A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Transferable Skills Offer More than A Straight Line to a Job

The following article was authored by Bryant Black, Director, Workforce Development, Greater Houston Partnership, and originally published on Construction Career Collaborative's blog:

Pipelines are often considered a series of straight lines that twist and turn to move and deliver products across an extensive network. One section of these networks might appear simple, but the full series can paint a more complex picture.

The same can be true of talent pipelines, which come with plenty of twists and turns. The job market is complex, both for the career seeker and the employer. Identifying talent is more difficult than ever, and the “onlinification” of the entire hiring process has left many disenfranchised and unable to find a job fit for their skillset.

Another way for a career seeker to stand out is through transferable skills. These skills go by many names, such as job-ready, soft skills, and professional habits, but in the end, they are made up of a person’s abilities to get the job done and find the answers needed to make a business function and grow.

Transferable skills for improved job readiness

Collaboration & TeamworkThis skill involves contributing one’s strengths and expertise while also respecting and supporting the contributions of others to achieve collective success in completing tasks or projects. It entails sharing ideas, expertise, and resources, as well as effectively communicating and coordinating efforts to enhance productivity and innovation within the workplace
Computer Literacy & Software ProficiencyFamiliarity and proficiency with using computers, software applications, and digital technologies to perform tasks, access information, and communicate effectively in various contexts. This includes software suites like Microsoft Office, which encompasses applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and others.
Critical Thinking & Problem SolvingThe ability to identify, analyze, and resolve issues or challenges efficiently by employing logical and analytical thinking, creativity, and relevant expertise or knowledge.
Social SkillsThe ability to effectively interact and communicate with others in a professional setting. This includes building rapport, active listening, verbal and non-verbal communication, empathy, conflict resolution, and networking skills. Social skills are essential for establishing positive relationships, collaborating with colleagues, and representing oneself and the organization positively in various professional contexts.
CommunicationsThe ability to convey information effectively through various channels, such as verbal, written, or non-verbal communication, to ensure understanding and clarity among individuals or groups.
Detail OrientedThe tendency to pay close attention to small details and nuances, ensuring accuracy, precision, and thoroughness in tasks, processes, or outcomes.
Customer ServiceAddressing and satisfying the needs and concerns of customers or clients in a professional and courteous manner, aiming to build positive relationships and enhance satisfaction.
Self-MotivationThe inner drive and initiative to pursue goals, overcome obstacles, and achieve personal or professional success without external pressure or supervision.
Management & LeadershipThe capability to inspire, motivate, and guide individuals or teams towards a shared vision or goal, demonstrating qualities such as integrity, decisiveness, empathy, and strategic thinking. It might encompass aspects such as setting goals, allocating resources, delegating responsibilities, monitoring progress, and adapting plans as necessary to ensure the successful execution of projects or initiatives.
Project ManagementPlanning, organizing, executing, and monitoring projects from initiation to completion, ensuring they are delivered within scope, schedule, and budget, often involving communication and collaboration.
Administrative Support and Clerical TasksAiding and performing various administrative duties to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of an organization. This includes tasks such as answering phones, managing schedules, organizing files, drafting correspondence, and providing general administrative support to staff and management.
Basic Technical KnowledgeBasic technical knowledge as a workforce skill involves understanding fundamental concepts and principles within a specific technical field, enabling individuals to effectively perform basic tasks and operate relevant tools or equipment.
General AccountingThe knowledge and application of fundamental principles, standards, and procedures related to financial accounting and reporting. It encompasses tasks such as recording financial transactions, preparing financial statements, analyzing financial data, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.
Good Driving RecordA history of safe and responsible driving behavior, typically characterized by adherence to traffic laws, accident-free driving, and maintaining a clean driving record.
Writing and EditingThe ability to create written content that is clear, concise, engaging, and grammatically correct. It encompasses various forms of writing, such as articles, reports, emails, marketing materials, and more. Editing involves reviewing and revising written content to ensure accuracy, coherence, and adherence to style guidelines.

Burning Glass Institute Data 

These skills provide a way to accelerate job seekers’ time through the long twists and turns of the talent pipeline, which they must navigate throughout their careers. This is not cutting corners in any nefarious way; this is simply attaining the skills not traditionally associated with the job requirements for a skills-based requisition. In interviews and round tables with employers, these areas were identified as the largest gaps between what employees have and what is needed to get ahead in their workplace.

Aiming to attain these skills and grow in what they mean for both an employee and a company is mutually beneficial and will do more to assist in filling the valleys in the job market that so many are currently looking to solve. The more workers can build on these transferable skills, the less time we will all have to worry about where our next wave of talent will come from.

Take some time to evaluate your personal and team’s transferable skills. If you need help creating a plan to develop your own or your team’s transferable skills, contact C3’s Workforce Development Team for assistance at info@c3.org.