By Tova Jaffee
As a career coach, one of the things my clients tell me again and again is that they don’t have any skills. But I see the situation differently.
Maybe you’ve worked in the same job for your whole career and think you aren’t capable of doing anything else. Maybe the skills needed for your current job are so specialized, you think they wouldn’t apply to any other position. Or, maybe you stayed home to raise the kids and don’t have much work experience outside the home. It just doesn’t matter.
Everyone has transferable skills. Everyone has something they know how to do, that can move from one setting to another. If you’ve worked in the same job forever, loyalty may be something you bring to the table. If you possess a specialized skill, communication or focus may be what you take with you. If you spent the last several years running the household and staying home with your children, you actually have more transferable skills than you could ever imagine.
If you don’t believe me, watch this video link of the “Worlds’ Toughest Job” which encapsulates the essence of transferable skills: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB3xM93rXbY
It’s all about assessing what you can do, then applying it to other situations. So, let’s take something that moms do – like baking a cake. Here are some of the skills that job includes, and suggested occupations which might utilize those skills:
- Acquisition (property acquisition specialist)
- Reading (editor)
- Following directions (driver)
- Measuring (carpenter)
- Hand-eye coordination (mechanic)
- Inventory (retail sales)
- Organization skills (receptionist)
- Prioritizing (web designer)
- Time management (nursing)
- Meeting deadlines (writer)
- Creativity (interior designer)
- Presentation/marketing (communications)
- Quality control (lab technician)
As you can see from the list above, these are skills that can be acquired and expanded toward application in numerous career paths, none of which limit one to becoming a professional baker. So, if you’re thinking that you would like to look for a job but don’t know where to start, try jotting down some of your current skills and start brainstorming how they might transfer to the next place you land. Good luck!
Tova Jaffee is a career coach for the JCS Career Center.
The JCS Career Center offers comprehensive employment assistance that helps job seekers of all abilities and skill levels find and maintain employment. Services include career coaching, career assessments, resume and cover letter services, interview preparation, job readiness training, vocational rehabilitation and job placement assistance. For more information, call 410-466-9200 or visit jcsbaltimore.org.