How to develop transferable skills

Transferable skills are competencies you can use in any job; they’re not technical and don’t require any education. There are plenty of benefits to developing skills like these and they can make you stand out from similarly qualified candidates if you’re looking for a promotion or a career move. Ask yourself what you can do to show you have the following transferable skills:



Ask for extra responsibility; if you’re able to demonstrate that you can lead other people in your team and get good results then you’re more likely to be considered for management roles. But remember, it’s not just about you; being a good leader means taking others forward with you.


Show you’re on board with the rest of the team by working together with them on projects. This means offering assistance before it’s been asked of you and allowing others to advise on your own work.


If your department is facing an issue, don’t keep quiet in the background and wait for it to solve itself. Think about possible solutions and propose them to the group, stating how you intend to overcome the problem and why you think your suggestion will work. It’s better to try and resolve issues, even if your solution doesn’t work, than not take any sort of action.


Prove yourself to be one step ahead at all times so that whenever your manager asks for an update on anything you always know exactly what stage you’re at and when a task will be completed.


Mistakes often happen when there has been poor communication between departments or within a team. Check in with your line managers often and keep email threads relating to your current projects so you can refer back if needed.


This is a skill many people often overlook. Knowing your own capabilities is sometimes difficult, you might lack confidence in your abilities or think you can take on something that turns out to be too much. It’s always good to challenge yourself and learn new things but know your boundaries to avoid problems later.


Motivating yourself and those around you is a great skill to have, and a desirable quality in managers. If you’re developing yourself professionally, you find you’re considered more seriously for higher roles if it’s evident you motivate your team.


Thinking for yourself and confidently making your own decisions shows you take initiative, rather than letting others do half the work for you. Of course, not everyone is in the position to make decisions at work, but if you can try and offer your individual expertise into the process.


You might not be considered for a higher level role if you’re very rigid in what tasks you’re willing to do and the hours you’re willing to work. This doesn’t mean you should be putting in hours and hours extra every week and getting nothing back, but if you’re asked to come in early for a meeting or stay late to get work finished, there’s probably a good reason.

Developing transferable skills like these will not only come in use when you’re growing your career, they’ll also be applicable to a role if you decide to start a career in a completely different role.

If you are looking to grow your career, review more articles in our Career Advice centre, and also browse through our latest job posts using our job search tool

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