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22nd August 2016  |  Career Management , Individuals

Understanding how to change careers can often appear like a daunting concept. A good place to start is understanding what skills you currently have that can be shifted from industry to industry.

All is not lost should your previous work experience be unrelated to the career you want to pursue. If anything, embrace the challenge and understand skills gained during your previous experience are still applicable and worthy to other industries.


Back in the day?

Finish high-school, go to university, study hard, achieve your qualification, and take your place in the working world earning the big bucks. Does this plan sound familiar? It’s a lot to consider at the tender age of 17.

A human brain isn’t fully developed until the age of 25. So when we think that we’re expected to start planning our future and career goals at the age of 17, it’s unsurprising that many individuals struggle with choosing the right field of work to pursue. Especially when passions and interests haven’t been fully explored, tried, or tested.

This can lead to us deciding and settling into a career we once thought was right for us, which as we grow older, we realise, is not.

The next thoughts that follow are usually this:

“So I’ve completed my University degree, that’s 4 years. I’ve now been working in this field for another 4 years. That’s 8 years of my precious time and money that I’ve invested in this career, I need a new career! But I’m in way too deep. there’s no turning back.”


The solution? Use your transferable skills…

“Skills developed in one situation which can be transferred to another situation”.

Whilst working in any role, you would have acquired skills that can be utilised within a variety of different occupations.

The majority of transferable skills are those known as ‘soft skills’; they’re skills you will most definitely have mentioned on your resume at some point – but do you really give them the attention they deserve?



Skills such as communication, administration, and time-management are often the fundamentals desired around almost any role, any industry.

However, each and every individual will pick up new skills throughout their career life that is unique to them, often known as ‘hard skills’.

Let’s compare a nurse working on a busy ward, alongside a tabloid journalist working in a busy newsroom. The jobs themselves couldn’t be further apart – however, the element of working under pressure is certainly an attainable skill-set that both workers would experience.

Consider what your unique skill-set or specialisation requires from you.

Know your worth

When applying for a completely new role, take time aside to really figure out what previous life-experience, personal skills and personal brand you can contribute.

Once you have identified your own personal skill-set that you have acquired throughout your working life, whether it’s conscientious thinking or impeccable time management, use them to your advantage and express how they make you the right candidate for your new potential job role.

Take the time and map out what talents you currently have and determine what roles and industries these skills can be utilised in. A successful career transition leading to contentment and happiness could be a stone’s throw away.

Matthew Appassamy
Career Coach

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