You might be surprised at the way transferable skills can help you in a variety of traditional jobs.
Not everyone wants to work from home. While I love running a home business, I know a number of people that prefer traditional jobs. There's something to be said for the benefits packages, social interaction, and regular paycheck. There are days, when the irregular income results in cash flow challenges, that I wish I had a traditional job.
One of the issues that many women face when returning to the traditional workforce is the fact that they have been gone long enough that they might not have the right skills. The good news is that there are some skills that translate well — no matter what career field you started out in, and what you are doing now.
Career Coach and principal of Career Potential Ford R. Meyers has identified five broad areas of transferable skills. If you make it a point to develop these skills, you will have a better chance of finding the job you want, no matter how long you've been out of the workforce.
Transferable Skills for Almost Any Job
I think developing a marketable skill is one of the most important things you can do for your career. Here are the five main skill areas that Meyers suggests you develop:
- Communication: This includes written and spoken skills. Develop an ability to express yourself well in words. Good writing skills can be especially important in today's world. With so much communication taking place digitally, especially online, being able to write is a valuable skill.
- Interpersonal: Do you work well with others? Good interpersonal skills can help you get ahead in a traditional job. Your ability to motivate others, brainstorm, and identify goals and work toward them as part of a team, can help set you apart in your job.
- Planning and research: Are you a big picture sort of person? Do you know where to find the information you need? If so, you can become a valuable asset to almost any company. The ability to identify and solve problems — especially if you can lead a team to do so — is one that many companies are willing to pay for.
- Organization: If you are detail oriented and able to put together schedules and plan projects, you can make a case for your value in many careers fields. Show that you are a project expert, and that you know how to properly manage resources, and it doesn't matter as much that you've been out of the workforce for a little while.
- Management: Each of the four skill areas above can be taken to the next level if you have management skills. If you can coach others, and lead by example, you could be a good manager in most fields. However, you have to be willing to make decisions and take responsibility when you are in a management position.
If you are looking for ways to prove your value as you try to return to the traditional workforce, these skills can put you on your way.
Even if you are in the workforce right now, developing transferable skills can help you move up the career ladder, as well as find a higher-paying gig in another career field.
Bottom line: try to make yourself as marketable as possible. Transferable skills can put you ahead no matter how long you've been out of the workforce, what field you're going into, and what position you aim for.
This post was written as part of Women's Money Week. Women's Money Week makes an effort to educate women about finances, and help them learn more about taking control of their financial lives.