Discovering Transferable Skills: Your Path to a Successful Career Transition

Nov 19, 2023 | Outplacement and Career Transition

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Transferable Skills For Career TransitionAre you craving a career change, but don’t know where to start? It can be intimidating starting from scratch in an unfamiliar field, but the truth is that many of today’s jobs require skills that are surprisingly easy to transfer from one industry to another. If you take the time to uncover and name these talents, you’ll have a powerful tool for overcoming any barrier standing between you and your ideal job.

In this blog post, we will explore how discovering your transferable skills can pave the way for a rewarding and successful transition into something new. 

What Are Transferable Skills?

Transferable skills are abilities and attributes that can be applied to various situations and industries. These skills can be acquired through previous work experience, education, or even hobbies and personal interests.

Some examples of transferable skills are communication, problem-solving, and adaptability, which are critical in almost any workplace. A nurse, for instance, may possess customer service, teamwork, and multitasking skills that can be transferable to other professions such as teaching or marketing.

Why Are Transferable Skills Important for a Career Transition?

Transferable skills can ease the career transition process. They are appreciated by employers because they’re easily adapted to a diversity of roles and can even transfer between professions. By highlighting your transferable skills during your job search, you can show employers that you are capable of applying an already well-developed skill set to new situations, which can bolster your candidacy.

How to Identify Your Transferable Skills for a Career Transition

Fortunately, there are a variety of effective ways of identifying your transferable skills.

Compile a Skills Inventory

One way to identify your transferable skills is to compile a detailed list of all the skills you’ve acquired throughout your career. This could include technical skills such as coding, data analysis, and software development, but also interpersonal skills like communication and problem-solving. You can use your resume as a source of information for what skills you’ve already developed.

Analyze Your Achievements

Reflecting on past achievements can also help you identify transferable skills that may not have been obvious before. Think about projects or tasks you have completed successfully in previous jobs and ask yourself what specific qualities enabled you to do so. This could reveal additional areas where your skill set is strong and could prove beneficial when transitioning into another role or industry/sector.

Think about Challenges You’ve Overcome

Think back on challenges that have presented themselves throughout your professional life and consider how you overcame them successfully using specific transferable skills such as resilience or adaptability. Knowing which qualities allowed you to succeed in difficult situations can help inform decisions about which roles may be best suited for you going forward.

Consider Soft Skills

Soft skills are often overlooked during the career planning process, yet they can be just as valuable as hard technical skills when making a successful transition into another role or industry. Examples of soft skills include leadership, emotional intelligence, and time management.

Complete a Self-Assessment

A great way to gain an understanding of your skills and abilities is by performing your own skills assessment by reflecting on your strengths and weaknesses. Doing this can help you gain clarity on what skills you possess that might be transferable to other roles, as well as areas where you may need further development.

Ask for Feedback

Don’t be afraid to look to those around you for career change help! Asking trusted colleagues or mentors for feedback on your existing skill set is another great way to identify areas where improvement may be needed before making a career transition and can also shed light on areas of strength that may otherwise go overlooked. They may even be able to recommend additional resources such as books or courses that could help fill any knowledge gaps.

Review Job Descriptions

When considering potential career paths, it’s important to review job descriptions for the roles you’re interested in. Pay particular attention to the required qualifications and the “desired” qualifications listed in the description. These are often indicative of the types of transferable skills that are sought-after in certain roles.

Compare Skills to Target Roles

Once you have identified some target roles that interest you, take some time to compare the required qualifications with the transferable skills listed on your inventory. Do they match up? If not, what additional training or experience do you need in order to bridge any gaps for career development? Doing this exercise will help give clarity around which roles may be most suitable for someone with your particular skill set at this point in time.

Consult a Career Coach

Finally, consulting with a career coach can provide invaluable guidance when transitioning into a new role. They will likely have experience helping other people navigate similar changes, so their career transition coaching can be crucial in helping you identify and develop the skills necessary to be successful. They’ll also be able to offer personalized tips tailored specifically towards achieving success within a given market or industry—something no online resource can ever provide!

How Canada Career Counselling Can Help You with Career Transition

Career transition planning can be a daunting task for anyone, particularly if you have spent a considerable amount of time in one specific field and are looking for a change. That’s why at Canada Career Counselling, our career transition services include counselling and coaching from trained psychologists and psychotherapists. Contact us today for a free consultation.



  • April Dyrda

    Written by April Dyrda, a Registered Psychologist and the Practice Director of Canada Career Counselling – Calgary. April is an experienced Career Coach, Counsellor, and Consultant, who has devoted her work to helping people find success and a sense of fulfillment in their careers. Her practical and collaborative approach to counselling empowers clients to make decisions that directly align with their career aspirations. April also brings years of both personal and professional corporate experience working with businesses globally on developing their people.

    To schedule a 15-minute complimentary consultation with April, email our team at [email protected] or submit an inquiry form here. You may be able to use your insurance plan or extended health benefits to cover counselling and assessment fees.