Redefining your professional self in an entirely new industry area can sound daunting. This can especially be the case when you’ve left your previous career as a master of your work, only to be moving into another as the baby of the company.
You’ll be happy to know that all hope is not lost! It can be easy to feel out of your depth, however, what you might not know, is that many of the skills and abilities that made you an expert in your previous industry area can actually be adapted to help you to thrive your new one.
Below are five transferable skills that every hiring manager is looking for within a prospective employee:
1. Communication Skills
It comes as no surprise that communication skills, linked to interpersonal skills, are a necessary skill for pretty much any job, no matter the industry. Good communication within a professional setting is comprised of three elements:
Probably the most underrated of the three, the ability to effectively listen is an important skill in any position. Being able to not only hear what someone has to say but also actually process the information that is being communicated to you is crucial – without this skill, messages can be misunderstood, which can then result in costly mistakes.
Developing your writing skills can help you really resonate with your reader; telling him or her about the kind of person that you are, and is imperative for success in any professional position.
Your ability to know what to say and how to say it plays an important part in communication – things can often get lost in translation, so knowing how elements such as tone and the way you phrase a sentence can impact its delivery, is a valuable skill to have.
2. Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking skills, otherwise known as problem-solving or analytical skills, is the essence of putting a systematic approach in place to reveal any challenges or issues and then developing and applying its solution.
A person’s ability to think logically, particularly in high-pressure situations, is highly sought after by every industry area – successfully defining a challenge and then offering up a well thought out solution after weighing up all options, is a skill that does not go astray in the workplace.
Demonstrate that you can ask the critical questions in response to a challenge, then decide on a course of action with the necessary resources.
3. Time Management Skills
Multitasking demands of the new professional landscape are higher than they have ever been – employees are expected to know how to juggle multiple tasks seamlessly, without flinching when thrown another.
Effective time management consists of four primary elements: organisational skills, the ability to prioritise and the most obvious, manage your time carefully and successfully and firm decision making.
Think of a time that you have achieved this in your previous position, then align it in a way that demonstrates its relevance to your new industry area.
4. Creativity Skills
One that cannot be replaced by any technology (in the foreseen future anyway), creativity is the ability to not only conjure up and manifest ideas, but to then create a way to develop these in a way that brings them to life.
This unique skill is one that not all can possess, so if you have the knack and a creative eye, make it known to your potential employer.
See if there is a way that you can illustrate your creativity in a way that is relevant to your new industry – even if it is just your thinking process that leads you from A to B.
5. Team Work Skills
Almost any working environment requires you to work well within a team – whether it be all of your workmates in the office, or something a bit more structured like working in a particular department, your ability to commit to a team and band together is all dependent on its success. As the old saying goes, like cogs in a wheel, every team member must work together to keep it moving.
If you have successful team working skills, this shows your prospective employer who you are in a professional setting. Positive qualities such as respectfulness and working efficiently are reflected in one’s ability to work well in a team, and in turn are skills that any workplace would value.
As you can see, a career change does not have to be daunting. Yes, entering a whole new working environment will have its differences when compared to the last, but as you can see, you are not going into this unprepared.
So, sit down and think of some correlations between your old and your new industry – I guarantee that you will be able to apply any of the above to your new position.