Transferable Skills: The Key to Career Progression



When setting out in any career whether it be in business, sport, or medicine for example, a burning ambition to reach the top of that field is near the forefront of any individuals mind. Whether you remain in the same stream or move from sector to sector you will not only be judged on specific skills and abilities related to the job that you have but also on your transferable skills which ultimately separate you from your competitors.



Having a university degree is often seen as essential, however according to the University of Auckland Business School, ‘the skills you develop and experiences you gain alongside your formal academic education will increase the chances of an employer hiring you.’ In this blog post I am going to very briefly look at a handful of the key transferable skills which will help you reach the next step on your career ladder.



Technical Skills: You will pick up a wide range of technical skills throughout your career. For example Microsoft Office skills and in particular Excel are essential to most sectors and is not taught extensively at degree level. It is however a technical skill that employers expect employees to be up to speed on immediately! If you’re lacking here, why not enrol onto Skillsology’s very own online Excel course?



Workplace Skills: Fitting in to the office environment and getting on with your colleagues is not only good socially but is essential if you wish to be held in high regard by the company’s hierarchy. If you’re polite, reliable, communicate well and work well in a team for example, your chances of promotion will only be enhanced.



Language Skills: Being able to speak a second language is often overlooked at a young age, however having this skill will open doors through-out your career. For example, your company may one day look to expand into a foreign market, Spain for example. Being able to speak Spanish would therefore put you in pole position if any roles were created that required Spanish speakers!



Leadership skills: Although these skills will most likely not play a major role in your early career, they will be vital to promotion at a later stage. Being able to support, listen to, influence and inspire colleagues will be key to how high you rise up the managerial ladder, if that’s the path you choose.


If you’ve read the above and think that your transferable skill set is somewhat lacking, it’s not too late. Begin by analysing your own abilities and draw up a list of skills that you feel may benefit you career advancement in future. Recently, rugby player Karl Dickson was considering life after a top flight playing career, and decided that the skills he had acquired throughout his playing days would lend very well to a refereeing career, a move not often made but a very sensible (and valuable to the game of rugby) one, using his vast experience and proving that although one door closes another door will more than likely open.  So take your list, work on your skills set and drive your career as far as possible!