10 essential transferable skills for work
By: Kayleigh, redwigwam
If you’re just starting out in the world of work, or if you’re looking to get back into the workplace after a break, you might be feeling unsure about where to start and what jobs to apply because you feel you don’t have any relevant skills or experience.
Do you feel as if a lack of experience is stopping you from getting the job you really want?
First things first, don’t feel disheartened.
There are plenty of entry level jobs that you could do to build your skills and experience. Yes, it might not be your dream job, but you have to start somewhere.
And while it might not feel like it, there are so many skills you can pick up from any job. It may feel unrelated to the career you eventually want but many on-the-job skills are highly transferable and will help you in many different jobs, as well as in life.
These skills can also be helpful in the process of writing your CV, applying for jobs, and attending interviews.
We’ve made this list of 10 essential transferrable skills for work.
You’ll learn these in your part time or entry level jobs, and they are all helpful in many different career paths.
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Refining your time management skills means you’ll be better at prioritising what’s important and making sure tasks are completed in a timely manner.
Working on your time management comes in very useful both in work and outside of work. You’ll need to make sure you can complete tasks set by your employer and effective time management will also help you to learn how to balance your other commitments in life.
This goes hand in hand with time management as you need to organise your commitments. Whilst in work you’ll learn to complete tasks in an organised manner and find a way of working which will be most productive for you.
If you feel like you have excellent time management and organisation skills, why not think about working in a warehouse role, where these will come in handy to hit your targets and keep on top of your workload?
Some jobs require you to be flexible and to adapt to the changing needs of the business.
Being able to adjust to changes in your environment and react to changes in your responsibilities will make you a better employee as sometimes priorities may change throughout the course of your shift. Adapting and being able to accept change will serve you well wherever your career takes you.
If you’re really adaptable, you would be brilliant as a mystery shopper as most of these roles follow a similar format, but you need to be good at adaptability and resilience if you’re visiting a different store, pub, restaurant or other venue, each time. Great communication is also an advantage for mystery shoppers, if you need to speak to staff without them guessing that you’re a mystery shopper.
Improving your interpersonal skills will mean you are a better communicator. And being able to communicate in a positive way to different people is a valuable skill.
At work you’ll encounter different types of people, including people who you may not normally meet. You’ll need to learn the best way to communicate with these people and how to adapt your style of communication according to who you’re speaking to whether that be a colleague, a customer, or a client.
Being a great communicator is useful to us all, as this will mean you’re good at putting your point of view across, allowing others to understand what you’re saying as well as understanding what other people are saying to you, all in a respectful way.
If you’re good at speaking, listening, observing, and empathising, you will be a good communicator.
In a work setting, it is important to be able to communicate well with colleagues and customers. Whether you’re face to face, on a video call or writing a letter or email, good, clear communication is key.
This also refers to how you communicate with people. You’ll learn how to complete your job in a professional manner. If you’re working in a customer facing role, you’ll learn how to be professional with customers. This is important as being unprofessional at work can mean you might affect the reputation of the company you are working for.
Whilst at work, you’re representing the company and you need to always represent them in a positive way. This will stand for any job you will have at any stage in your life.
Cleaning is a great job choice for someone who is professional, you’ll need to know how to communicate with different people from clients to other members of your team and you need to know how to complete your job to a high standard, take pride in your work and have great attention to detail.
If you’re in a customer facing role, you’ll learn customer service skills. Many employers will give you training on this so you can further develop this skill.
Maybe you’re thinking customer service skills are irrelevant to you, if the career you want in the future has nothing to do with customer service? However, customer service is a highly transferable skill which can also make you a better communicator.
Learning to be good at customer service is beneficial when dealing with clients and stakeholders in any professional job. You’ll be better at ensuring they are happy with the products and services your company is providing and that any problems they have will be solved. Within this you’ll also master emotional intelligence, influencing skills, problem solving and resilience.
Working within a team to ensure all tasks are completed in a timely manner. You’ll learn that you must be a team player whilst at work – wherever that may be! You’ll need to make sure you pull your weight so that you are seen as a helpful and worthwhile employee.
Being great at customer service and teamwork are really helpful for working in the hospitality sector. If your role is customer facing, you’ll be brilliant at dealing with customers. Teamwork is also essential in hospitality as most venues will have a tight schedule to work to and members of the team must work together to ensure jobs are completed in a timely manner.
Earning your own money for the first time then spending it on something you really want, or need can give you a great sense of independence. You’ll have a greater appreciation for money and its value.
Having a good attitude towards work is key. Wanting to do well, having good morals, and placing a high value on professional success is important to learn as this will help you in your future career.
If you take the time to learn and hone these skills, they will be very useful for any job you apply for in the future. You won’t know until you start working which skills you will find you are naturally good at, and as you gain more experience you could even change your mind on your career path, based on your experiences.
After trying your hand at one or more different jobs, you might still not be sure what you want to do but you will have learned some of these transferable skills that will be useful to you in any future job or career.