transferable skills

Four Transferable Skills Everyone Needs to Develop

The tech industry is booming. In 2021 there are an estimated 12.4 million jobs in the sector. If you’re considering transitioning into the tech industry, it may feel daunting, however, the good news is that your transferable skills are a major asset.

Even with very little tech experience, your transferable skills can help you land your dream role. 

Here are four transferable skills that can be applied to tech and how to sell them in an interview.

What are Transferable Skills?

Transferable skills are abilities that you develop as you progress through employment, like communication, leadership, problem-solving, time management and more.

They’re the skills that you develop every day at work  and that you’ll continue to need into your next role. Most importantly, they’re relevant skills that can be applied across industries

In a job interview, the best way to showcase your transferable skills is through storytelling, using concrete examples where you can show the challenge, the solution and the results. 

#1. Communication

Strong communication is a desirable skill in any employee and of all your transferable skills, communication is arguably the most critical.  It’s the ability to not only share information through speech and other mediums, but also being able to identify and adjust to the communication styles of others. 

Communication skills include active listening, written and verbal communication, sharing and receiving feedback, understanding non-verbal communication, and being responsive.

When participating in an interview, think about a time where there was the potential for a communication breakdown in your workplace. Share the obstacles you faced, the steps you took to ensure appropriate communication, the outcomes, and anything you did to help things go more smoothly next time.  

#2. Teamwork

Working with others towards a common goal is the cornerstone of teamwork. Effective teamwork requires good communication, empathy, willingness to be flexible, and the ability to work with a diverse group of people. 

Everyone comes to a team with their own experiences, objectives and biases, so how you handle these differences is paramount to being a strong team player.  

Transferable skills included under teamwork are building relationships, collaboration, conflict resolution, and self-awareness. 

Potential employers want to know you can easily work with a diverse group of people, even when things are challenging.

As you prepare for your interview, think about a time you were part of a team and things were not going as planned. What was the challenge? How did you handle it? What sort of decision did you have to make?

If you were having a difficult time with a colleague, how did you overcome that? Including this information shows how you put your teamwork skills into action and how you could be a real asset to the organization.  

#3. Organization and Time Management

With companies having more competing priorities than ever, employees who are organized with excellent time-management skills can have a huge impact. The success of many projects relies heavily on meeting deadlines and the ability to appropriately follow directions.

When hiring, your potential employer wants to feel confident you can juggle your workload while not sacrificing quality or missing due dates. 

Transferable skills that are considered good organizational and time-management skills include attention to detail, analytical thinking, and prioritization.

As these skills are part of nearly any job, think about your past experience to prepare for interviews. What sort of competing priorities have you dealt with? Was there ever a time where timelines were in jeopardy? How did you handle that? Did you do anything to mitigate the situation from happening again in the future? 

#4. Leadership

Great leaders can make or break an organization. Employees want leaders who are dependable, have great communication and the ability to inspire and get results. 

The role of a leader is to keep things running smoothly while ensuring the team has the support and education they need to be successful. 

The transferable skills related to leadership are a culmination of multiple skills you’ve accrued throughout your life. These skills include interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, team building, delegation, accountability, project management, goal setting, and risk management. 

As a leader, you should have various examples to share with an interviewer. Think of a time you had the opportunity to lead, either inside or outside the workplace. How did you motivate and inspire? How did you overcome resistance? How did you delegate? What was the final outcome? 

Highlighting Your Transferable Skills

Transitioning into a new industry may have you feeling uncertain, but remember — your transferable skills can make help set you apart from the competition. By showing prospective employers that you have a strong foundation of skills suitable for any environment, you’ll be well-positioned to start a new role in an industry that’s fast-paced and highly innovative. 

Are you looking to gain new skills to uplevel your career or break into a new industry?

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