The Importance Of Transferable Skills
I am a firm believer that everyone has something to bring to the table.
Did you know you are qualified for more jobs than you think?
I would like to share my personal story on how I used transferable skills to move around in my career.
How I went from IT guy to flight attendant and editor
Prior to my bachelor’s degree, I did a lot of customer service related jobs and I knew that I was good at customer service.
I gained technical knowledge from university and started working in the IT support field. Naturally, I became one of the top agents not only because I was able to solve technical issues over the phone, but I provided excellent customer service. I was able to put myself in their shoes and empathise.
After working in IT for 3 years, I decided to go for a career change. I joined the airlines and I was already an expert in customer service by then. But how is it possible when it is a totally new industry, and I have no knowledge of aviation safety and security?
Well, they were looking for people who can provide the same set of skills I had. So picking up new knowledge on aviation was just a matter of reading the books and passing the exams.
In 2015, I decided to clip my wings and joined the corporate world. I started as an account executive, moving my way up to managerial roles.
I carried the skills and experiences with each new change and along the way, I carried more and picked new roles. Roles which I never imagined I would be doing today.
Today, I am an editor for a marketing agency. I was never formally trained to write. I practised writing a lot on blogs and social media.
The secret lies in transferable skills
You see all you need to do is to discover all the transferable skills that you picked up throughout your career.
These skills will be useful in any job, industry or situation.
Even informal experience counts such as your personal interests and hobbies.
From my story above, here are the transferable skills I have picked up along the way:
• Customer service
• Computer skills
And the list goes on. Do not forget to update your resume to include these skills. They can lead to better job offers and career pivots.
Once you have identified these skills, craft a fresh resume. Just because you have been doing a certain job all your life, it does not mean that you cannot do any other job.
Look at the job you are applying for, highlight your most relevant experience and mention the transferable skills you’ve gained that will apply to the new role.
If you need help writing a resume, there are tons of tips, examples and tutorials online. Just Google it or search on YouTube. Remember, there is no perfect resume so do not be afraid to experiment.
Be open to new opportunities
Lastly, do not forget to say yes to opportunities that come your way.
Sometimes it is good to be open to new tasks and challenges as this will lead you to opportunities. It is no longer the norm to stay in employment where the tasks always remain the same.
You could be part of the sales team while working with developers on improving the sales platform or a community manager having to code for an app you are trying to market to the community.
Your career path will take you to new roles and industries you never would have thought they would. It is important to stay fresh and relevant in the job market so be open to learn and grow as an employee.