Applying your valuable skills, experience and knowledge to a new job or career
Which skills, knowledge and experience do you already have that can you apply to different jobs or careers?
If you’re considering a job move or career change, but are really doubting your abilities to move to another field, evaluating your transferable skills, knowledge & experience can help to boost your confidence and be a significant step towards your rewarding new career.
Many, many different skills and types of experience can be applicable across many different jobs or careers. Here’s an example from me: I worked in marketing and corporate communications for over 15 years, and studied both marketing and strategic communication. So I have a clear skill set, knowledge and experience in terms of communication and understanding of corporate strategy. What I do now as a coach is totally different in terms of work environment, outcomes, skills and knowledge that I utilise. But, as I am a business owner, the knowledge, experience and skills that I’ve collected in my previous career support me in understanding how to market myself, what elements are needed for a business strategy, amongst others.
Your skills, knowledge and experience are so valuable! Whether you’ve spent over 15 years utilising, learning and improving your skills, or even just a couple of months, what you’ve gained has been a big investment in terms of time and energy. So, by understanding what they are, and what you can take with you to a new job or career, you ensure that your investments do not go to waste.
Here are some practical and easy steps you can take to get a clear picture of where you stand right now, and identify what you can, and would like to, take with you to future jobs or careers:
1. Conduct a skills, experience and knowledge audit
If you’re feeling a little stuck and are beating yourself up for not already being perfectly qualified to for your dream job or to start a new career, take a look through your CV and make a list of which skills you’ve gained and implemented in each position. Make other lists of experience and knowledge that you’ve acquired throughout your work life and education.
Critical is to also describe the impact you’ve had. If you have data to back this up, for example introduced processes to reduce attrition by 3%, then all the better! Create a database of examples that you can refer to within interviews.
2. Reflect on what you enjoy and are good at
Once you’ve made your lists, it’s important to reflect on which skills, knowledge and experience that you enjoy. Who wants to move to a new career and not do what they like to do?! And what are you good at? How can you integrate your talents and strengths into a new career? The StrengthsFinder and VIA assessments are great tools to help you identify your strengths.
Make a wish list of what you’d really, really like to be doing in your new job or career. Highlight the ones that are your highest priority, and even update your CV to reflect this where you can.
This step can also be a big eye-opener if you’re currently not sure about what kind of work is right for you. You can used your highlighted list of preferred skills, knowledge and experience, to do some research into which kinds of careers or jobs you could utilise these on a daily basis.
3. Identify any gaps
This may come at a later stage when you are clear on which direction you’d like to go in, but working out which skills and experience that you don’t have (yet!) can help you to develop a training or work experience plan to get you the work you desire.
Have you already done a skills, knowledge and experience audit?
Do you already know your preferred skills, knowledge and experience?
What are your talents at work?
Which of your skills, knowledge and experience have been most easily implemented across different jobs or careers that you’ve already had?
Which would you most like to implement more regularly?
Are there any obvious gaps that you know how to fill?
Do you need support to understand how to fill gaps?
– If you’re needing some support with your audit, the Strong Interest Inventory assessment, identifies careers that are suited to you, based on your interests and preferred skills. So it can really help you to efficiently pin down what you like. It also offers insights into what kinds of skills are required for different jobs, and can then help you to easily identify any gaps that you currently have. Get in touch if you think it would be useful for you!
Kelly is a certified coach with over 20 years of experience, holds the PCC credential from the International Coach Federation and has completed a MSc in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology with distinction. She offers bespoke positive psychology based coaching packages to help ambitious professionals to develop their authentic leadership identity, create more fulfilling careers and implement personalised strategies for optimal wellbeing at work.