Maybe you are feeling stuck or just unhappy with your current career. You might be thinking that a job change isn’t really enough, it’s time to make a career change.
The only problem…
You don’t have experience in the new career field you’ve chosen . . .
But there’s good news! You do have experience and skills that can transfer from your current job to your new chosen career field! Now you just have to make the connections between your experience and the skills required in your new career field.
What are transferrable skills?
Transferrable skills are those core set of skills that are used in many different job positions at different levels and can be applied across a variety of industries. These skills are the link that can allow you to branch out to another career field.
It’s your goal when preparing your resume to make the connection between your current job and expertise to the career field you are hoping to make a switch too. Once you identify your transferrable skills you will want to use them in your cover letter and resume to highlight the connection between your current career and future opportunity.
Which of your skills are transferrable?
Most common transferrable skills are those that are related to problem solving, dealing with people, leadership, etc. More technical skills that are an expertise in a specific field could possibly be transferrable, but may be more difficult to apply to a new career.
Here are some common transferrable skills:
- Analytical Skills
- Information Management Skills
- Project Management
But which skills will most serve you as you make your pivot?
#1 Research the new job position
Take time to research the career field you want to move to. You can start by finding job postings with your ideal job of what you want to do. Then look up the skills that are found in the “Qualifications” and “Requirement” sections of the job post. Make a list of skills that you find in the post.
You can also research by reading websites, professional networks, and associations to see what kind of skills are discussed for your field. Take it a step further and find someone in the field who is successful and interview them about the skills needed for their job.
#2 Identify your transferrable skills
Now that you know what transferrable skills are and the type of skills needed for the career you are seeking, you can create a list of skills that you have developed in your current job. Start by writing the things that you do in your job on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
Use the activities to determine the skills you have developed in your current role. Now you have a list of transferrable skills and the actions you used to build expertise.
As a teacher, I created lesson plans on a daily basis, managed a committee for school-wide discipline bi-monthly, managed multiple reading groups per day, recorded student data daily, created SMART goals for the classroom, used data to drive instruction and mentored new teachers.
Here’s how you might list those skills as you prepare for your pivot:
- Analytical skills – SMART goals, used data to drive instruction
- Leadership skills – managed a committee for school-wide discipline
- Information Management skills – recorded student data, use data to drive instruction
- Project management – managed multiple reading groups per day
- Communication – communicating with parents, teachers, and supervisors
Making the pivot and landing the right job
Use transferrable skills in your cover letter, resume, and interviews to create the connection of your unique experience and your potential working in a new career field. It’s important that you take the time to explain your desire to change careers and provide real proof of how you have developed skills in your current job that will benefit the prospective company.
Understanding what skills you have and how they can transfer is crucial to successfully making a career pivot. Unless you plan on going back to school to pursue a new degree in a different field then transferring your past experiences into a new line of work is the key to pivoting!