Seven Essential Skills for Career Changers

The in demand transferable skills that get you hired!

Are you contemplating a career change, but fear that you will have to start all over again?? If you change industries most likely you will have to learn new skills, however don’t negate your current abilities which can be used in almost any profession.

For example when Darrin Watson of Baton Rouge, Louisiana decided to change careers from business to education, he said the transition was relatively smooth. While he had to take some additional coursework and training, his main strategy was to apply the skills he’d already been honing in business to the classroom. ?Retail management and teaching [require] the same things,” he said.? “It?s customer service and explaining things. It?s managing your classroom.? It’s facilitating and planning lessons for the day or the week.?

Think like an entrepreneur

“In any economy, the ability to recognize and promote your transferrable skill sets is extremely important and valuable for career winning success,” says? Career/Business and Networking? Expert, Francina R. Harrison.?? Harrison, who is also known as “The Career Engineer,”? won? the BlackWebAward’s 2009 “Best Job Training & Placement Site ” for the website?

“Today?s workforce has to think beyond their general or specific areas of technical training or expertise,” continued Harrison.? “The marketplace requires the successful candidate to become the ‘entrepreneur on the job’ and harness the ability to think and act like a business.”?

Think outside the box

Watson, who received his bachelors degree from Southern University of New Orleans and an MBA from the University of Phoenix, relocated from New Orleans to Baton Rouge in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. Watson says he was not previously thinking about a career in education while he was pursuing management opportunities, ?I wanted to get into upper management, a district manager or a regional manager and just stay in the business for awhile,? he said.

Watson had been working in management roles for a well known chain of drugstores when he decided to get a second job substitute teaching in 2007.? ?Not just for the extra money,? he said in an interview with, ?but to see how I would like that career.?? After awhile he? realized he enjoyed interacting with students and teaching. Plus it didn’t take long for Watson to realize that a teacher?s schedule would allow him to be off from work when his children were off from school. With the hectic pace of a managerial career, he felt like he was always working, education would give him a whole new lifestyle.

Also Watson said he felt like he?d hit a glass ceiling in terms of retail management.? From his observation there were limited opportunities for progression in Baton Rouge.? ?With retail, it?s a different ball game down here as far as African Americans trying to advance,? he said. However Watson sees lots of room for advancement in teaching and has observed a large number of? African Americans going into education, which he says is a good thing since at times the student body will be mainly African American, yet the staff is not.

The transferable skills that get you hired

So what transferrable skills are in demand today that can increase a candidate’s reach, leverage and the ability to hear, ?You Are HIRED???? Here are The Career Engineers? top transferrable skills:

?Generate revenue
?Engage customers
?Solve problems
?Create business
?Use technology
?Plan/achieve goals
?Deliver performance.?

“If you have acquired these skills on the job, volunteering or by natural ability, then sell and promote them,” urges Harrison.?? “At the end of the day, every business needs employees with transferrable skills who understand bottom-line economics and business savvy. “


Francina R. Harrison has more than 12 years of serving and managing transitional career, business and life programs, combined with a Masters Degree in Social Work, and an undergraduate ?Summa Cum Laude? status from Norfolk State University. Her company, Harrison & Associates (The Home of the Career Engineer) provides solutions and opportunities for the transitional career seekers, career changers, entrepreneurs and business owners.

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