Take The Career Skills You Have Gained & Use Them To Start A New Career
Have you thought about changing career streams part way through your career but felt held back because of the fear of having to start at the bottom all over again?
This fear can often lead people into being content with the status queue of their job. And the fear and stress keeps them in a position they are not happy in. The stress can have effects on multiple areas of their life including their mental and emotional health. This in itself is a big topic and one to be explored further in the future.
The objective of todays post is help to outline steps to make changing careers easier. You see, it’s not as scary as one might think to make the leap from one career path to another once you know the steps. Assuming you are in a place where you are ready for a career change, this post is especially helpful for you.
Now, let’s take a look at the steps!
Review Your Soft Career Skills & Make A List
Employers are not always looking for direct skills when hiring their next employee. Often employers will look for candidates who have demonstrable soft career skills. These soft skills can come from a variety of places in your life like previous employment, volunteer experiences and your social life. Below is a list of some of the soft career skills employers look for:
- Time Management
- Team Work
Step #1 – Make A List of Your Soft Career Skills
The first thing you want to do is make a comprehensive list of all the soft career skills you have acquired over the years. These can be from team sports, volunteer groups and committees, past jobs and general life experiences. Write them all down and provide an example or examples of where you learned them and how long you have known how to do each skill.
Each of these skills are important to employers. It’s a good idea to think about how you can demonstrate these on your resume. If you do get an interview with them, it is important to have your examples ready for interview questions. For example, “Can you give me an example of when you have had to communicate something difficult to a supervisor?” The homework above will provide you a cheatsheet for this.
Step #2 – Compare Job Postings You Are Interested In Against Your Soft and Hard Career Skills
I will dive more into hard career skills in the next section but your handy list will act as a guide for jobs you are potentially qualified to do. Often in job postings, you will see employers listing the hard and soft career skills they want. They usually list how many years experience they want. The next step in the process is to compare the job posting to your list of soft career skills.
One key thing when reviewing job postings is to not downplay the soft career skills you have gained no matter how trivial your experience or examples may be. You never know exactly what type of person they want to add to their company or have in the role.
Review Your Hard Career Skills
The next step in preparing to get your new job in a new industry is to review your hard career skills. These are the skills requiring specific knowledge on how to do something. For example, this is when an employer is asking for someone who can program in PHP or is an expert in how to use Microsoft Office or has a certain type of designation.
Just like above, you want to follow the same process of step 1 and 2. Once you have completed your list and compared it against job descriptions, you should have a good sense of the types of positions you are qualified to do.
But what happens when you find a job in an area you want to work in but you fall short in the hard skills area?
Evaluate All Your Education
Now you’ve done a lot of the hard work, whittled down the career possibilities, realized what you are interested in, it’s now time to figure out what kind of training program you need to take. The first step is to make a list of all the courses, degrees, diplomas, certificates and training you have taken. Once you have this list, you will have a good sense on where you need to add to your education. You might need just a course or two or look at taking a whole program.
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, there is a fear of needing to start at the beginning. Since you have done a lot of the work in figuring out your skills and education, you may already be able to start midway up the career chain or potentially higher depending on what you are interested in and your skills.
One thing to consider when looking to go back to school is to look at programs which not only compliments your skill set but also programs with transferrable skills into new careers. Two examples of programs offered at Canadian College of Health, Science & Technology are the Legal Administrative Assistant and Accounting Administrator programs. Each program provides you with many hard skills which are transferrable into different fields.
Accounting Administrator Transferrable Career Skills
The Accounting Administrator program provides graduates with not only accounting skills but also skills which are transferrable to other jobs in the business field. Even you do choose to enter a new career in business after studying accounting or working in the field for a while, understanding accounting principals can go along way. This is a very important skill executives look for when hiring mid and senior level managers. Understanding how a profit and loss statement, knowing how to manage a budget and how payroll works are all key skills for management positions. Here is a list of the hard skills graduates gain:
- Business Communication
- Computer & Microsoft Office
- Accounting skills including
- Sage Accounting
To view the full program, you can check out the Accounting Administrator program outline.
Legal Administrative Assistant Transferrable Career Skills
The Legal Administrative Assistant program can prepare you for an in-demand career. I have written a blog post previously about this career, which you can find here. The Legal Administrative Assistant program not only prepares you for a career in law but prepares you for almost any career in office setting. For example, any type of role for office administration, executive assistant, administrative professional and administrative assistant all use the same skills as a Legal Administrative Assistant.
Transferrable career skills you learn in the Legal Administrative Assistant program are:
- Microsoft Office & Computer knowledge
- Report writing
- Business communication
- General accounting
- Understanding of legal principals in Canada and Ontario
Check out the complete Legal Administrative Assistant program outline here.
There you have it. A handy step by step process on “How To Use Your Transferrable Career Skills To Land Your Next Job.” If you want to talk to someone at Canadian College on how to take your current skills and new career interest, you can contact us.