What have I got to offer?

 
Start by asking yourself what skills and experience you have
 
Think about the skills you developed in jobs you had before and in your life outside of work.
 
The job market has changed in recent years.  It is less common for people to have the same job with the same employer for the whole of their working life.  It pays to be flexible and adaptable when it comes to a change in your career, recognising your transferable skills can help you to move into a new job and into new types of work.
 
What are transferable skills?
 
These are the skills that you have built up during any job or activity that you can apply to other jobs.  You can build up skills through all sorts of activities – jobs, projects, volunteer work, hobbies, sports, virtually anything.  These skills can include the following;
 
Communication – being able to communicate by speaking, in writing, or by e-mail, in the right way to the audience.
Teamwork – being a constructive team member, contributing practically to the success of the team.
Leadership – motivating and encouraging others, while taking the lead.
Initiative – seeing opportunities and setting and achieving goals.
Solving problems – thinking things through in a logical way, to work out the most important problems.  Solving problems often also includes creative thinking.
Flexibility and being able to adapt – changing and adapting to new situations.
Being self-aware – knowing your strengths and skills and having the confidence to put these across.
Commitment and motivation – having energy and enthusiasm when carrying out projects.
Interpersonal skills – relating well to others and building up good working relationships.
Numeracy – understanding and using information such as numbers, statistics and graphs.
 
Identifying the skills you have now
 
You probably already have valuable transferable skills that could make you a good candidate for a job.  Think back through the jobs you have done, your hobbies and the other things you’re involved in and, using the list above, write down the skills that you have.  Here is an example:
 
You have always worked in administration jobs in offices as part of a team, so you have good teamwork and communication skills.  In your spare time you also help run a Brownie pack.  This means that you have other skills that you can transfer to a job – initiative and leadership skills to name two.
 
However, it can sometimes be difficult to identify your own strengths. Interviews with Job centre and recruitment agencies can help.  Friends and relatives may also help.
 
Identifying skills you will need in future
 
When you’re looking at the skills you have, you may also identify areas where you’re not so strong.  There’s no need to worry about this, there are ways to develop the skills you need so you can get where you want to be.
 
First you need to decide what kind of job you want, for example hospitality.  Once you know what type of job you’d really like, do some research into the skills and experience that those jobs normally need.  Compare these to the list you have made of your transferable skills and find any gaps.  Then use the list below for suggestions on how to develop the skills you need.
 
How to develop new transferable skills
 
You can develop new skills in a variety of ways:
Doing some voluntary work
Taking part in a hobby, committee or group
Doing some part-time work
Registering with a recruitment agency and doing some temporary work
Going on a training course.
 
All if these activities can help you develop new skills and experience and they’ll boost your self-confidence too!  Remember that developing your skills helps you find work, stay in work and get further in your career.