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Transferable Skills for a Variety of Career Options

By: Lisa Koning - Updated: 11 Mar 2018 | comments*Discuss
Transferable Skills Career Skills Skills

Flexibility is important for any career today. With job security a concern for many, developing a variety of skills that can be used in a wide range of jobs can open up more career opportunities. These are some Transferable Skills that can be helpful in a wide range of jobs:

Basic IT Skills

Being able to type, and speed type if possible, is a useful skill for anyone who needs to frequently use a computer. It saves time and can make typing more comfortable.

Most office jobs today require basic IT skills in some commonly used applications. These usually include the Microsoft Office Suite of Word, Excel, and Entourage. Word is the most commonly used tool for word processing, and Excel is used for tables and where calculations are necessary. Entourage is commonly used to manage emails. Other useful applications include Powerpoint, for creating slides for presentations.

People Skills

Being about to work well with others can give you an advantage in many jobs. Building up a wide range of people skills, such as the ability to negotiate and to confidently share your opinion with others, are abilities that everyone can work on regardless of their job.

Presentation Skills

Whether a manager or junior member of staff, it’s likely that at some stage you will need to give a presentation, perhaps to a wide audience or a small group of people. Presentations can be nerve-racking, but the more experience you get the easy it will become.


It’s important to be able to adapt and be willing to learn new skills when needed. Perhaps it’s helping out a colleague or trying something new; these are all opportunities to experience something that you may not have done before.

Helping Others

Sharing our knowledge and helping other’s learn is an important skill. It means that we can assist others and builds on our training skills. Many jobs need people who can help others learn.

Effective Writing

Communication is essential regardless of your job. The ability to write emails, reports and notes that are clear and won’t be misunderstood can avoid misunderstandings and time lost. It might only be an email, but if it’s poorly written, it may say much more than you intended.

Listening Skills

Being able to listen to what people are saying and correctly interpret what is being asked of us, is an important skill at work and at home. It means that we don’t just hear what someone is saying to us, but that we understand and can make sense, or not, or what is being asked.


Regardless of your job, being able to manage your time makes you more efficient and more confident in your abilities to cope with your workloads.

Stress Management

It isn’t always easy to remain calm at work, but the more we can manage our stress levels, the more professional we appear. If you find Stress Is Becoming A Problem At Work, look at the possible causes, and try to find alternatives to reduce it.

These are all basic skills that most people use on a day-to-day basis. While training courses are available on most of these skills, they are also areas were we can practice both at work and at home. Working on your transferable skills may open up your opportunities to careers you hadn't previously considered.

Working towards your Career Change

Changing careers doesn't have to happen instantly. In fact, there are ways you can follow a new career while still remaining in your current job. Find out how you can achieve this in our article Pursuing A New Career While In Employment.

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Hello there, I have spent the last 25 years working in the advertising industry as a creative director. Advertising is a stressful industry which demands a keen understanding of time management, people skills, presentation skills, flexibility, helping and mentoring others, excellent listening skills plus many more. It's time for me to consider a change, a fresh challenge. Where I go from here is something I am unsure of, any advice would be appreciated. Many thanks
Doufa - 11-Mar-18 @ 12:35 PM
Hi, I am looking for career advice. I am a qualified primary teacher with 8 years experience, 6 in primary and 2 in secondary special needs. I would like to change careers to become an Education Welfare officer, Family support worker or Home school link worker. How could I go about doing this? I am struggling to find the best path to take. Thanks in advance.
Monklit - 17-Mar-16 @ 10:23 PM
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