Core Values, Traits, and Transferable Skills
We’ve now explored a bit about what you like, in terms of types of people and environments. Let’s look at you a bit further in terms of the Transferable Skills that you will be bringing with you.
Who are you in terms of skills that you want to do and skills that companies want?
Transferable Skills are ones that you can take from one experience to the next. What about your own Transferable Skills that you will bring to your next few jobs?
- Do you know clearly what they are?
- Does your resume communicate your Skills well?
- Do you know which ones you WANT to use vs. what you are good at?
We’ll keep this simple here, though this can be an area where you can richly dig into your own experiences and stories. We strongly recommend longer explorations of your skills with processes like What Color is Your Parachute. Other resources will be available on the list at the end of the program.
Companies that are hiring you are looking for what you can do with and for them. You, on the other hand, are wanting to do things that add value, that you enjoy, and that you can keep growing through doing. That may not always end up being a good match. So let’s start out figuring out what you can do that you also actually want to do in a career.
Please download the PDF that you’ll find at this link.
This worksheet about Transferable Skills is based in part on lists from the NACE (The National Association of Colleges and Employers) on skills that employers have expressed they are seeking.
This is a LONG list of skills and attributes that are Transferable Skills included in the PDF. Some may be talents. Some may be ways that you work. Others may be learned skills. Employers tend to call the skills and subject matter expert areas “hard skills” and the people- and trait-based areas “soft skills.” Watch for both of these in the following exercise.
- Take that same sheet, and check off everything that you CAN do fairly well. There is a LOT on this list, so don’t be surprised that you have odd groupings and big gaps. You also might want to use one color pen for this.
- When you are done with this, take a look at it as if it is someone else’s list. Write down on a different piece of paper what this person seems to be like. What can they do well? What might an outsider think of your skillset?
- Next, take a different color pen, or a highlighter, or circle the skills that you ENJOY doing and would like to have in what you’ll be doing in the future. These should be skills that you would be happy to use on a consistent basis.
Where do these lists overlap? Are there skills you would like to be good at, but aren’t yet or don’t have evidence of yet? Things you would like to learn or try? Things you never want to do again?
Next, pick your top 10 that are on both lists or mostly on both lists. Write them down on one side of a piece of paper. Next to them, write 1-2 things that you have done so far that would be EVIDENCE to support your Transferable Skills in these areas.
Keep that list — we’re going to come back to it in a future section.
Optional — Books!
When you have time, we suggest that you explore one of several books in this regard. The full list is at the end, but our two favorite choices are:
- “What Color is Your Parachute 2023” — Richard Bolles passed away several years ago, but has been updating this series every year for 40 years. His son, Gary, along with other writers, has moved this series forward with new material, and the core exercises in this book are excellent to go through in much more detail. He also created a workbook that you can do with this program: “What Color is Your Parachute? Job-Hunter’s Workbook.”
- “Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life” — This book was developed from the very popular Stanford Mechanical Engineering Course that was taught by the authors, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. It also has an available workbook: The Designing Your Life Workbook: A Framework for Building a Life You Can Thrive In.