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Blog posts for your Career, Business, and  Life
  • Writer's pictureDianne McKim

You Are Not Stuck - 5 Transferable Career Skills

Jennifer has had a long career in the Insurance industry. She has held various positions, including management and leadership roles. Her career has taken her to several companies and she has received awards and recognition as well as promotions along the way.

Lately Jennifer is feeling and thinking it is time for a change. She has enjoyed her success but wants to do something totally different in an industry she has had no previous work experience. With research and soul searching, Jennifer wants to get into the health and wellness industry. She has a heart for helping others and so wants to do something in which she feels she is making a great contribution to the world.

The challenge she is facing now is how to represent herself in a way that companies in the health and wellness industry become interested in her.

Jennifer’s story is similar to so many in the workforce these days. Sadly, too many companies only look for those with industry experience. If the candidate has not worked in their field, the company looks past them. There may have been a time when that was the best approach, but I would argue that strategy needs to be re-vamped.

Today’s climate has shifted so much it demands a new outlook.

Here are 3 things to consider along with 5 transferable skills/traits to look for in the best candidates.

1. Industry knowledge can be taught

2. Systems and how a company uses them can be taught 3. Product knowledge can be taught

Transferable Skills

1. Integrity - finding a candidate who possesses high integrity may be a challenge, but it is a challenge worth undertaking. A candidate who is genuine, honest, reliable, and trustworthy carries an innate sense of doing the right thing, no matter who is looking. A character trait like that in a candidate is worthy of serious consideration.

2. Common Sense - believe it or not, not everyone has common sense. A person who has good sense and sound judgment in practical matters develops solid ground in their respective focus areas. Their sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge or training can go a long way in helping the company realize great benefits.

3. Problem Solving - this is a big one! Every company has problems to solve, including finding the best candidates to fill the open job slots. If you identify a candidate that has strong problem solving skills, you have found someone worth serious consideration. Talk with the candidate about problems they encountered in their career and have them explain how they approached each problem. You may be pleasantly surprised to find their approach is exactly what you need in your company.

4. Leadership - a person with natural leadership ability can bring a much needed boost to a company even if the opening isn’t a management position. Employing someone who functions like a leader, thinks like a leader, and is able to make decisions like a leader can raise the bar of excellence within the company which in turn can add to the bottom line.

5. Teamwork - too often employees get hung up on their way of thinking and they forget that they are part of a “team” hired to accomplish a goal. I have seen teams that are incredibly dysfunctional with failure the resulting outcome. A candidate who has demonstrated true teamwork shows they have the ability to work well with others and put the good of the project ahead of personal interest. This person is capable of supporting teammates, motivating others, and both giving and receiving constructive feedback. Now who wouldn’t want someone like that on their team.

There are many more transferable skills to look for when you need to hire someone or when you are looking for a new position. It is so important not to discount all of what you or the candidate has to offer. You just might find or be the Shining Star of the company!

To learn more about your transferable skills to shift career directions or how to hire the best for your open positions, reach out to me at

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