What are transferrable skills and how can you use them for job success and career growth?
There are all kinds of skills that we learn as we develop and grow, and through study, work and experience. We gain skills like learning how to use a computer, operating a machine, creating graphic designs and many other skills that can match a certain job or profession in an industry. These are classified as knowledge-based skills. Unlike this, we have what we call transferrable skills.
Transferrable skills are functional skills that we learn and develop in one scenario which can then be applied in another situation. Examples of this type of skills are communication, time management, emotional intelligence, listening and management skills. We develop these skills through life in social interactions, when solving problems, while playing sports, or in many possible situations we observe and experience every day. The best part about transferrable skills is you may already have them.
If you ever played a team sport like football or cricket, you probably have a good idea of teamwork and leadership. If you’re a great team player or have potential as a leader, you may already have teamwork and leadership skills in you that you can use to thrive in the workplace.
If in social gatherings you think you’re great at interacting with people, you may already have good communication, social or listening skills. These are great transferrable skills to have on the job. Maybe a career in customer service, sales or human resources will be a good career path for you. The possibilities are there to be explored.
If you’re good at planning and organising things, creating checklists, getting tasks done, and managing your time, those are already valuable transferrable skills that will help you be effective in any job you choose to pursue.
Letting your transferrable skills do the talking
In your job search efforts, you may not always have the complete set of knowledge-based skills to perfectly match jobs you’re applying for. But you can let your transferrable skills show your strength as a candidate for the job. Transferrable skills make you adaptable to many jobs today. Employers look for the relevant skills that can be most useful and effective in performing various roles; and transferrable skills can give you versatility in the job market and show your potential to be an asset to a company.
How to develop your transferrable skills
You may have the natural talents, skills and tendency to be good at something but what works best is developing them to increase your potential and further enhance your capabilities. If you’re a natural born leader, you can develop your skills and bring out the best in yourself with leadership training.
Start by conducting a simple self-analysis of your strengths and natural aptitude. Are you good with numbers or data? Are you great with people? Are you organised and have good attention to detail? Are you more on the creative side with bright ideas? The self-analysis will help you explore the possible careers you can pursue.
You can also look into your jobs of interest. Are they in line with your skills and talents? If yes, that’s good. If not, don’t quit just yet. You can always take the learning path and develop the skills you need for the jobs or career you want. Transferrable skills can be learned and it might surprise you just how easy it is to develop them with a growth mindset and a positive attitude.
If you want to develop your skills, browse our list of courses and find a course that may just match your needs.