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How Do You Develop Transferable Skills?


How do you develop transferable skills? 

There’s a fine line between being an expert and getting pigeon-holed into a narrow role. Even if you become highly specialized and skilled at your job, you want to work on remaining well-rounded and develop skills that can be transferable to new positions.  


Do you know what skills you have that are transferable to other industries or functions? Review this checklist for a quick assessment. Then focus on these methods for developing transferable skills.  


Examine your résumé 

You may already have budding transferable skills that you can focus on. Review your resume to see what experiences can be applied in new roles. Having the experience is one thing, knowing how and when to showcase those transferable skills is another. Recognize the transferable skills that are embedded in your current role such as project management, as well as creativity, communications, planning and collaboration. What are roles that can be further developed?  


Step into new roles 

Consider volunteer roles – either inside or outside your organization – that add expertise and knowledge to your tool kit. Use volunteering as an opportunity to try something new, perhaps a career you always wanted to explore. You may find it as exciting as you dreamed, or it may lack the glamour or fulfillment you envisioned. Follow your passion – when you are giving back to something you believe, it is much easier to find that extra hour or two every week and learn new skills.  


Set accountability goals for yourself  

Metrics are often associated with performance reviews, which play a part in developing soft skills. But you can also create output metrics to set accountability for developing transferable skills. For example, a manager can rate your leadership ability before and after a training activity such as joining committees at work.  


Transferable skills are only becoming more valuable for organizations. Today, more than half (56%) of employers say communication skills, written and verbal, are their most valued human strengths followed by collaboration and problem-solving, according to the global Talent Shortage Survey. That’s why developing these skills are important for today, and they’ll only become more necessary tomorrow.