Transferable Skills - Use Them To Your Advantage

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By, By Beth Jackson

It seems like every job posting comes with an extensive wish list of required skills. Sometimes it's difficult to judge whether you're qualified for a position or not.

Luckily, there are some skills that are necessary no matter what you do. These are known as transferable skills, and it's important to know what they are and use them to your advantage.


No matter what position you are seeking, communication is crucial. Whether you are speaking with clients, your co-workers, your superiors or writing documents, communication skills can contribute significantly to your success. Some useful communication skills include:

Writing Concisely - Be sure that your writing makes sense and is easily understood by others.

Interviewing - Ask the right questions to get the answers you need.

Listening Attentively - Don't just hear - LISTEN.

Facilitating Group Discussion - Don't be shy. Toss out your ideas to the group so everyone can give you feedback.

Negotiating - It's important to discuss ideas with others to reach an agreement.

Persuasion - Use reasoning to get your point across.

Research and Planning

The ability to research and plan is very important regardless of what career path you choose. Being able to conceive ideas, identify problems and develop alternative solutions is useful in both career situations and everyday life. Problem solving skills are also a great asset to your job. Other research and planning skills are:

Setting Goals - Always proceed forward with a final purpose.

Defining Needs - Be able to know what your necessities are for a project.

Analyzing - Be able to understand the parts of a project, without losing sight of the big picture.

Gathering Information - Know how to research for information.

Management and Leadership

Not everyone is a born leader, but basic skills and decision-making abilities can help you to become a great manager. Some other management skills include:

Managing Conflict - Be a conscious mediator when conflict arises.

Teaching - Help to train others. Help them to help themselves.

Counseling - Be a good listener and provide positive feedback to others.

Delegating Responsibilities - A leader is only as good as the team supporting him/her. Remember to give important responsibilities to your teammates and follow-up to see if they need help.

Coordinating Tasks - Take the time to make sure that time is allotted to certain tasks and that those tasks are delegated to the right people.

Human Relations

How you interact with others (clients, co-workers and superiors) defines you and can ultimately make or break your career. It is important to understand the nuances of human interaction.

Develop Rapport - Work to gain the trust of the people around you.

Being Sensitive - Work to recognize the attitudes, feelings, or circumstances of others.

Listening - Pay attention to others and hear what they are saying.

Motivating - Provide others with an incentive to achieve their goals.

Sharing Credit - Be sure to include all teammates when accepting kudos for a job well done.

Work Survival

Know what to do and what not to do in order to make your work experience as pleasant as possible.

Setting and Meeting Deadlines - Be sure to know your timeframe and set deadlines in order to keep your projects under control.

Accepting Responsibilities - You are responsible for your actions.

Cooperating - You and your co-workers are ultimately part of a team. The team cannot be successful unless everyone respects everyone else.

Managing Time - Time is precious. Be sure to plan and use it wisely.

Beth Jackson has been an Internet career consultant for over three years, most recently providing articles, content and development advice for Before relocating from South Florida to Northern Virginia, Beth assisted in developing content, writing articles and managing public relations and marketing for one of the larger, comprehensive career sites. Her previous professional experience also includes working as a human resources professional for several companies throughout the Southeast.

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