by Judy Schoenberg and Linda Lautenberg, Co-Founders of EvolveMe
Did you know most people will have at least 12 different careers in their working life by the time they’re 50? 12!
The Great Resignation isn’t going away — with over 4 million Americans quitting every month for 11 months straight! And now we’re seeing employees in the 40-60-year-old group looking to reinvent themselves professionally.
This is especially true of the women in midlife who we work with at EvolveMe. Many tell us they’re interested in having more meaning in their work and leveraging their expertise for new opportunities — often beyond their current industry or role.
When you’re looking to make a change, ever get stumped by a prospective employer saying:
“But you don’t have experience in this industry,” or
“You’ve never worked in this role.”
Whether you’re relaunching your career after a break, searching for a new position within your field, or have decided it’s time to make a change, transferable skills can help you land new opportunities. Here’s how:
Transferable skills don’t belong to a particular industry or role.
They’re “portable” and can be applied to new situations.
Unlike “hard” skills, which are technical in nature, transferable skills (often referred to as “soft skills”) are either intrinsic to you or are skills you’ve developed over time. Many, such as interpersonal skills, come from experience — in your professional, volunteer, and personal life. And by midlife, you’ve amassed a lot of them!
Employers seek candidates with a relevant set of transferable skills because they offer talent that goes beyond the technical side. Transferable skills can’t be taught in the classroom or online. And they’re in demand right now!
Research shows the top reason new hires often don’t work out beyond the first year of employment is that they lack the soft skills needed for the role.
Employers are looking for well-rounded candidates who have life skills like communication, problem-solving, agility, curiosity, and commitment to lifelong learning.
Want to stand out? Get to know yourself and add transferable skills to your personal brand story (or “personality brand” as expert Danielle Hughes calls it!).
Knowing who you are and what you stand for is just as vital for your career — if not more so in these changing times — as your hard skills.
When you create a personal/professional brand story around your transferable skills, you can better highlight the talents that are unique to you and are your particular strengths. It becomes the shorthand version of your elevator pitch.
Adding transferable skills to your resume, LinkedIn profile, and cover letters will make you a more compelling candidate if you want to return to the workforce or pivot careers.
It takes reflection and practice to identify and communicate these skills.
Follow these three easy steps to start using your transferable skills to create a six-word personal brand story!
The six-word story is a valuable tool to quickly convey to others who you are and what you stand for — and it’s fun because it doesn't have to be perfect or too long!
1. Pick three transferable skills from the list below — feel free to add more skills of your own!
Top Transferable Skills
Listening and giving feedback
2. Indicate where you gained these skills (the primary roles you had when you developed them, whether paid, volunteer, or life experience).
3. Write a six-word personal brand story to demonstrate your current or aspirational roles and transferable skills:
- Resilient tech leader who builds relationships.
- Empathic education advocate and creative problem solver.
- Renowned public speaker.
And if you’re ready to dig even deeper — we’ve got you covered!
Learn what makes you tick at work by downloading our free EvolveMe Personal User Manual.
Share this tool with a colleague and trade results! It will help others know how to best work with you too — in your current position or a new role!
Judy Schoenberg, women’s career strategist, and Linda Lautenberg, return-to-work expert, are the co-founders of EvolveMe, a career development company for women in midlife.
EvolveMe works with groups of women in midlife looking to relaunch, reinvent or level up their careers and with companies invested in attracting and retaining top female talent. Through their proprietary DARE© method of career reinvention, Judy and Linda help cohorts of high achieving women find clarity, gain confidence, and launch the best chapter of their professional life.
Their clients land new roles, start businesses, and secure project-based work. They describe EvolveMe’s programming as “life-changing” and “the best professional investment they’ve ever made”. EvolveMe has been featured in Forbes.com, CNN.com, Reuter’s World at Work, Fairygodboss.com, and Ellevate Network and Linda and Judy have also been on numerous podcasts.