Transferable Skills…..Where to Apply Them Today?

In the context of careers and employment, “skills” are broadly defined to include a broad range of abilities and talents, as well as technological expertise.

One could focus on skills related to communication skills (writing, presentation, etc.), computer skills, analytical skills, and any number of other attributes – some easily measurable and some more a case of perceptions.

Transferable skills are competencies learned in one environment that can easily be employed in other settings.  These are all good things to offer a prospective employer; and one does not so much “transfer” these qualities as one “applies” them.

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I perform transferable skills analyses by hand. I do not use a computer program because I can use my own brain power!

Amy’s Methodology for Transferable Skills Analysis

For a multifaceted manual, primarily paper-based transferable skills analysis, it makes good sense to use a person-centered-approach (rather than relying on procedural-based computerized software that offers only quick suggestions based on input).

Allowing for the person’s background, there are many valuable transferable skills checklists to draw out detail on past work skills that provide data for vocational consideration. Here’s one >  TRANSFERABLE SKILLS CHECKLIST

I find it useful to access Occupational Information Network referred to as O*Net  along with other vocationally specific career resources.  In addition, a good source of desirable transferable skills can be found in job postings. These research activities to collect and process all relevant, reasonable and appropriate skills that comprise the person’s capacity set the stage to justify results.

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 Setting the Stage is Just as Important as the Production

To connect the person’s transferable skills with real occupations that actually exist, I research the person’s labor market and connect with those local employers using a search strategy over time. I find this is the best medium to achieve results.

5 Steps to Take Include:

  • Examine complete work and volunteer history and any other vocationally significant background
  • Compile skill set represented by general work requirements (aptitudes, knowledge, and capacities)
  • Analyze and translate skills relative to specific occupational areas of work, which could be broad or narrow in range
  • Research other work to identify new jobs with same general work requirements and similar skills
  • Match the jobs within the data and group according to what skill is needed in various work settings/situations

But that’s not the end!

Keep in mind a job seeker wants to “fit in” with the company culturally, and this is where work style and personalities come into play. I find at times that using a personality assessment (which is concerned with the process of qualifying or describing a person’s behavior in specific circumstances) is helpful.

Linus van Pelt has Many Transferable Skills…at such a young age!

Linus is highly intelligent, so much that he totally has faith and anticipation in his own legendary being, the Great Pumpkin, and with good reason….because he refuses to be defeated.  Linus is also skilled at baseball (2nd baseman and pitcher when Charlie Brown is nonfunctional; but not so much boxing (Lucy knocks him out!)

I am fully cognizant of the fact that every industry believes that there are certain skills that apply only to their industry, but in fact it has been proven over and over again that skills are transferable across industry lines.

I have good reason to believe that Linus van Pelt would make a good construction manager! He might also be successful at being a counselor, considering he knows what it’s like to feel insecure and take action to overcome his feelings.

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Linus Would Also Make a Great Security Guard!

Here’s another Transferable Skills Worksheet (it’s pasted below as well) you can download. This one helps with interviewing for a job where you plan to apply your skills!

Transferable Skills ~ are those versatile skills that you can apply and make use of in many job situations. Below is a list of common transferable skills. Think about your own past experiences at work, school, while volunteering and through leisure activities. Describe the experiences using the STAR * Method to demonstrate you have the skill.

               * Situation        * Task you were involved in        * Action you then took                     * Result of your efforts

Work Ethic

Being punctual:

Meeting goals:

Setting high standards for self :

Produce quality projects/work:

Communication

Speaking effectively:

Writing concisely:

Listening attentively:

Perceiving non-verbal messages:

Facilitating group discussion:

 Teamwork

Willing to share credit/power:

Collaborating with others:

Including others:

Empowering others:

Managing conflict:

Representing others:

Initiative

Initiating new ideas:

Promoting change:

Accepting responsibility:

Interpersonal

Cultivating relationships:

Conveying feelings:

Perceiving feelings, situations:

 Problem-Solving

Identifying problems:

Developing evaluation strategies:

Demonstrates web-like thinking: 

Analytical

Forecasting, predicting:

Extracting important information:

Constantly learning and reflecting:

Flexibility/Adaptability

Cooperating:

Enlisting help:

Open to difference:

Detail-Oriented

Follows directions:

Gathering information:

Managing details:

Organization

Reporting information:

Coordinating tasks:

Managing time:

Setting and meeting deadlines:

Leadership

Finding a common purpose/goal:

Articulating a vision:

Motivating:

Delegating with respect:

Managing groups:

Coaching: 

