It's Time to Own It! Do You Know What Your Best Transferable Skills Are?

More often than not, I talk to clients who simply don’t understand how amazing they are.

Conversations that lead me to saying this bold statement go down a little something like this: I ask them about their current position, their daily responsibilities, and their projects at work, Their responses are typically:

  • “I consistently get high scores on my performance evaluations….”

  • “I have recurring clients and customers who are happy with the work we do together…”

  • “My coworkers and I have a very positive relationship, and they look up to me as a mentor or a leader…”

  • ‘I’ve been recognized for a local, statewide, or national award within the company I work for or the profession I am in…”

  • “I meet my sales goal each quarter…”

  • “I get along really well with outside vendors, sales reps, or other companies I work with…”

None of these statements shock me because, as I mentioned above, majority of the clients I work with are really (and I mean this seriously) TALENTED people.

Simply put: when you have the desire to elevate your career, you need to be able to recognize how valuable the skills you’ve gained from your current role are and directly implement them into your next desired position. More importantly, you have to be able to clearly communicate and articulate WHY these skills will make you the perfect fit for the position you are wanting to transition into.

That’s precisely why, on roughly 9 out of 10 client calls, I bring up the phrase “transferable skills” into our conversation. Whether it has to do with interview prep, accountability coaching, business development, branding yourself, or career strategizing, this theme of “transferable skills” comes up time and time again… because so many of us don’t easily recognize how many skills we have in our back pocket.

Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to make a career leap? If so, it’s time to take a closer look at your true value and the REAL skills you should be capitalizing on.

Okay, so... What are transferable skills?

Transferable skills qualify as any skill you’ve developed in one situation that can be applied to another experience. Think of this as you’ve learned how to swim with your head above water and now you’re going to apply those skills when you dive below the surface. Same skills, completely different experience, right?

“Traditional” skills are what we learn as a part of our education; they lay the groundwork and foundation for a career. Your “transferable” skills take your training a step further; these skills are what you learn in one experience that can carry over to a completely different opportunity. The benefit of blending both your traditional and transferable skills is that you’re no longer boxed into Role A or Role B as your only options.

Trust me when I say this: we all have many transferable skills that can equip you for your dream job... even if the job you have now looks totally different then the one you are trying to transition into. Your innovation, creativity, hard work, and unique experiences will allow you to transfer those skills into a completely new role.

Getting to the root of your skills

It isn’t always easy to self reflect and outline your skills without feeling that pesky imposter syndrome sneak back up.

Many of us think that acknowledging what we’re good at makes us presumptuous or stuck up, however this is 100% INACCURATE.

The truth is too many of us second guess our skills and our strengths. Ultimately, that may lead you to becoming an insecure overachiever, which oftentimes results in burnout and even less recognition or pay that you deserve.

Here is an exercise to help you figure out some of your transferable skills:

First and foremost, quit lying to yourself!

You are in fact amazing, talented, and awesome.

It’s time to stop stressing about whether or not you have any transferable skills – because you do! Any creeping negative thoughts about how you’re only good for ONE type of role you’re currently in are simply inaccurate.

Everyone has skills that they can walk away with from any particular experience or situation.

Take a moment and write down what you do on a daily basis in your current position.

Think about all of the operations, management, training, education, sales, interactions, expertise, experience, and everything in between that you’ve gone through to get to this point in your career.

List anything and everything that you have to put into this job to get the position done.

Now, with this killer list in hand you have laid the foundation and groundwork for your known skills – it’s time to now figure out how all of those map together to create a well-rounded professional who can make changes in their career.

Find your skills by asking yourself (or others around you):

  • What are you good at?

  • What have people told you were good at?

  • What do you like spending time doing?

  • What do you consider are your skills?

  • What unique technical skills are you good at?  

  • What were your specific job duties in your last role or prior roles?

  • What tasks were delegated to you in your prior roles?

  • While you were in school, what did you enjoy doing outside of the traditional classroom setting? Did you volunteer in specific clubs, or were you an active member for a certain organization? If so, what did you do in these organizations or clubs? What was your role?  

Once you have all of this information at hand, you can get to work being strategic and making career moves that will take you one step closer to fulfillment, your version of success, and to creating a lasting legacy that you can be proud of.


Ashlee Klevens HayesComment