Wanna Change Careers? Do This One Thing!

If you're considering changing careers there are some steps you can take to improve your chances of success. Here's what you need to do.
Career change, making decisions

I get it! You’re over it and want to make a career change.

You don’t want to go back to school or anything. Certainly, you don’t want to start at the bottom of your next career ladder, the bottom rung of a new pay scale…. nor grovel at the feet of everyone you know asking “for a chance to prove yourself” in a new gig.

How do you show that you’ve got something to offer even when you don’t have the right degree, certification, or years of experience for a new career field? The first step is not to write a resume, call your friends, or scream from the social media mountaintops that you’re “available.”

The One Thing

Dream job

If you don’t own that “correct” degree, certification, or years of experience for that new, next career, it will be tough sledding. The one thing that’s necessary to successfully leap from one career into another? Your TTs are the help you need.

Ok! Laugh all you want, you dirty dawg! The T and the T are shorthand for two very important concepts… they aren’t slang for body parts. The two Ts stand for the words Transferable and Transportable. If you intend to write a compelling resume, talk a good game, and land an opportunity in a new field, you’ve got to know which of your skills will be useful in this new career and which of the millions of things you know how to do you will transport with you when you begin that new career.

What’s a Transferable Skill?

woman working at her computer

Every successful career switcher is fluent – downright gabby – about their transferable skills… and their transportable ones as well.

Transferable skills are things that you already know how to do. Your transferable skills are well-known, measurable, and describable abilities and skills needed in a new career… skills that can be transferred to your new target career without a hiccup. Do you know how to use every program in Microsoft Suite or make a Pot de Crème in 5 minutes in a steaming hot kitchen? Those are examples of transferable skills. Employers know what skills they want; they screen resumes looking for these skills. They want to hire people with the greatest number of skills already in their toolkit.

Some of your skills may be what they are looking for, and some may be valuable to the prospective employer they just didn’t list in the posting. Transferable skills help you slide into a new career even if you don’t have every qualification.

Transportable Skills are Bonus Offerings


Transportable skills are another matter altogether: They are better than bonus points for an employer. Transportable skills are those skills that just come along with you because You are YOU. Regardless of the job or role you play, your transportable skills come along for the ride. Examples include:

  • I can calm a distressed person.
  • I can run an interdepartmental meeting.
  • I can learn new procedures on my own.
  • I can work with others to get a job done.
  • I can see what needs to be done and do it.
  • I think in options, always looking for the best, fastest way.
  • I meet people easily.

Your First, Next Step

Woman listing her skills

Your next career move does depend upon your ability to tell your story. If you are ready to change careers, start by:

  1. Listing the skills you have that you know will transfer into your new career.
  2. Then, list your transportable skills, aka, the auxiliary skills that come with you if they are lucky enough to hire you.
  3. Make your TT lists, and don’t stop until there are at least 30 skills on your list.
  4. If you get stuck, brainstorm your lists with a friend, colleague, or coach.

Unless you want to start in the sub-basement of your next career, you’d best be clear about what you have to offer. Remember that it is as important to tell people what you can do as it is for employers to tell you what skills they want. Over 50% of new hires I spoke to last year had fewer skills than initially asked for. What they did have was compelling, transferable, and transportable skills.

And Voila! That’s the power of your transferable and transportable skills.

Read Next:

It’s Never Too Late To Change Direction

Crying on the Couch – How and When to Make a Career Change

Overcoming Fear Can Change Your Life


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