Transferable skills: What they are and how you can detect them

So many of us want a change of jobs and we feel our skills will not fit. That isn’t entirely true Click To Tweet

Have you looked through a job application and your initial thoughts are that you haven’t got any required or essential skills necessary for the job? Don’t panic just yet, we have the scoop to calm your career nerves.

What are transferable skills?

Transferable skills are talents and abilities you can take from job to job or career to career. They are skills you have acquired and can implement in any future career settings.

They are categorized of more soft skills than technical skills.

How are they acquired?

Transferable skills are acquired through volunteering, internship opportunities, apprenticeship, training (formal and informal), hobbies and any job, task or role you were or still involved in including parenting.

The key thing is that you have every opportunity to develop your skills & learn new ones Click To Tweet

What set of skills are transferable?

Interpersonal and people skills

Simply put, it is a skill that shows how well you relate to others. Top tip is how you communicate (written and verbal), empathy for others, conflict resolution and willingness to get along with others (team player), to ensure a common goal.

Organisational skills

This set of skills requires the ability to use your energy, resources and time in an efficient and effective way. Top tip is how you are able to follow through, manage your time, prioritize your work, planning and of course, meeting deadlines.

Leadership skills

The ability to influence a set of people to achieve a goal or move to a particular direction is essential as a leader. This set of soft skills is developed over time. Top tips are how you can effectively communicate, indispensability, integrity, commitment, problem-solving, initiative, decision making, evaluating, delegating and managing.

Communication skills

This set of skills cannot be overemphasized enough. They require the ability to articulate, explain, persuade and speak in public settings (meetings, work presentation or informal settings). Top tip is how well you are understood either through an email or letter or through your speech.

Information technology skills

The use of I.T skills is more than essential in our everyday life. However, you need to show an ability to use formal I.T skills in a work environment. Top tip is having the ability to use Microsoft Office packages.

Research and analytical skills

This set of transferable skills has the ability to search or look for information or data, organise them, interprete and make inferences, theories and decisions or solutions based on your findings. Top tip is the need to want to solve problems, by thinking, creativity, and curiosity.

You already have transferable skills. You just need to list them out now and apply them Click To Tweet

How do I know if I have them?

Get out your pen and a paper and begin to make a list of skills and talents you have acquired thus far. Reflect on the roles you have done in the past (even in an educational environment) and as you go through this set of skills, create a list of your own set of transferable skills.

4 principles to follow for a meaningful career 

How do you actually find meaning and purpose in your career? Start here Click To Tweet

We all aspire to find meaning and purpose in our careers, whatever our line of work maybe, but the question is how do you actually do that? I feel like somewhat of an expert on the topic having explored different fields of study from Physics to European studies. In addition to that, I have considered going into the business world but eventually ending up working in development.

I do feel that the work I do now is more in line with my long-term goal which is to work in the intersection of educational development and girls/women’s issues. Had I taken the time to ask myself some key questions years ago and really try to answer them based on a true understanding of my want, needs, and aspirations, I may have arrived at this finding a long time ago.

Through this post, I’d like to share with you some practical steps you can take to make sure that you don’t stay stuck in a career that’s not meant for you but rather you are empowered to find a career that allows you to do the things you genuinely care most about.

1. Define what “meaningful” looks like to you

Conventional wisdom may indicate that a meaningful and successful career is one that brings loads of money, recognition, and fame. And maybe that is true for some people, but is that true for you?

You need to take a moment of self-reflection and truly consider what a meaningful career looks like for you and how that fits into the context of a meaningful life.

Personally, when trying to decide what a meaningful career looked like, I tried to consider how my intended career weighed against the following factors: legacy, mastery, freedom, and alignment

Legacy

Look at the list of things you will have to achieve on this job and ask yourself if these are things you enjoy doing and can see yourself doing for an extended period of time. It’s not always going to be rainbows and roses, and so even on the mundane days, you have to ask yourself if you would be willing to stick it out).

Are you creative and like to think outside the box? Do you like to follow rules and preserve order? How well do you handle uncertainty? Do you like being told what to do or do you prefer to be left to your own devices most of the time? Are you good at convincing others to do things or do you prefer to let the numbers do the talking?

Will your career allow you achieve the things you want to professionally while allowing you to stay true to yourself?

Mastery

Make a list of all the things you know you kick-ass at and totally dominate. Are you a good writer, speaker, convener, motivator, team player, thinker?

Does the career you’ve chosen put you in a position where you can display your mastery of these skills? Are there other skills that you have a feeling that if given the opportunity to do so you could master easily? Would this career afford you that opportunity?

Does the career you’ve chosen put you in a position to display your mastery of your skills? Click To Tweet
Freedom

I think we all know intuitively what this means. Whatever career you choose, it’s going to come with some constraints i.e. salary, benefits, vacation days, perks, how much you get to travel etc.

When you imagine yourself living your best and freest life, what does this look like? Will this career allow you to achieve that vision of freedom that you have?

Alignment

When it comes to alignment, the question you have to ask yourself is whether your chosen career is in line with your personal values and the type of work culture that you value. This requires a bit of research and digging to find accounts from people who have worked there.

For instance, a company might be well-known for fostering creativity but also condoning a culture of misogyny (Uber anyone?). You need to be able to determine for yourself whether the culture that exists is one you see yourself fitting into seamlessly or whether it is one where you are willing to change to adapt to.

