Transferrable Skills You need for a Career Switch

What you can expect out of this article:


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Find out how to identify your transferrable skills and learn about the common skills employers look out for.


min. read


  • Understanding myself
  • Skills
  • Job-Fit

Relevant to:

  • Career Switchers
  • Back to Work

When we think about switching careers, the question that often comes to mind is:

Do I have the skills for this new industry?

Many jobseekers looking at a career switch think of their previous jobs in terms of their day-to-day tasks and activities. Take a stay home mum from the instance. She cooks, cleans and takes care of her children. On the surface, it may seem irrelevant to most paid employment. However, if we look deeper, a stay home mum also possesses skills which are highly relevant to the workplace:

Financial Management & Budgeting

Manages household expenditure and plans for monthly savings
Teaching & Educating

Educates children and guides their character and language development
Creativity & Design

Designs activities & crafts to inspire children to learn
Interpersonal skills

Engages teachers and fellow parents to identify child’s progress and explore ways to improve learning outcomes


Now that you are better equipped to identify and articulate your transferrable skills, consider the following skills that employers look out for:

Critical thinking skills: Have you made reasoned, logical and well-thought-out judgments based on research and evidence from multiple data sources? Describe the situations when you have used critical thinking skills in the past.
Problem-solving skills: Have you handled difficult and complex business challenges in the past? What is your main problem-solving strategy? How has this strategy been effective in overcoming those challenges?
Leadership and management skills: Were you in a position to make decisions about the organisation’s or team’s mission and goals? Have you led by example to inspire your team not only to perform but also demonstrate the values established by the company?
Teamwork and interpersonal skills: Have you communicated effectively with your team members and helped to resolve any issue? Were you able to speak with impact and communicate with people of all levels and backgrounds?
Adaptable to Change: The business world undergoes constant changes. Were you ever in situations where there was an organisational change that impacted you? Did you see them as opportunities instead of threats? What did you do to manage those changes successfully?
Technology Literacy: Are you aware of the digital software and systems used in your preferred job or industry? Have you used a similar system in the past?
Unsure about your transferable skills? You can refer to the Skills Framework to learn more about jobs in the new industry and its required core competencies under “Generic Skills and Competencies – Top 5”.

It is easy for anyone to claim that they have the above skills, but being able to support the claims with real-life examples, achievements, and applications is key. Once you have identified your transferrable skills, prepare 1 – 2 examples of how you would apply that skill to the new job or industry to achieve similar positive outcomes. You can include skills in your resume, LinkedIn profile and even mention it during the interview!