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For most of us, our career paths in life may take several turns. My journey from a Fashion Merchandiser to a Recruitment Consultant has been a rollercoaster ride that even Alice herself couldn’t imagine in Wonderland.
Most of the time, our career paths are linear, but life has its way of changing the course. Your career journey can take you through some surprising and unexpected developments. As we grow and change over time, it often leads to a career change, sometimes in a different industry.
Changing jobs can be frightening and working in a new field can be unpredictable. How did I do it? By identifying my transferable skills and failing along the way.
There are a plethora of reasons to change industries, and the first step is to identify your skills for both hard and soft skills.
Your transferable skills are abilities, talent, and knowledge gained from previous experiences across various careers. These skills can also be acquired from previous volunteer work and education. Hard skills are measurable and quantifiable skills that you have developed throughout your career. Soft skills are generally defined as motivation, people skills, leadership, and problem-solving.
By identifying these two areas, it will be the foundation of your value-add to the new field and industry that you choose. It’s not difficult – it’s the foundation of your resume.
Now, it’s time to identify an industry.
You will need to do some homework for this one. You want to identify the industry and company that you would like to move into and identify their needs. Leverage social media, identify an industry, and conduct a careful assessment of the value you would bring to the organization. Speak to individuals in the industry, and learn about their experience in the field.
The idea is to find their pain points and align your skills so that you’ll add potential value to the new role.
You have identified your transferable skills and target industry. Use this information to focus on the skills that will add value to the industry. The hard skills can be difficult to align. With the various technologies, your experience may not be transferable, so exposure to new technologies is vital. Soft skills are a lot easier to transfer and can be adapted to new careers immediately.
The overall objective is to focus on the skills you currently possess to identify the pain points of the industry you would like to venture off into and bridge the gap. This won’t work unless you are confident in your abilities and talent to be a solution to the problem. It’s going to be difficult, it will not be easy, but it can be done.
Keep in mind: Before Alice got to Wonderland, she had to fall.
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