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Considering a Different Job or New Career Path? Start by Identifying Your Transferable Skills

Here's what you need to do to identify and make the most of your transferable skills to allow you to apply your talents, abilities and experience in a new role and/or new field.

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Posted On Feb 26, 2021 
The emergence of ever-smarter technology, coupled with health and safety requirements, are having an incredible impact on the workplace. The ripples of progress can be felt across all industry sectors, with some jobs being made redundant, others being augmented by emerging technology, while new roles are coming into being requiring completely new skills.
It can be daunting, but as new in-demand skills emerge—those who have a learning mindset will be best positioned for the future of work. A recent LHH LinkedIn survey found that the vast majority—89%--of respondents were planning to upskill in 2021 in order to stay on top of their game. For some this means becoming an early adopter of the latest technology tools that start to appear, while others will be picking up new skills to shift the focus of their career and find a new position.
For those interested in pursuing new career paths, it is very important to look at transferable skills. You might be surprised at what skills can be used in many different roles, functions and industries to make you the perfect candidate elsewhere.
Here's what you need to do to identify and make the most of your transferable skills to allow you to apply your talents, abilities and experience in a new role and/or new field.

Make a list of your skills

Sometimes you need the clarity that only a physical list can provide. Grab a pen and paper, or boot up your preferred word processing software, and write down every one of your hard skills (e.g., management, analytical, technical, presentation, and computer skills, etc.) and all of your soft skills (e.g., creativity, problem solving, leadership, communication, teamwork, customer service, etc.) that you can think of. If you're struggling, think through your regular and daily tasks and break them down into component parts and actions. Be sure to add these skills to your resume.

Find what skills are in high demand

In order to see where your skills fit, or what you might need to learn in order to find your next role, it's worth doing a bit of research. Look through job listings in the function and/or industry you are interested in. This gives you an excellent idea of the desired abilities that turn up time and again. What's more, if you can identify an area where you fall short of the requirements then you'll be able to take steps to fill the gap in your knowledge.

See what courses are available to fill your skills gap

Once you've identified an area or skill that you need to improve on, the next step is to see how you can do learn it. Looking for online courses is the best place to start, especially if they are accredited, such as the courses Google runs for using its tools. Tap your network for some useful recommendations that you can follow up on.


Develop a plan for improvement

If there are multiple areas that you want to learn and improve in, then making a plan that prioritizes them can help keep you on track. Also, make a note of when courses are available, and how many hours they generally take to complete so that you can manage your time effectively.

Practice good learning habits

It's important not to rush things and burn yourself out, especially if you are learning and completing courses on top of your regular working hours. This can be as simple as penciling in time to take courses in advance, or even setting aside a regular period to do some reading and research.
You don’t need to be a perfect match for a job. Most candidates won’t possess every single technical skill listed in a job description. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be a contender for the role. You can position yourself as an asset by carefully identifying and highlighting transferable skills and abilities that can be applied in any role.