Which transferable skills do you have?

Although lockdown restrictions are continuing to ease, we’re still going through a strange time. Life isn’t as we knew it before the pandemic, and many people are having to go in search of new work opportunities. This can be an unsettling time, and if you’re considering making a career change, you might be wondering what sort of roles you could turn to next.

However, a helpful way to start thinking about what your next career move could be, is to take a closer look at your skills and attributes. By identifying which of these are transferable, you may start to see that you have more in common with some roles than you initially thought.

To help get you started, we’ve pulled together a list of 8 transferable skills that employers commonly look for when hiring across a range of different roles.

Communication skills

communication skills

No matter what industry or job role you go into; workplace communication helps companies to work efficiently and productively; and build relationships based on loyalty and trust. Being a good communicator will often mean that you have good listening skills and are able to communicate points clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing.

Whilst communication is one of the most important life skills to have; there are some jobs that rely on these skills more heavily than others. You may have an advantage in a communication-based role if you have a demonstrable track record of working in roles that require interaction at various different levels.

Almost all employers are on the lookout for strong communication skills so as a good communicator, there are thousands of roles out there that you could be suited to.

Possible job options that you may not have considered

Teacher  | Teaching English as a Foreign Language | Teaching Assistant  | Writer  | Lawyer  | Counsellor | Funeral Director | Mortgage Advisor  | Estate Agent  | Nanny | Interpreter  | Speech and Language Therapist  | Human Resources Officer

Planning, organisation and time management skills

Employers love organised people for one reason in particular…they get things done! To be organised and timely at work, normally means that you’re great at setting goals and planning exactly what steps need to be taken to complete them within the appropriate time frames. You’ll also be great at maximising your time and identifying ways of working which are most efficient. If this sounds like you, then these roles which may be of interest…

Possible roles for people with strong organisation and time management skills

Court Usher  | Events Manager | Project Manager  | Personal Assistant  | Administrative Assistant/Virtual Assistant | Travel Agent  | Estate Agent 

Creativity

If you’re a creative person, then chances are you have a wonderful imagination and can happily spend hours experimenting with different concepts. You may also be great at thinking outside the box and shedding new light on old ideas. The good news is, there are plenty of roles out there that will allow you to harness your creativity and explore it further. You may have an advantage when applying for creative roles if you can offer examples of times when you have previously used your creativity to make a positive contribution or a lasting impact in your personal or professional life.

Possible roles for creative individuals

Art Therapist | Florist | Furniture Restorer/Conservator | Graphic Designer  | Dog Groomer  | Hairdresser  | Interior Designer | Photographer  | Picture Framer | Visual Merchandiser  | Writer 

The ability to keep calm under pressure

Not everyone is able to keep calm in high pressure environments, so if you have this skill then it’s definitely one to utilise when you’re looking for a job. There are many jobs out there that require you to keep a firm handle on your emotions, regardless of what stressors may be going on in your immediate environment – in some jobs, people’s lives depend on it! If you’ve previously held roles where you have been able to keep calm and carry on – even when things get tough – then you may be an ideal candidate for some of the roles below…

Possible job roles for those who can keep calm under pressure

Midwife  | Emergency Call Handler | Funeral Director  | Nurse  | Paramedic  | Air Traffic Controller  | Driving Instructor  | Lawyer  | Carer  | Private Investigator  | Prison Officer  | Social Worker  | Close Protection Officer

People skills

People with exceptional people skills tend to be natural communicators who possess skills like emotional intelligence, empathy and compassion. Having people skills is about more than simply being able to listen and express yourself well. It’s about being able to put yourself in other people’s shoes, consider how they may be feeling, and produce a response that the receiver will be particularly receptive to. If you have strong people skills, then chances are, it won’t matter who you are talking to, you’ll still be able to put them at ease and make them feel comfortable in your presence. These skills are particularly precious and shouldn’t be overlooked, especially in roles where there is a need to build client trust.

Possible roles for individuals with strong people skills

Nurse  | Counsellor | Hairdresser  | Carer | Midwife | Customer Service Assistant | Sales Assistant  | Teacher  | Holiday Representative  | Youth Worker  | Life Coach | Personal Trainer  | Personal Shopper | Phlebotomist | Veterinary Nurse  | Victim Care Officer 

Leadership skills

Some people are natural leaders, whilst others have had experiences professionally or personally (or both) that have allowed them to develop these skills. A strong leader is able to take charge of situations and motivate and inspire others to achieve their goals. They are also able to solve problems, delegate tasks within a team, and plan and coordinate a variety of tasks.