 Self-Confidence

Expressing ideas:

Asserting one’s self appropriately:

Defining needs:

 Friendly/Outgoing

Being sensitive:

Providing support for others:

Counseling:

 Tactfulness

Providing appropriate feedback:

Enforcing policies:

 Creativity

Suggesting ideas:

Imagining alternatives:

Initiating new ideas:

 Strategic Planning

Identifying resources:

Setting goals:

 Entrepreneurial/Risk-Taking

Negotiating:

Persuading:

Selling ideas or products:

 Attitude/Sense of Humor

Has a positive attitude:

Optimistic:

Acting appropriately in workplace:

 

Note: The above Transferable Skills Worksheet Revised in part using information from The University of Iowa Pomerantz Career Center Career Guide 2010

 

Identifying Transferable Skills is a Fun Process. It Sets The Stage and Allow Your Production to Shine! Let me know how I can help!

Vocational Resources Plus, LLC * lcpresourcesplus.com * 515-282-7753  * VocResources@msn.com

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Simply Yet Methodically Defined…Transferable Skills Unfold During Vocational Assessment!

As a fundamental guide, I agree with and adopted a simple definition of “transferable skills” as those versatile skills that can be used effectively in a number of different roles. Good definition!

Unlike job-related skills, which tend to be used only in one type of work, transferable skills are skills that can be used in every occupation, regardless of the type of work! Source


Transferable skills are universal skills — you can transfer them from one type of work to another without much effort on your part or training from the employer (Mullins & Roesslers, 1998).

There are many dimensions to a person’s vocational capacity, and putting interests and aptitudes aside for now, the challenge is how to measure and classify hard skills (motor and cognitive) and those influential soft skills (of vital importance) in a standardized way to underline the skills of a job seeker.

Assessment Info

Because there are literally thousands of skills, my methodology highlights the most “user friendly” skills as a precursor to job placement.

I ask the job seeker to complete a transferable skills checklist, and this link takes you to one example of a useful checklist.

There are many useful checklists on the web that serve as informational aids, feel free to use which one works best. Here’s another example of a transferable skill checklist I like.

From a checklist (example of yet another!), I look for 10-20 checked items and with a focus on placement, the job seeker is encouraged to tell me their story by participating in a discussion filled with open-ended questions such as ~

Why did you check a certain attribute? How did you use that skill in a work-related situation? What where the tasks involved? Was there room for creativity? How could that skill be used in another job?

Then I ask myself research related questions, such as ~

What could change if the work appears to be unrelated to the past employment situation? How can we be sure you can be productive in a new job? Who should get to know your best transferable skills? Why would your skills be valuable to others? And so on!

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Get to the best skills through open dialogue!

I recognize the personal qualities of the job seeker and understand those transferable skills she owns in comparison to the specific job-related skills and hiring qualities employers often look for.

Assessment Info

During an evaluative interview, I continuously assess any influential “soft skills” that rise to the surface. How does the person communicate?

What is her body language telling me? Is he exhibiting an open or a closed style? And of course, the environment and the context is accounted for. I look for indicators of creativity, flexibility, change readiness, leadership, team building, and so on.

If the person is able to build rapport with me and openly discuss their work attributes, they should be able to interview well, or at least feel a degree of comfort marketing themselves and become an effective seller in a job interview [with or without job seeking skills training]. If you’d like help now, here’s a link to Job Interview Questions and Answers, a free, interactive video app that helps you practice your answers to tough interview questions in an easy-to-use mock interview format.

Once solid assessment information is gathered during the interview, through completion of vocational worksheets, along with a generic application and a self-rating scale, the individual’s educational and vocational history is processed. The assessment process continues to unfold!

Assessment Info

I detail all the occupations and job specific skills, roles and responsibilities that appear in the individual’s background and pay particular attention to those skills the individual has the capacity to reintroduce. Starting with one job or volunteer experience, I break down 3 major tasks and then divide those into skills acquired from performing that job. This process is eye-opening!

***Read on! ***

I’ve written about my background earlier in my blogging days titled ‘How did I Get into Rehab Counseling? Here’s a Little Story.’ The link I just provided sends you to the first in a series of parts of my story. But today, here’s a little bit about one of my first jobs.

 Are you using transferable skills from your past in your current career?

Did you work in the food service industry as one of your first jobs? I did and many people do! Back in the early 1980s I worked as a waitress (ugg, thankfully now food server) at a restaurant called the Red Rooster Grill (as of May 2016 she remains open to hungry customers!) on the corner of Oak and Rocksylvania in Iowa Falls. (Trivia: Iowa Falls used to be Rocksylvania!)

