Mid-Career Change: Your Transferable Skills Are Your Greatest Asset

Mid-career woman at work standing holding notebook

Are you a successful professional who’s feeling unfulfilled, stuck, or even a little lost in your current career? You’re not alone. Many mid-career professionals find themselves questioning their career and wondering if there’s something more fulfilling.

The good news? There absolutely can be! And a career change doesn’t mean starting from scratch. Professionals in their mid-career have a wealth of experience and skills that can be used to navigate a successful career change.

The Power of Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are those skills which you’ve developed throughout your career. They are skills which can be used regardless of the specific job title or industry. These skills can be applied across various roles and fields, making them extremely valuable during a career transition.

Here’s why transferable skills are so crucial for mid-career changers:

  1. Confidence Boost: Recognising your existing skills may help to increase your confidence when navigating a career change. It helps to remind you that you have a strong existing foundation to build on, even if there are some new skills that you need to learn.
  2. Smoother Transition: Knowing your transferable skills may help you to find a role which is closely aligned with your skillset. This can create a bridge from your old career to your new one, making the transition seem less overwhelming and more achievable.
  3. Uncovering Opportunities: Those seeking a career change, often downplay the valuable skills they have which can limit their options. Knowing your transferable skills may help to generate a wider range of potential career options.

Uncovering Your Hidden Skills

You might be wondering, “What are my transferable skills?” Here are some examples:

  • Communication: Report writing, public speaking, active listening, conflict resolution
  • Leadership: Team management, coaching, decision-making, mentoring
  • Problem-solving: Critical thinking, data analysis, strategic planning
  • Organisation: Project management, time management, attention to detail
  • Interpersonal: Stakeholder engagement, collaboration, negotiation

Take some time to reflect on your own experiences. What skills have you consistently used and excelled at? These are your transferable skills, and they’re the key to unlocking your next career chapter.

Four Ways to Uncover Your Transferable Skills

  1. Reflect on Your Achievements: Think about times in your career that you have been most proud of. For each of these moments, ask yourself: what skills did I use to make these achievements happen? 
  2. Consider Feedback and Performance Reviews: Reflect on times when you received informal feedback or feedback as part of a performance review. Considering the positive feedback provided may help you to gain insight into your transferable skills.
  3. Use Online Resources: There are many free online tools which may be helpful to uncover your transferable skills. The Jobs and Skills website provides occupation profiles for almost every role in Australia and includes key competencies required for each role.
  4. Speak with a Trusted Advisor: Reach out to a colleague, former manager, or professional mentor. Ask them what they see as being your key skills at work. Having an external perspective, may help you to gain valuable insight. 

Embrace Your Skills

A mid-career change can be an exciting opportunity for growth and development. Knowing your transferable skills may help you to confidently step into a new career that provides a sense of fulfilment. Remember, when changing careers you’re simply building upon the solid foundation of skills you’ve already established.

Disclaimer – this blog is for education and information purposes only. It does not constitute individual advice. The information contained in this post may not be applicable or appropriate for everyone. If you need support, consider seeking individualised support from a qualified health professional.

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