By Estelle Nagel, Brand Marketing Manager, Gumtree
There are many reasons why you may be needing to switch up your career path, depending on where you are in your life. For some, it’s the need for a new challenge; for others perhaps a desire for a better work environment. No matter the reason, this is the time to take stock of what you have to offer to recruiters and hiring managers, and where you can prove your added value to any organisation.
“In 2021, the key to shifting careers often lies in transferable skills – and knowing which are best to highlight,” says Gumtree’s brand marketing manager Estelle Nagel. “In general, transferable skills are abilities you have gained during your educational or work history that can be applied to new scenarios or even different industries. A good example would be interpersonal skills: once you have mastered the art of working within a team and a group dynamic, you can take this with you anywhere you go – it will always be an aid to you in the workplace.”
Though your particular transferable skills will likely differ from those of others, there are several important capabilities that are highly valued by those looking for new employees:
Time is money in almost any business, so mastering your time management will help you stand out from the pack. The ability to meet deadlines, for example, makes you a more attractive candidate, as would the ability to prioritise important tasks. As an added bonus, having excellent time management demonstrates to a future employer your commitment in getting things done within the time allowed.
The modern world runs on computers and data, and being able to grasp IT concepts will make it easier for you to integrate into a new company with different systems. You don’t need to master every piece of software in order to have the correct mindset in approaching unfamiliar environments, and a basic understanding provides a base of knowledge to work from (and hopefully expand).
Creativity isn’t just the domain of artists and musicians – you don’t need to create a work of art in order to think in a different way. Don’t be afraid of showing this side of yourself – harnessing this way of thinking and applying it to your work tasks can result in increased efficiency, productivity and quality of work, so this isn’t something you should play down when presenting yourself to potential employers.
No workplace or career is problem-free, so your ability to find and apply solutions will give you an instant edge. We sometimes assume that the problem-solving process is just about finding the right answer, but in reality each step hones your ability to think things through clearly and in a logical way, and correctly evaluate the information you have available to you.
As a final thought, it is vital to remember that with any transferable skill, you need to be able to demonstrate your abilities by giving examples in your work history. For this, a good place to start would be looking at some of your greatest work accomplishments to date, and extrapolating the expertise you have gained as a result.
*Interested in more career tips and tricks? Check out the 16th edition of the Standard Bank Top Women Leaders publication on Issuu – Digital Publishing Platform – here.