As a waitress, I gained many skills!

Following the methodology I describe above, here’s a chart listing the transferable skills I used at Red Rooster with the skills I continue to use in my present job many moons and late night munchies later as a vocational counselor and life care planner.

PAST EMPLOYMENT AS A FOOD SERVER:

Three Main Tasks ~

1.) Explain Menu & Suggest Menu Options to Guest (Interpersonal Skills)    

2.) Take & Place Food Order  (Marketing & Sales)

• Relay Orders to Cooking Staff (Communication & Teamwork)

3.) Deliver Food to Table (Customer Service & Quality Assurance)

• Accurately Distribute Food (Accuracy & Organization)

• Take Payment / Make Change (Accounts Payable/Receivable)

• Manage various types of payment (Invoicing & Follow-Through)  

The soft skills I acquired as a waitress were learned from serving the after Dan’s Place bar crowd (and late night drivers!) who were out in the streets after 2:00 AM. More on soft skills in another post!

Sorry!! I tried hard not to spill coffee on my customers!!

When the evaluee or the job seeker sees how simple diagramming a chart can be in relation to their transferable skills, they often become more interested in the job search and in working with me in general! Good job!

Let me know how I can help with a vocational assessment to include transferable skills! Here’s another link to a great resource for help identifying transferable skills.

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

My Dad’s Work…And Retirement!

Continuing on from my post on Father’s Day about my father Dick Prochnow, and his work….

After he was fired in 1993, even though the situation clearly was not warranted, came out of the blue, and was unjustified, dad didn’t falter.  Shortly thereafter, he applied for work at a local construction company and was hired as a laborer on a crew.  “I packed my lunch bucket and rode my bike to the worksite.  Dad’s boss at this time was about 20 years younger.  Dad (he was 60 then) did this work for three months until his next employer offered him a position.

“I did concrete work, put up metal buildings, cleaned up the messes, whatever the boss needed me to do.”

Dad was hired as a route driver for Hiland Potato Chip Company later in the year.  He was responsible to market products, increase sales, and make delivery runs to retail customers.  He set up displays and rotated products.  He took orders, tracked sales and inventory, and handled customer relations.  And, of course, he brought in new accounts.  Dad had a storage unit to house inventory and the box truck. Dick worked for “The Chippiest Chips Around” company for a year.

“I liked the freedom this job offered.”

Then John, who owned the Culligan dealership in Fort Dodge, hired him on May 1, 1994. Dad drove from Iowa Falls to Fort Dodge and back every day and worked as a service manager.  His job involved scheduling and coordinating the work for himself and two workers.  Dad did service work, installations, and delivered water softener tanks, salt and equipment to customers.  This job involved extensive customer service skills.

One important detail that I didn’t write about in last week’s post was the fact that the tanks weighed 80-160 pounds.  A dolly or a sling was used to move them, which often included maneuvering the tanks down a flight of steps into a customer’s basement.  Nowadays the tanks are about half the weight (which leads me to another topic for a future blog – lifting and  accommodations.)

At age 65, dad retired.  Party!

Dad also, for about 5 years during the earlier years of working for Culligan in Iowa Falls, held a weekend job.  He delivered The Des Moines Sunday Register to rural customers throughout Hardin County.  In early pre-dawn hours, dad picked up between 10-12 bundles of newspaper (20 newspaper per bundle) at the local convenience store,  KerrMcGee (Kum & Go), loaded his front seat and the truck bed; and off he went driving his white Chevy Luv Truck.

The “Luv” Truck had a ton of miles on it!

If you click on the link for Kum &Go, I’ve posted Tony Gentle’s obituary. It’s a good read, titled Gentle’s Career of Hard Work. He was a great support of Iowa Falls, and of course founder of Kum & Go (Iowa Falls was home to the first “KerrMcGee” – what it was called back then.  Tony was one of my dad’s work references.

This job involved major league stamina.  I filled in once or so for him, and I have no idea how he could get up so early on a Sunday morning, drive all over the country to deliver Sunday papers.  The skills with this job include, of course, driving, along with mapping, time management, customer service, counting and delivery.   It was, of course, dark.  The gravel roads could lead anywhere.  But Dad knew what he was doing.

Even when it came to which dog’s bark was way worse than any bite.

You know, all this time Ann was working too.  On to my mom and her career in another post!  A side note, dad, how did you work all through the night and still stay awake for Sunday morning mass?  Or were you faking it? No, not with your snoring capacity.

Have a great week!

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce.

