The Basics of Transferrable Skills
On the hunt for job hunting advice (am I going in circles?), you will find the phrase “transferrable skills“. Do you know what they are, and do you have any? Well done if you do. But even then, do you know how to sell those skills?
I was working with the Queensland Government, in Australia when they brought in the Capability and Leadership Framework (CLF). The concept, as I overheard at the time, was that all job descriptions would have essentially the same key criteria. At first, it sounded quite strange, and all I understood came from vague conversation and eavesdropping on colleagues. But it’s actually an excellent framework for analysing your transferable skills, and the website even has checklists to help you assess yourself. Okay, it all looks very governmental and is written as such, but the key points to focus on are there:
- Supports strategic direction / Shapes strategic thinking
- Achieves results
- Supports/Cultivates productive working relationships
- Displays/Exemplifies personal drive and integrity
- Communicates with influence
Thinking about it this way makes it really easy to assess yourself for transferrable skills. How well do you understand your role in the context over the overall organisation? What are your greatest achievements, and what planning do you do to ensure you succeed? What networks do you have? What motivates you? How to you promote your ideas?
Notice how none of these questions are job-specific? That’s how you think about transferrable skills. If you’re thinking to yourself “I can’t get a job in recruitment, I’m just a volunteer at an animal shelter (or any other example that comes to mind)”, think about how what you do now affects those around you.
Do you have great conversations with suppliers/visitors/peers? Have you ever found a solution to a problem? Do you take pride in what you do? Then you have transferrable skills.