Thoughtful examination and careful planning is paramount if you are at a career crossroads

and have considered changing career fields. Before you begin, you need to prepare intellectually.

By accessing your values, skills, interests, knowledge and goals; along with why you want to make

a change and were you see yourself after your transition, you can alter your transition from

confusing to exhilarating. Remember, you need to know who you are and where you want to go

for any change to be reward.

The Basic Questions You Want to Ask Yourself Are:

Make a list of what you liked and did not like about past positions. Consider all factors including salary, possibility for growth, working environment, job duties, etc. From this beginning evaluation, you can begin to create a list of characteristics you want, or do not want, in your next career

The Skills, or “8 Competencies” Employers Seek:

It is also important to understand how your transferable skills can be applied to a new position. We each have a set of “transferrable skills” but one of the hardest things about changing careers is understanding what those skills are, and how they will relate to your new career. By definition, transferable skills and experience are what employers seek and we call these the “8 Competencies.” A skill is defined as the ability to use one's knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance, a learned power of doing something competently, a developed aptitude or ability.

Over the years, you have developed many skills from coursework, extracurricular activities, internships, jobs and your total life experiences. If you have researched, written, edited and presented papers for classes, you have used skills that are not limited to any one academic discipline or knowledge area but are transferable to many occupations.

These are things you have learned to do well that can be used and taken with you from job to job, competencies that can be used in multiple situations. A prospective employer expects you to apply the skills you have learned through your studies, work, and life experiences to the work environment.

Therefore, transferable skills can be especially important to college students and career changers.

Transferable Skills:


Determine what you can offer potential employers in your new field, what you may need to accomplish before entering the field, and what actions you can take to best prepare yourself for the job search. In researching your field, you hopefully identified the skills, training, and education needed in order to be a well-qualified candidate.

Take a look at these links which offer resources for additional transferable skills and/or transferable skills assessments and examples:

The Balance Careers & Forbes