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In just about thirty days spring will be here. One of the things I’ve begun thinking about is our family’s garden. I picked up the 2016 Seed Catalog at the local market and am already overwhelmed by the possibilities of what we could grow. Last year we attempted a garden without much thought about what would actually be transferable from farm to table. We had a lot of cherry tomatoes but no lettuce to make a salad with the cherry tomatoes. This year we are planning differently, identifying what we will use in our meals, so we know what to grow.

No, fearless job seeker, you did not accidentally end up on a garden blog. This lesson I’ve learned about gardening is the same principle with our jobs. You have a set of skills, but are they the set of skills that will be used in the marketplace tomorrow? Reality is, jobs change and the skills required change too. What we may have learned starting out may no longer hold the same value. This is why it is important to identify transferable skills that will be useful in our jobs tomorrow, so we know how to grow.

There are natural abilities you were born with that make you good at things, like playing a musical instrument, sports, or art. Acquired skills are those you learned in school, in the job, or in specialized training. When searching for a job it is important that you understand what all of your skills are and how they blend together for the right opportunity. You may find that certain skills are transferable to other industries or that it’s time to acquire some new ones through training and certifications.

How do you identify your transferable skills?

  1. List your major skills that you use on the job today. Then, research to see if your current job is in demand in the marketplace. (A quick job search on Indeed will give you the information you need.) If not, think about which major skills may be useful in other industries.
  2. Decide in which skills you need training and certifications. You may have a core set of skills that with added training and certification could launch a new career for you.
  3. Consider a skills set assessment and or job coaching from a professional. It may be helpful to talk to someone who can help assess your current skills and brainstorm the possibilities with you. If you are interested in receiving job coaching please sign up for my email subscription and we will send you more information.
  4. Think longitude and latitude. Gone are the days when job seekers can only hope to climb the corporate ladder to eventually reach their financial potential. By thinking in all directions you will open the doors to other industries you may have never thought about. Check out US News & Money’s 100 Best Jobs to give you an idea of just how many opportunities are available.

What is your core skill set you use on the job today? How do you see the skill set you have today changing in your workplace/industry? Leave a comment!