The economy and the job market has changed a lot over the last 3 years There are traditional roles in some sectors that may no longer be required, and there are new roles and sectors that are growing in response to these changes. When looking for your next role, identifying your transferable skills can be more important than ever in this changing world.
If you’re actively job hunting, or facing the prospect of unemployment, it could mean considering a change of career. The more open minded you can be about roles you’d be interested in, and organisations you’d like to work for, the greater your chances of success in finding a new job. Being open minded is the first step. Identifying your transferable skills is the next step that will help you be proactive in your job search.
Here are some tips on how to identify your transferable skills to show a potential employer your uniqueness in a crowded career market.
1. Don’t dismiss your life skills
When we’re looking for a new role, we tend to think about the skills and experience we’ve gained throughout our careers. While these are of course important, there are many other aspects of our lives where we gain skills that will be valued by an employer.
Think as broadly as you can about skills from family life, through voluntary work, or even from your hobbies. For example, if you play a team sport, you are literally demonstrating that you’re a team player!
2. Think about the way you define yourself
When describing themselves, most people will define themselves by their job titles. People will say ‘I’m a chef’, or ‘I’m an accountant’. Rather than thinking in that very restricted way, by changing your mindset, you can change the way you define yourself.
For example, ‘I have time management skills’, ‘I’m able to manage staff in a pressurised environment’, or ‘I have financial management skills’. These are the types of transferable skills you can take with you into any role.
3. Focus on change management
In the last 3 years, organisations have had to deal with huge changes, from working practices to what the business delivers in some instances. It’s clear that in order to survive, organisations need to be innovative and adapt to change.
Increasingly, therefore, employers are valuing employees who demonstrate that they have change management skills. This doesn’t mean that you must have experience of project work, just that you can show you can embrace change and you know how to deal with changing situations.
4. Research the transferable skills employers value
Spending some time looking at job vacancies, whether these are advertised on job sites, by recruitment agencies or newspapers. This will give you a feel for the kinds of skills employers are looking for. These may be skills such as problem solving, creative thinking, or communication.
Make a list of the 10 skills that come up most often, then think about examples of transferable skills that you could demonstrate to an employer. This will also help you to understand which are your strongest skills, based on the number of examples you can find for each one. You can then use this information to target your job search on roles that best fit your strongest skills.
5. Research career paths that match your skills
Identifying your transferable skills will truly give you an understanding of what you have to offer a potential employer. Not only will it help increase your self-confidence, but it will also strengthen your CV and LinkedIn profile, give focus to job applications and improve how you perform at interview.
Take a skills assessment and find out about careers that might be right for you through the National Careers Service