

You will also need to find out if you will need additional training to prepare you for entry into your new career.

Research for the job search

The next step is preparing for the job search. You will need to put together a resume and cover letter and update your LinkedIn profile. You will need to research companies you might like to work for and find out which ones you want to target in your job search.

You will need to network with friends, colleagues, contacts on social media, and through informational interviews to gain the attention of your target company. And you will need to prepare for the job interview itself.

  1. Transferable skills

To make your case to a hiring manager and persuade him or her that you have what it takes to do the job, you need to show how the skills you have developed in your previous jobs are transferable to the one you are seeking. You may see little connection between the skills you have and the skills you need, but there probably are a number of skills you have developed that any employer would want.

Some examples of these transferable skills include communication skills, leadership skills, research and analytical skills, organization and time management skills, collaboration skills, numeracy and information technology skills.

What you need to do is show the employer how you used these skills at your previous jobs to achieve your goals, and how they will enable you to excel at your new job. Giving examples of transferable skills will help to show the employer that you are the right person for the job.

And there’s good news: all employers are looking for these kinds of skills, because they’re necessary for almost all types of jobs.

Are you ready to put your current skills to work in a new job? Take a look at our current opportunities and then either follow the posting’s application directions or contact the Helpmates branch office nearest you to register with us.

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