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3 Transferable Skills That Will Allow You To Be Industry-Agnostic

By Andrej Kovacevic

August 15 2020 - Agility or adaptability is now critical in any career path. Micro-credentialing is a rising trend and often comes up in the discussion about the future of work. According to the World Economic Forumís report, 54% of employees will require significant upskilling by 2022. Digital education platforms have opened doors for many trying to switch fields or make themselves more relevant in the quickly changing environment.

The average tenure gets lower for the younger workforce. While the median tenure is between 7 to 10 years for employees aged between 45 and 64, that goes down to 5 years for those between 35 and 44 and to 2.8 years for workers from ages 25 to 34, the millennials. The increased frequency in job change is not expected to slow down anytime soon. With the rising speed of change and ease of access to upskilling, workers changing fields and jobs may become even more frequent.

So what are some of the transferable skills that are valued by most employers in all industries?

1. Project Management

Project management skill is relevant in almost any position. Strategic initiatives are necessary in any organisation that wants to be able to adapt to the fast pace of changes in the market. New technologies are introduced, new competitions rise up, and new customer segments are identified every hour. Now almost all employees, especially the ones in the middle to senior management positions, are expected to know how to initiate and execute on projects.

Even if your role itself isnít a project-based role, project management is one of the most valuable skills one could have. Learning how to manage a project involves assessing market trends, identifying innovation opportunities, and allocating limited resources appropriately to achieve maximum results in pursuing those innovation opportunities. Itís a skill set that is applicable to almost any leadership position.

2. Leadership

Leadership skills involve a lot of soft skills that cannot necessarily be acquired through formal education. Itís about mentoring and guiding people to reach their potential and produce most optimal output. So how do you gain leadership skills? It comes with experience managing people and teams. If your current position doesnít include managing people, you can still find opportunities to develop your leadership skills in other ways.

You could sign up for extracurricular groups at work (i.e. employee resource groups) and take on leadership positions. Another option is to volunteer as a Board member or a leadership role at a nonprofit. Creating these opportunities for yourself can set you up to gain leadership skills earlier in your career which will allow you to stand out and be of value to any employer.

3. Data Analysis

While deep industry expertise is still much valued in most fields, data analysis skills can be a good substitute. Most industries are going through ongoing innovations and interruptions - the ability to gather relevant data and extract most useful insights quickly is becoming increasingly valuable than industry experience. 60% of companies plan to increase positions that include data analysis as a required skill.

Data analysis includes tools such as Excel and mySQL as well as visualisation resources such as Tableau and PowerPoint. But most importantly, data analysis starts with creating the right framework. What do you need to know? How would you be able to get such information without any biases? What metrics need to be calculated and monitored? What is the best way to layout the collected insights in order to drive evidence-based decisions? Now data analysis is an important part of any job. As you progress in your career, your ability to understand data will determine your success as a leader. Making strategic decisions not based on data is the same as driving blind. It is critical to survival.


What Color Is Your Parachute?

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2020: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers
by Richard Nelson Bolles
With more than 10 million copies sold in 28 countries, the world's most popular job-search book is updated for 2020 and tailors Richard Bolles's long-trusted guidance with up-to-the-minute information and advice for today's job-hunters and career-changers.
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