Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Transferable skills

Call Centre
Call Centre (Photo credit: The Poss)
What exactly counts as a transferable skill?

I think back to different jobs I've had, and the only skills I've used that seem to carry over seem like skills most people applying for any given job will have, and probably in greater share.

For example: I worked in a call center. So I suppose I have phone skills. That would transfer to many jobs, but seems pretty unremarkable.

The call center was part of an investment firm, so I also have experience with mutual funds. But unless I want to return to working with mutual funds, or get involved in a very narrow line of writing, that doesn't seem transferable at all. And if I did do one of those things, I'm not sure my skills aren't out of date; I know my licenses have expired.

Most jobs I've had, the skills may vary but the breakdown doesn't. I can use Microsoft publisher; I'm well-versed in a former employer's first book. I can adapt easily to assembly-line-style editing; the specifics of that assembly line won't apply anywhere else.

It's a neat balance between, "Who cares?" and "Why should I care?"

And since selling myself is a weak spot, I have to think long and hard for answers other than, "No one," and, "I have no idea."

Maybe that's the more important question.  I mean, any skill can be transferable if you can spin it.

What transferable skills do you have, and how do you spin them to make yourself appealing?
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