Oftentimes I work with clients who are not aware of their transferable skills, or how these skills add value to other industries and careers. In fact, many of my clients are convinced in their minds that they will need to go back to school every time in order to change careers. Although specific formal education and training is required to enter some professions (Law, Teaching, Medicine, etc…) other professions can be entered by emphasizing transferable skills. What are transferable skills? They are skills that directly transfer from one job to another, and in many cases- add value to the new profession.
A good example of how a transferable skill can allow entry into a new profession (and add- value in the process) is when an Engineer in Japan is rotated into a Purchasing Career, due to his extensive knowledge on pricing of parts and quality implications. An Engineer knows what parts can be ‘cost-shopped’ vs. which parts cannot- due to quality ramifications of ‘cheap parts.’ A Purchasing Agent, without knowledge in Engineering, may not think twice about cutting part- supply expenses (not knowing the detrimental overall quality- in –performance implications based on that one specific part.) His Knowledge of Parts Pricing and Quality Implications is his transferable skill into Purchasing. Thus, in this example, the Engineer brings tremendous value to the purchasing profession. This is true in many other career situations.