By Andrea Bankier

How does a Principal of a school become a Chief Executive?

How does a senior manager in the banking sector end up leading a not-for-profit support service?

How can a high-performance sports coach shift to lead a Medical Centre?

It all comes down to identifying your transferable skills. So, whilst your next role might be in the current industry or sector you’re familiar with, have you considered a lateral move? It is possible, and the examples cited above are all based on real people who have successfully transitioned their careers.

During this uncertain time, many people are finding themselves on the job market and are questioning what their next career move will be. As I’ve mentioned, think of your career as a lattice, rather than linear like a ladder. Today, your next job may have very different goals for you. It could be a gap filler, an opportunity to build strengths or networks through a lateral move, or to experience a new industry or sector.

The key to successfully shift from one industry to another is to start to unpack ‘your toolkit’ and to identify your skills – what you have to offer a new employer. This starts with reflecting upon what you have achieved and what core skills you have developed, rather than just the job titles and responsibilities you have had – these are your transferrable skills.

Transferable Skills, also referred to as ‘portable skills’ are qualities that can be transferred from one job to another  – skills that can be used in a variety of situations or jobs.  You’ll likely possess many of those skills that employers want, such as communication, leadership, planning and organisation, teamwork, change leadership, to name a few.

Reflecting on transferrable skills is often best carried out with another person/coach acting as a sounding board, or, you might prefer some quiet alone-time with a piece of paper and a pen. Regardless of how you choose to reflect, it is a key step to truly understanding what you offer a new employer.

When we have worked as a coach with individuals on career transitions, we assist them to unpack their past roles and we start to cluster their experiences around core skills and transferable skills. Once you do that, you’ll be blown away at what you have achieved across your career and just how rich your ‘toolkit’ is.

Sometimes people say, “but it’s all I’ve ever known, I don’t know anything else”, when trying to identify new opportunities. However, the reality is that you have accumulated these skills, many of which are highly transferable. These transferable skills make you adaptable and they are the foundation of all the professional success you will experience in this and other careers you may pursue over the years. It is these transferable skills that can be just as valuable as experience and industry knowledge, and with a bit of brainstorming, there are probably quite a few that you’ve got hidden away or haven’t thought of.

The result can be a refreshed CV, a more open-mined approach to evaluating job opportunities, and an updated LinkedIn profile. If you’d like to talk more about how a career coaching session can benefit you or your staff, feel free to get in touch.

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