Transferable skills, otherwise known as “soft skills” are what differentiates you from other candidates who likely have the same “hard”, technical skills as you. While hard skills allow you to accomplish tasks such as coding, soft skills are the skills that ensure you do your job well. Therefore, transferable skills are highly sought after by employers because after all, a programmer with the ability to work in a team is likely more valuable than a programmer who doesn’t code well with others.
The first step to identifying your transferable skills is to understand what some of the most common transferable skills actually are.
To identify these skills in your desired job field(s), read through the job postings and identify the common skills. Consider asking a friend, coworker, or family member on their thoughts as to what your best skills are.
To identify your own skills:
1) Select 10 skills from the above list that you feel you exhibit the most
2) Write down the ways in which each skill has been used in your professional and personal life. Try to be as exhaustive as possible, and make sure you include the several faucets in your life that are associated with this skill
3) Narrow this down to 5 skills that have been the most impactful for you
4) Briefly write done key achievements for each skill on this narrows list
5) Rank these 5 skills from most impactful to least impactful. This gives you a clear sense as to which skill has served you the greatest benefit so far.
There you have it! Now, when you are looking to change career paths, look for opportunities where you can best convey these transferable skills to (literally) “transfer” careers. Again, don’t be afraid to because you feel as if you lack the ability to do so. Leverage your transferable skills to boost your confidence and make the transition seamless.