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How to Utilise Your Life Experience and Transferable Skills

13th October 2017

How to Utilise Your Life Experience and Transferable Skills | Photo of a magazine, to-do list and pens |

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, my transferable skills 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 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.

How to Utilise Your Life Experience and Transferable Skills | Photo of a book and some magazines |

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 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.

How to Utilise Your Life Experience and Transferable Skills | Photo of a desk and a keyboard |

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!

Further reading

How personal reflection can guide you in your life and work
Practical tips to help you reach your goals
How to avoid distraction when you’re striving for personal and professional success

Thank you, as always, for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day. Until next time, I’ll see you over on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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  1. Sue 13th October 2017 at 9:33 am - Reply

    So pertinent for me this post!! You are so right about knowing more than we sometimes realise!

    • Natasha 13th October 2017 at 10:44 am - Reply

      Thanks, Sue. It’s so easy to overlook what we already know! I hope you have a fabulous Friday!

  2. kathryn 13th October 2017 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    Lots of positive encouraging tips, that so many of us can take heart from, as always. Thank you! x

    • Natasha 13th October 2017 at 4:44 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much, Kat. I hope you’re well and you have a lovely weekend! :)

  3. fashionforlunch 13th October 2017 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Woahhhhh this post is crammed full of incredible tips! Thank you so much and you are so right on everything!!!

    • Natasha 13th October 2017 at 4:45 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Kirsty. I’m pleased you found the post useful. Have a gorgeous weekend!

  4. kate 13th October 2017 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    All fabulous tips Natasha – it’s so important to think laterally about how your skills can be applied in all kinds of situations and I think it’s really only through experience, and being forced to think on your feet, that you truly learn to appreciate how much you truly know if you just apply yourself appropriately.. xx

    • Natasha 13th October 2017 at 4:46 pm - Reply

      So true, it’s a great feeling when we realise we have all the answers! Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a lovely weekend. :)

  5. Carole King 13th October 2017 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    Fab post Natasha. I think we all (women particularly) underestimate our skills and talents. This is a good post to add to my bookmarks. I need reminding constantly! x

    • Natasha 13th October 2017 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Carole. That’s so true, I think many of us are guilty of playing down our skills. It’s good to revisit them every once in a while!

  6. Cate 13th October 2017 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Such a brilliant post. I’m still learning the ropes of freelance life so was really interested to read your tips. I studied architecture before I got into blogging and journalism and now using those skills i learnt to help me with my interior design business! x

    • Natasha 13th October 2017 at 7:22 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much, Cate. What wonderful experience to have at your fingertips! Working freelance certainly pulls on a wide range of skills. :)

  7. Lucy 13th October 2017 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    Inspiring tips! I think the advice to take breaks is so true. It completely changes perspective. Great post x

    • Natasha 13th October 2017 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Lucy! I’m pleased you enjoyed the post. I hope you have a lovely weekend! :)

  8. Molly 16th October 2017 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    Some really useful tips here – thank you! I’m definitely guilty of trying to cram too much into my time and then not leaving enough space for things like personal development. x

    • Natasha 17th October 2017 at 2:23 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Molly. It can be tricky to find the right balance, can’t it? I hope you’re having a great week.

  9. Stacey Sheppard 16th October 2017 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Such a great list. I know so many people who totally underestimate their worth when it comes to jobs and career, mostly women I have to say. We could all do with valuing our experience more.

    • Natasha 17th October 2017 at 2:24 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Stacey. You’re right – it’s so easy to overlook how much experience we already have!

  10. Laura 16th October 2017 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    Love the ‘Value every connection’. Far to many people value far to few people. You never know when you might meet some one again!

    • Natasha 17th October 2017 at 2:27 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much, Laura. I agree – I often find myself reconnecting with previous colleagues. I hope you’re having a great week.

  11. Rachel 29th October 2017 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Great tips. Something to think about, as ever. x

    • Natasha 29th October 2017 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much, Rachel. :)

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