What are transferable skills?

Priyanka Gothi

February, 20 2019, 7:23 AM

Transferable skills are a core set of skills and abilities, which can be applied to a wide range of different jobs and industries. They’re usually picked up over time, and can be gained from previous positions, charity or voluntary work, your hobbies, or even just at home.

Whether you've been on a long career break or looking to switch to a new industry after decades of being in one - these skills are the ones that can help you make the transition effectively and with ease.

Let's imagine a business development manager wanting to become a college professor or a finance professional exploring a project management opportunity. 

In any of these cases, it is important to establish two things:

  • What you already know that can help you be a good fit for this position.
  • What you know you need to learn to become great at this position.

So a business development manager may already have great presentation skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, simplifying complex issues etc. - All of which are huge assets for any education provider.

Similarly - as a finance professional it is likely you have acquired software skills, attention to detail, curiosity and result orientation ; all of which can make a huge impact in success as a project manager.

When filling out these skills - you are also demonstrating your ability to be agile and move from one industry to another and one level of hierarchy to another.

The most important thing here is to know where you want to go. 

Transferable skills will change hugely if you were a business development manager who wants to become a pastry chef! 

So think about this one - and develop a general idea of where you'd like to see yourself. You may be open to all opportunities but it is important to be focused and targeted when it comes to job search.