For many of us, once we make the decision that we’d like to move on from our current career to a new one, we are plagued with doubts. It’s a big step and one that you want to get right first time if you can.
In looking at what we want to do next, it’s important to remember where we’ve come from to get to where we are today.
Use your age to your advantage
If you have been in the workplace for some time, one of the biggest advantages of age is experience. You have this in abundance. The question is, what are you going to do with it and how can you make sure it stands you in good stead on your journey forward? The single biggest weapon in your arsenal is your set of transferable skills. But I don’t have any I hear you cry! Not true.
Tapping your transferable skills
We all have skills that are useful in setting us up for the next phase of our career path. The trick knows what they are and how to tap into them. The skills in question are your transferable skills. Transferable skills are skills that you possess already and which may be of value to you in your future career.
Transferable skills in action
Let’s take the case of Janice. Janice (46) worked for 12 years as a customer service advisor for a large insurance company. She took a ten year break to raise her twin boys. She wanted to return to work on a part time basis but would prefer not to go back to customer services. Janice was concerned that having been out of the work place for such a long time, her skills are not up to date and it puts her at a disadvantage for a new role. Janice has in her spare time had been working as a social secretary for her children’s school.
We established that her skills include, organisational skills, working to tight timelines and using social media to promote events and raise funds for the school. Based on her skill set, Janice was able to transfer into a social media manager for a local company who wanted to promote their brand. The hours suit with her life style and interests as well as playing to her strengths.
Sometimes change means a reinvention into something completely different to what you’ve done before but drawing on skills that you’ve honed inside or outside work interests.
Once you are clear on what your new direction of travel is likely to be, it’s much easier to determine how much support you need. Will you need to train, if so for how long and to what extent? Unless you are planning on going in a very radically different direction, chances are your transferable skills will be a useful tool in getting you off the starting block of your new career.
Yvonne Akinmodun is a HR and career expert with 20+ years’ experience. She is the founder and CEO of careercoachingmatters, a site dedicated to helping people solve their own career problems. Do you have questions about your career? Click here to book a FREE consultation session