 

 

 

How My Past has Brought Me to The Present! Part 12

I continue to blog about recollections while attending Iowa State University in the mid-1990s.  Seems like yesterday I was on campus, but alas, time has taken us all much into the future…and it is fun to have fond memories.

In the Spring of 1993, I took 12 credits.  The courses were:  Legal Environment of Business, Business and Social Science Calculus, Business Organization and Management, Principles of Marketing.  I remember these classes (in an earlier post I praised the tutor I hired to get me through the Calculus course).  After this semester, I realized – hey these courses don’t really trip my trigger (other than the legal business course).

As I wrote about in my blog post on January 16, 2012 –  Part 9 I switched my major to Community Health Education.  In a very small nutshell ~ we’ll say a filbert ~

Health Education enhances the quality of life for all people.  For more detail, please click here – What is CHE?  I was very happy to find this major, it really fit in well with my interests, personality and learning style preference.

Now with a new academic outlook, I signed up for 17 credits in the Fall of 1993.  My courses were:  Principles of Biology, Emergency Health Care, Personal & Consumer Health, Drug Education, Individual and Family Life Development and Normal Personality.  All As and Bs, well and a C in biology.  GPA is 3.24.

I worked really hard for my grade in the biology course – which included a class and a lab.  Making my stains, focusing my microscope, studying those micro-organisms, memorizing scientific names, working with my biology partner, turning in lab work and taking tests…  I was genuinely trying to be positive about the whole course – but not really “getting” what I think I was supposed to be “getting” Get what I’m getting at?

Do you learn best by hearing someone say something?  By seeing it written down in words?  By studying diagrams or pictures?  By doing it yourself, or with a partner?  All of these ways of learning can be useful, but most people don’t have a clue about the best way for them to learn. The key to passing many a course at the college level (or to find success at tackling a project at work) is to first figure out how you learn.   Then apply that information to how the instructor structures the course (or you supervisor or team members are structuring the project.)

I recommend you get to know your own learning style to figure out how you “get things”. Take a minute or two to take this short VARK questionnaire that provides you with a profile of your learning preferences.  Here is a link to more information about VARK

I took the questionnaire and my scores were:

Visual: 3

Aural: 1

Read/Write:  4

Kinesthetic:  7

I have a kinesthetic learning style preference according to the test.

You can also look at the various studying strategies available on that VARK website to find some that work best for each of these learning styles.  I hope this is helpful….even if you are no longer a college student. For more information about your learning style,  see good old Wikipedia – I learn from it!

If you work like I work, you learn something new every day.  I personally like to learn (or to memorize) using a  double “clip art with acronym” method.  For example and this is one we all know.  What are the seven conventional colors of the rainbow?

Roy G Biv ~ You have a visual in two ways!

Stay tuned, for part 13 of “my story” and how I mix up my thoughts on work, life, love and passions as a rehab counselor.  Next week I’ll write about how I used FAT to teach.

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How My Past Has Brought Me to The Present! Max the Manx, Something New and The Flood! Part 10

Original blog publication Jan 23, 2012 @ 06:00

January 1993.  All is going well, traveling back and forth to ISU, learning, raising a child, enjoying married life…and having my lovable cat Max (the Manx at my side.)

  

Max

Then once upon a time, Randy and I started to get an idea……and started to explore our options….  Seemed the right time (trust your instincts people!)  We were both employed (he at DMPS and me at CorVel).  We both felt as we needed a change.  Something new, different, exciting…. So we decided to look around … at houses!

We placed our mobile home “aka trailer #47” (Southridge Estates, behind Southridge Mall) up for sale.  We planned to sell it on our own.  But (and a big but), the owners of the trailer court – one woman in particular, caused all sorts of heart, time and money aches for us.

She was ONE BAD APPLE.  Money hungry, greedy, selfish, whatever her problem was, revealing a wicked personality and unethical business style.

I’ve always been a “pretty good guesser” of a person’s personality. Personality is the particular combination of emotional, attitudinal, and behavioral response patterns of an individual.  I prefer to use personality assessments when working directly with placement clients as it provides information that is useful for discussion purposes allowing a counseling relationship to grow.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is popular to find out your “type“.  The MBTI is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.  It is valuable to use when making career decisions.   If you haven’t taken it for yourself, please do!  (It costs, and my link above just gives an overview of it.)

Any guesses on what “type” I am?  You are right!

I am an ENTP – Extraverted Intuition with Thinking

Quick, ingenious, stimulating, alert, and outspoken. Resourceful in solving new and challenging problems.  Adept at generating conceptual possibilities and then analyzing them strategically.  Good at reading other people.  Bored by routine, will seldom do the same thing the same way, apt to turn to one new interest after another.

