How Do I Translate My Skills into New Work?

April 12, 2021

This month I am talking about transitions.

A lot of people have been reaching out to me to discuss the idea of transitioning into a new career. With people having some time to reflect, they are contemplating going into a totally new line of work and they are realizing they want to do things differently. They’re in this place where they’re starting to wonder what it looks like to transition into new work.

I thought it would be a great idea to share some ideas for transitioning into new work in a way that is purposeful. And THAT is why so many people are calling me: they know they don’t want to do just anything and nobody should be doing just anything. You want to be doing things that are going to feed your soul, the things that are really going to feed who you are as an individual and leave a positive impact in the world.

Transition your skills

Let’s talk about transitioning your current skills into a completely new role. I had a client that came to me for this exact reason. She wanted to know how she was going to move herself forward in an area that was completely different from her current one. So, I walked her through a very simple exercise, and if you find yourself in this space, I would encourage you to do it, too!


the exercise

First, I want you to create three columns.

In the first column, I want you to write down all of your current skills: the things that you are really good at, the things that you love to do, and the things that you are doing in your current work.

In the second column, write down all of the skills that you think you need to have for your next role; what skills would it demand of you, and what skills will you have to learn and grow in.

Then I want you to compare the two columns. In the third column, write down all of the skills that are left--the ones that didn’t repeat in the first two columns. These are the areas where there's no overlap between your current role and the role you desire. 


Deal with your gaps

What often happens is that the two skill sets aren’t all that different. Some tweaking may be necessary to make your skills fit the new role, but essentially you have the foundation.

If we look at what’s left over in the third column, we’re able to build out some ideas about how you transition into other work. When you look at the leftover skills that came from the first column, you get to decide how you can use these skills as assets. You want to look at these skills as add-ons.

When you look at the leftover skills from the second column, the skills you need, we look at them and ask ourselves, “How do I get those?” What does obtaining these new skills look like? Am I taking an online class, shadowing somebody, having a conversation, or reading some books?

Now you’re able to look at your current skills and see how you can use them as leverage, but you also discover the new skills you need to obtain to remain competitive in the new work.


let's connect

If you’ve found yourself in this space of transition and you want to work through this with me, shoot me an email. I’d love to be able to work through this with you.


Hustle with Purpose!


Editor's Note: This post was originally published in June 2020 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.


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