How To Identify Your Transferable Skills

If you’ve been in your current position for a few years, it can be easy to fall into thinking that a change of career would mean having to start on the bottom rung of the ladder.

But this is far from the truth. These days, Recruiters are taking a broader view of job skills, particularly in those areas of industry where there are skills shortages, such as Renewable Energy and Building Services. The ultra-competitive modern business environment also means that employers want more for their money, so are looking for people with a wide skill set, who can work in a number of different areas, rather than specialists.

This is good news for people hoping to change jobs. But it can still seem a daunting prospect. So where do you start?

Everybody has transferable skills that would be of use to employers in different sectors. For instance, if you have experience of Project Management or you have developed strong communication skills, then you could be perfectly suited to a career in Building Services, where the ability to organise a complicated project and work well in a multi-disciplinary team is fundamental.

Employers in the building services industry regularly recruit applicants from unrelated sectors, such as facilities management, logistics, health and safety or any management role involving the co-ordination of systems or people to meet demanding deadlines.

Another area of industry where transferable skills are particularly relevant is in the field of Renewable Energy. The specialist Renewables job market is relatively small, so employers have to cast their net wide. If you have experience in planning and regulation, health and safety, engineering or technological product development, these skills are readily transferable to the Renewables sector.

The best way to identify your transferable skills is to start by assessing your work and life experience. To begin with, it can be helpful to ask yourself a series of questions:

  1. What do you love to do?
  2. What are you good at?
  3. What would you consider to be your personal qualities?
  4. What is your specific work experience?
  5. In which industry or for which company would you most like to work?

The final stage of this exercise is to write down how the skills and interests in points one to four could be transferable to the companies or industries at point five. This exercise is useful to get you thinking outside of your current career confines.

If it helps, you can also ask yourself deeper questions to dig out your transferable skills. What successes have you had in life or in your career? What problems or challenges did you have to overcome? How did you achieve these successes and what qualities or skills did you demonstrate along the way? What are you passionate about in life?

Having gathered this evidence, the final stage is to identify the common themes and package these together in a way that would be attractive to employers in your preferred sector. So, for example, if you were looking to move into the Building Services industry, you should be looking for examples from your career showing how you managed a complicated project, or co-ordinate a team of workers to achieve a goal.

Identifying your transferable skills, with an ideal company or sector in mind, can be an illuminating exercise; even if you aren’t looking for an immediate change and if you are ready to take a career leap, it is a vital first step on your journey.

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