Click here for a great free personality assessment.  This test is based on Carl Jung and Isabel Briggs Myers typological approach to personality.

Anywhoo, we looked at many houses.  Thanks to our realtor DeAnn Lee of Iowa Realty, we found the perfect home.  Right during the Floods of 1993.  We had just put in a bid for the house……and yes.  Our great city came to a standstill.  What a horrible and scary time.

I just paused from writing to locate the paperback book I own titled Iowa’s Lost Summer:  The Flood of 1993 published by The Des Moines Register.  The book was dedicated to the memory of Spc. Steven M. West, 30, a National Guard soldier from Ogden, Iowa, who was electrocuted July 16, 1993, while on duty in Des Moines.  He was erecting an antenna to allow communications with water trucks when the antenna touched a high-power line.  This book has incredible stories and vivid pictures.   You can buy it on Amazon.com

 Iowa’s Lost Summer – The Flood of 1993

My boy Nick, age 3, loved to swim/lounge/splash about in the plastic swimming pool on the back deck of the trailer.  Luckily, I had not emptied it again lately.  Recall it intensely rained cats and dogs for how many days straight…like 15+? When the Des Moines Water Works was submerged by flood waters (July 11, 1993), the water went out in the City.  My little family was one of 250,000 people without running water for 12 days.

Thank goodness it was completely full of rain water.

I used this rain water from our blue plastic pool for many purposes – a biggie was to flush the toilet, and yes even to take a bath.  It was boiled and used to wash dishes, and to clean up.  Looking back, I remember taking a bath with about a gallon of water.  Pretty impressive thinking how much water one can use daily.  Remember the silver cans of drinking water distributed by Budweiser?  Looking back, I lot of people really helped a lot of people.

Randy did a lot of volunteering – can anyone say sandbagging is fun? I volunteered some, but not nearly as much as he did.  (BTW, during the summer of 93, Randy was taking courses up at ISU – getting on track for his master’s degree!….I’ll get to him in a post soon!

Randy forfeited going to class in Ames to sandbag….

After all settled down, to some degree, and life returned to normal to some degree (what’s normal life??!!), the mobile home sold.  I’m glad I have pictures of my canary yellow 1970 Champion home for over four years.  We moved into our first house.  (Well, we had our stuff stored and stayed with Randy’s parents in Saylorville for a while due to timing issues.)  We have a ranch!   3 bedrooms.  A garage!  OMG – a basement!  And a fenced in backyard!  It was October 1993.

Stay tuned, I hope you are enjoying my posts!  Comments are welcome.  I’ve had plenty of spam, so would really like some healthy comments from real people!

On to Part 11!

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Client or Customer? Both are Equally Valuable!

I consider the job seeker as my client, and the business entity (eg: an employer or a service provider) as the customer. I have  job placement services available for the client. Typically my clients are people who have already worked and are now on a path for new work opportunities.

Matching People With Their World of WorkMatching People With Their World of Work

My philosophy regarding placement is to individualize services to match the job seeker within his or her own world of work. Although we all comprise the working world, we each have our own niche that can be as far and wide or narrow and slim as our talent can go.

I focus in on which job search tools my placement client can use to benefit their own natural style of communication. Being able to describe yourself in a way that answers questions during an interview while showing your personality is valuable.

You have to understand your transferable skills and believe you can apply them in many different settings and situations (and make make $ to boot!). Believe in yourself first, and then build a market profile of yourself. And start the sale!

It’s a matter of expression to picture your skills as valuable, marketable and on sale to the best buyer!

On the other consulting side of my business, I have services available for the customer. One such service is job analysis.  A job analysis is a process to identify and determine in detail the particular functional duties and requirements and the relative importance of them for a given job. An important concept of a job analysis is that the analysis is conducted of the job, not the person.

While job analysis data may be collected from incumbents through interviews or questionnaires, the product of the analysis is a description or specifications of the job, and again, not a description of the person.

A job analysis that includes accommodation options has helped when the client is already an employee (and has an illness or injury leading to questions about ability to do the job) and a decision needs to made whether the best option is to retain or release the employee from permanent employment.

Judgments are made using data collected regarding the job and / or a variety of jobs with similar components. And then I can provide expert testimony based on the data and my opinion of the person’s place within his or her own working world.

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I like customers and clients equally and promise to serve all people to the best of my ability.

Call me, Amy, at 515-282-7753 or email vocresources@gmail.com should you want me to help you with your clients.

 

___________________

 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.