2. Think long term

Thanks to advances in modern medicine, people are living longer which means that for our generation, retirement age is probably going to increase. Chances are whatever career you do commit to you’re going to be in it for a long time.

So rather than thinking “What job do I want right now”, think “What life do I want 50 years from now”. And then find the career that fits into that. Find a career that you can see yourself doing 10, 20, 30 years from now. One that excites you and you feel will have room to allow you to grow in the direction of your long-term goals.

Think about the life you want 50 years from now and find a career that fits into that Click To Tweet

3. Be honest about your finances

One of the main reasons that people stay stuck in a job or career that they don’t love is because of money. Either the money is too good to leave or the money is so bad they can’t afford to leave. But know this, you deserve to find a career that you find meaningful and fulfilling.

So start today, start with what you have and create a “financial cushion” that will enable you to get started on that journey towards career bliss and psychological freedom. Make a budget and stick to it, give yourself a timeline, start exploring other opportunities and when the time is right, make your grand exit and follow your dreams.

4. Give time some time

No one likes to hear this, but things take time and as the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Unless you’re one of the lucky few who’ve known what they wanted to be from birth or whose first business idea took off, chances are you’re going to spend some time going through ideas that fail and jobs that you don’t like or downright hate. Consider it all a learning process.

For every experience you’ve had, make time to think about it critically and consider what worked and what didn’t, what you loved and what you didn’t like, what you want to do more of and what you want to swear off completely.

Chances are you’re going to go through jobs that you don’t like or downright hate Click To Tweet

Talk to a lot of people, find people you trust and people you admire and ask them for advice and for their opinions. Keep searching and keep applying yourself and your efforts will be rewarded. Eventually, you will find yourself in a career that you love through dedication and perseverance, and when you’re there you will know that all the efforts and sacrifices you made to get there were worth it.

Do you have any thoughts regarding what it takes to find and pursue a meaningful career? Do you identify as one of those people who is living their dream life and following their passions? If so, let us know how you managed to figure out the “magic formula”.

5 things to do to get the corner office

Working your way up the corporate ladder? Take a look at how to get there with ease! Click To Tweet

After reading the book, “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office 101” by Lois P. Frankel, I felt it was only best to share some of the best tips that I learnt from this book! The book offers a bunch of no-no’s that we tend to overlook but actually, play a huge role in our professional careers.

As Black women, it is already an uphill battle as it is! We all know the steps we need to take to be successful, but how about we look at it from a different angle? Let’s take a look at what a Motherland Mogul should NOT be doing in order to reach the top.

1. Asking permission

It should be clear to people from the get go that you do not need approval from anybody! Go after what you want and be confident. If you are asking for permission, especially for simple things, you downplay the position you are in to make decisions.

Instead of asking your boss, “May I work from home today?” rather say, “I will be working from home today, I will be available via email or cell”. This shows that it is important for your boss to be informed, yet you can make your own decisions when it comes to yourself and your work.

2. Needing to be liked

Everybody wants to be liked and it can play a huge role in your success but, you have to strike a balance. If you are overly concerned with being liked, that means you are easily swayed by stronger personalities.

I was thrown into an industry I knew nothing about. I knew I was capable of doing the job, but I felt I needed to be liked because it was my first time at the rodeo. I became a “yes” woman and ended up doing other people’s work. I learnt that I need to stand my ground – new or not.

Not having a backbone meant that nobody was giving the respect I deserved, but at the same time, I was not showing anybody that I deserved it because I wanted to be liked so badly!

Click here to see what you should NOT be doing to reach success in the office. Click To Tweet

3. Holding your tongue

Society has been conditioned to believe that if a woman is being assertive, she is being a bitch and many women do not speak up as a result. This happens not only at work but in our personal spaces too.

A friend of mine told me about a superior who shoots down all her ideas, yet uses them as his own in important meetings to take all the credit. She let this happen for a while, but this made her realize that her boss is only stunting her growth in the long run. My friend kept all her ideas to herself until it was time to brainstorm in a meeting.

She received some great feedback and because of all the great work she put in over time, she was promoted. This also allowed her to gain the respect of her superior, keeping him from stealing any of her ideas! It is ok to disagree, and being assertive means people will respect you, not walk all over you.

4. Minimizing your work or position

Women tend to downplay their positions at work. Often you will hear, “Oh, I’m just a secretary, nothing special”. This is wrong! Whether you are a secretary or manager, each position plays a role in the growth of the company you work for.

My new transition into the finance industry was not the easiest as I learnt about everything from scratch. This made me downplay my role when people asked “what do you do?”, I just wanted to avoid the topic completely because I was ashamed of the fact that I was not in the field that I worked hard and studied for.

People did not take my expertise seriously because of this. I taught myself to snap out of that habit and acknowledge the fact that I am amazing at what I do and I should be proud of it. If you act like your job is not serious, then people will not take you seriously.

Check out how these office faux pas can stop a #MotherlandMogul from getting that corner office. Click To Tweet

5. Failing to define your brand

Personal branding is all the rage, and for good reason! Ask yourself how you want people to see you, what your expertise is and what you want to be known for.

You may be working in finance, but ultimately you want to be a writer. What are you doing to make sure that people know you as a writer? What are you bringing to the table to make sure your expertise is communicated well?

Ask yourself these questions. A lot of people make you feel like you should be following one path. But as a Motherland Mogul, it’s ok to be a jack of all trades or take on many interests. Show people what you got and you’re well on your way to success.