Transferable skills: what employers want and how they help you transition to your next role.

Transferable skills: what employers want and how they help you transition to your next role.
January 27, 2022 Linda Murray

Are you thinking about changing jobs or careers but stopping yourself from applying because you don’t tick all of the boxes? The good news is that you can still benefit from the skills and experience you’ve gathered in your career to date. Many of your skills are transferable, which means they are useful in many different jobs and workplaces. 

When it comes to switching jobs and career paths, transferable skills are quite often overlooked in favour of knowledge and technical skills by applicants. What many don’t know is that most employers put more emphasis on transferable skills when choosing a new employee.

Transferable skills are sometimes referred to as personal or soft skills. Because these are the skills that have been so important and effective during the recent pandemic, people who possess them are in more demand than ever.

What sorts of skills are transferable?

Communication, listening, interpersonal skills, empathy, adaptability, flexibility, problem-solving, creativity, and inclusivity are all great examples.

These skills are essential when you work with others either as a leader, part of the team or in customer service. Anytime you need to interact with people in your role, these are the skills you call on. Now you can understand why they are so valuable.

How these skills help you transition to a new role.

Not everyone has these skills or have been able to demonstrate them in some way. If you have the skills and can show how you’ve used them, you are going to be a desirable candidate for a new role. Remember, job skills and knowledge can be learnt but interpersonal skills are harder to gain.

How to identify your transferable skills.

Here are a few questions to help you start assessing your skills.

  • What do you enjoy doing?
  • What do people praise you for?
  • What are you known for?
  • What successes have you had in the past?
  • What personal qualities and skills did you rely on to achieve those successes?
  • How do you tackle problems or obstacles?
  • How do you go about making new friends or helping new colleagues settle into their roles?
  • What is important to you in teamwork and how do you ensure you achieve it?

If those questions aren’t enough to jog your thoughts, you could look at a transferrable skills worksheet from Portland State uni. It will help expand your thinking.

Understanding your transferable skills gives you the confidence and ability to handle interview questions with ease and to prepare a considered resume for jobs that interest you. It also helps you weed out the roles you are not likely to enjoy.

Knowing what you like and what you’re good at is a great step towards planning your career by design. Knowing where you’re headed gives you an immense feeling of control and confidence in all areas of life. Do you have a clear career path ahead of you? Let me help you design your career and discover all the transferable skills you have but are probably not aware of. The Athena Leadership Academy, Career Clarity Online Program will put you on the right path, moving you from uncertainty and confusion to confidence and action.


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