Take strength from your experience
Transferable skills are a core set of abilities that can be applied to different jobs and industries. They give us career flexibility and act as a strong foundation. They include all the things we’ve learnt in education, previous positions, voluntary work, hobbies and life in general. Never underestimate how much you already know!
Our life experiences and transferable skills hold the key to so much more than career advancement. For example, they can give us clarity and strength when we’re faced with problems or dilemmas. Often when we reflect on our previous experiences, we find we have all the answers we need.
‘By developing the ability to explore and be curious about our own experience and actions, we suddenly open up the possibilities of purposeful learning – derived not from books or experts, but from our work and our lives.’ – Joy Amulya
Reflecting on what you already know
I’ve seen my clients change their careers and build successful businesses by utilising their life experience and transferable skills. And in my career, they have enabled me to move from retail to the art world and from the art world to educational fundraising. The same set of skills were valuable in three different industries, and as a life, career and business coach, they continue to serve me today.
There are many reasons why you might wish to consider your life experience and transferable skills. Maybe you’re searching for a new job, looking to change your career or wanting to build a business or work freelance. Whatever your motivation, I have a little exercise to get you started.
Use your life experience and transferable skills to…
1. Consider a new job or career change
If you’re looking to change your career, here is a little exercise you could try. Take a moment to list the skills that relate to your chosen career, for example, if you’re considering a move into fundraising, you may wish to include administration, interpersonal skills, project management, customer services and marketing. If you are unsure of what to include, have a look at some job vacancy further particulars to see what skills employers are looking for.
From this list, expand each header to include your experience relating to each area and don’t forget to include the things you’ve achieved outside of work. Hopefully, you will begin to build up a collection of examples where you can illustrate your skills and experience. You may also start to see some patterns emerge, for example, perhaps you’ve always worked in customer services because you’re an excellent communicator and enjoy solving problems for others.
2. Increase your self-awareness and confidence
Another great way our life experience and transferable skills can serve us is by drawing on them in our everyday work. After all, there’s no point in starting from scratch if we already have all the necessary skills in our toolkit! When we take a little time to reflect, we may find that we’re better qualified and more experienced than we give ourselves credit for. This can build our self-awareness and self-confidence which will ultimately impact on our work. It can also help us to take advantage of any work or training opportunities when they present themselves.
Focus on what you’ve achieved
The best thing about our life experience and transferable skills is they make us completely and utterly unique! So, embrace what you know, be grateful for where you are and open to who you’re becoming, after all, who knows what skills you’ll be able to add to your toolkit today!
Life, career and business coaching
If you’re planning to begin or grow a business, wishing to progress and flourish in your career, or are looking to embrace a more rewarding line of work, I’d love to help you achieve your goals and reach your potential. Get in touch to book a free no-obligation introductory coaching call. I very much look forward to hearing from you and supporting you on your journey.
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As with everything I share here, please feel free to take the ideas that resonate with you. Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day. Until next time, I’ll see you over on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.