Laila Nashat
Community Specialist
Posted July 8, 2020

Transferable Skills: Your Keys to New Job Opportunities

Take your skills with you when you move to a new industry by identifying and understanding your transferable skills!
Laila Nashat
Community Specialist
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Transferable Skills: Your Keys to New Job Opportunities
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The industry you work in may be suffering due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but you need income more than ever! You're concerned that you don’t have the skills or experience to make a switch to a new job in a different industry. The reality is that you’ve been building up key transferable skills in your current job that all employers are looking for when they’re hiring. If your former or current job is in a declining industry, here are some steps you can take to transition to a job where you can get hired with the transferable skills you have now.

Why should I switch industries?

Switching industries might seem like an unnecessary step to take. It can feel much more comfortable to keep applying for jobs where you know all of the duties inside and out in the work environments where you feel most comfortable. However, if the type of work you do is in decline, those jobs may not be hiring or there might be so few that you’ll find yourself struggling to get call-backs for your applications. There are several industries that are growing and are opportunities for you to explore because of your transferable skills.

Some examples of transferable skills are:

  • Experience with computer programs
  • Proficiency in another language
  • Customer service
  • Problem-solving
  • Organizational skills
  • Coordinating and planning tasks
  • Managing groups
  • Delegating responsibility

...And many more!

If you’re unclear about what skills your previous jobs have helped you build, you’ll have to take a general skill inventory. This will help you determine your abilities, which enables you to better strategize about what jobs and industries you’d be a great fit for. If you need to figure out what your skills are, I’d recommend you check out this article to learn how to inventory your skills before you start job-seeking:

So how do I make the transition?

It can be daunting to have to “start over,” but there are ways to ensure a smoother transition and set yourself up for success in a new industry. As you plan your transition, you’ll want to answer these questions:

What industries are growing right now?

Before you make your move to another industry, you’ll have to first determine what industry you want to target. You want to land yourself in a job where you don’t have to worry much about the overall security of your employment. If you switch to another industry that’s in decline, you’ll be right back where you started again.

So look for industries that are doing well right now. With coronavirus causing people to stay in quarantine, there are many services which are growing to meet those needs. Here are some of the industries that are growing now due to coronavirus:

  • Grocery Retail Stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Food Delivery Services (Prepared meals and Grocery)
  • Package and Mail Delivery
  • Remote Jobs (Customer Service, Sales, IT Support)

Does my job exist in other industries?

One thing to note is that your job may exist in another industry. The match may not be exact, but it could be close enough to qualify you fully. Job types like Sales, Customer Service, Human Resources and Information Technology are all hiring remotely in many companies and industries. If you worked in a retail store that has closed, you could very easily transition into a retail job in a grocery store. Did you work at any point for a rideshare service? You could become a food delivery driver using the same vehicle you once used to shuttle passengers.

You may find parallels between your previous job and the jobs available from industries that are hiring, but the match may not always be so clean. If you find yourself lacking some of the required skills or qualifications for the jobs that are hiring now, you may want to take a look at your existing skills and see what insight that gives you. You may be surprised by just how skilled you are once you take inventory!

Where are you taking your skills?

What industry are you looking to transition to? Tell us which one and why below.

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Laila Nashat
Community Specialist

Comments

Ford Simpson

I would love to work with exotic animals, as a marine biologist I am very good with small fish up to big sharks. Problem solving skills are a definite must, organized and healthy environment so the animals will thrive.Giving tours and answering questions was fun. Manufacturing is good, it pays the bills, just not what I am best at .

28w
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