The role of leader typically comes with a great deal of responsibility and the skills you have in this area will often be just as – if not more – important than many of the other, more specific skills attached to the role (as these can often be learnt on the job).

If you have strong leadership skills and leading is something that you enjoy doing, then it’s worth looking at leadership roles in a range of different industries…

Possible roles for people with strong leadership skills

Purchasing Manager | Construction Manager | Facilities Manager | Nursery Manager | Events Manager | Project ManagerBecome your own boss | Teacher | Franchise Owner | Lawyer | Supervisor | Youth Worker

Technological skills

technological skills
In today’s constantly evolving technological world, demonstrating that you have up-to-date technology skills (and that you are prepared to acquire new skills) can give you a real advantage. Whether you have skills in coding, databases or social media platforms, there are a range of roles out there that may be of interest and can offer further learning and development if you enjoy working with technology.

Possible roles for people with strong technological skills

Software Engineer  | Information Systems Manager  | IT Consultant  | IT Sales Professional | Database Administrator  | Video Editor | Social Media Officer  | Digital Marketer 

Numeracy skills

numeracy skills
If you like working with numbers, and could happily spend your time crunching the figures, then it’s worth looking for roles which require strong numeracy skills – there are many different types of role available depending on factors such as the level of responsibility you’d like to have at work, and whether or not you’re a people person.

Possible roles for people who are good with numbers

Accountant  | Auditor | Credit Controller | Mortgage Advisor  | Bookkeeper  | Estate Agent  | Maths Teacher  | Financial Coach/Advisor

A final note...

While looking for new job opportunities, it can be easy to focus on the reasons that you may not be suitable for a role – and this way of thinking can often stop you from applying for jobs you could really enjoy, or even lower your confidence going into an interview.

Always remember that employers are looking for talented individuals first and foremost and many are happy to offer training to employees with the right transferable skills and/or attributes. Rather than focussing on skills you don’t have, the key thing is to focus on highlighting your strengths and transferable skills, so any prospective employer is left with no doubt about your ability to do the job.

Good luck!

What transferable skills do you have? Have you used your transferable skills to change career? We’d love to hear from you at [email protected].

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4 thoughts on “Which transferable skills do you have?

  1. Avatar
    Kevin on Reply

    While this is all good information for everyone. The problem with most of these websites is you can’t see what you need to know to get a job. There seems to be no person to actually to talk to and help you make and get the right information. Going through different websites doesn’t get you a job.

  2. Avatar
    Kay on Reply

    I feel that the jobs recommended here are basically most jobs for the young age group as well. How this can help is to recommend jobs for the middle aged group . Example , they can recommend jobs based on success of middle aged group applying and staying on the particular profession when they make the switch . Perhaps , no one did the analysis !

    1. Avatar
      Helen on Reply

      Hi Kay. Thank you for your feedback. I’ve been scratching my head as to how we might be able to do such analysis – it would be very interesting wouldn’t it. We do, however, have a lot of anecdotal stories via our members – those who have re-trained or changed careers. It’s not very scientific, but it does mean it’s grounded in reality. Sometimes, when we’ve had a long career, we don’t know what’s available to us, so our articles will sometimes help people understand what they didn’t know they didn’t know (if that makes sense!).

  3. Avatar
    Amanda Speedie on Reply

    These transferable skills are essential in any job, as we are always working with other people (except the tech skill). Regarding the ‘success at getting a job in middle or older age’, are not all companies keeping detailed data on applicants and their workforces? I am always having to give my date of birth on job applications so businesses must store this data somewhere, and be prepared to release it. Otherwise, why are they continually capturing it? (Age, sex at birth, sex later, marital status, hetero or gay, ‘disabilities’ – all of these are ‘protected characteristics’ and I strongly object to being asked for any of it – it is always irrelevant to the job in hand). However, the age data is particularly important at this time, and must be publicly available, published annually like accounts, company by company for transparency, and perhaps older people can begin to be treated with equality on application when the figures show the abysmally low take-up rates of workers over 35.

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Good luck with your application

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