Transferable Skills to Succeed in Any Career

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Transferable Skills to Succeed in Any Career

Transferable Skills to Succeed in Any Career

As the workforce development board serving Mecklenburg County, we believe that every job seeker can develop the skills necessary to become competitive and productive members of the workforce. While many jobs require skills specific to that role, there are several “transferable” skills because they are beneficial in almost every sector. Whether you are looking to grow in your current position or want to switch to a new career field, these are skills that you will need to develop to succeed. Our goal with this article is to give you an overview of what some of these transferable skills are and how you can develop them.

Job Skills for the Future

These skills were determined by looking at the most mentioned skills from all job industries, in the positions with the highest expected growth over the next ten years in Mecklenburg County. So, they are not only currently in demand, but also what employers will desire in the future. In job postings from the last twelve months, in Mecklenburg County, these skills were mentioned over 170,000 times. It is also worth noting that these skills are not only useful in the workplace but will also benefit you outside of work too.

Because these topics have mountains of information available, I will briefly talk about them and provide resources for learning more. A good thing is these skills are not exclusive and improving one will help improve the others too. This is not a comprehensive list, and it is worth it to spend more time researching any of these topics in more depth.

The first three skills can be considered common skills and are related to customer service, communication, and sales. The last set of skills can be considered computer skills and will focus on some of the most desired Microsoft Office applications: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook.

Customer Service Skills

The first type of skills we will discuss are related to customer service. describes customer service skills as,

“the skills necessary to communicate with others, solve problems, demonstrate patience and understanding, ensure customer satisfaction, and resolve customer complaints.”

These skills are typically considered to be used when working in a position that interacts with customers, but they are also useful when communicating with anybody, so they are important in most roles.

Some of the characteristics you will want to develop to improve your customer service skills are:

          • Active Listening
          • Patience
          • Empathy
          • Communication
          • Complaint Resolution
          • Problem-Solving
          • Positive Attitude
          • Friendliness

There are many resources available on how to improve these skills and Groove has this helpful blog that talks about a few.

Communication Skills

Even though we spend a lot of time communicating with others, many do not understand the complexities of this common skill. From the types (verbal, non-verbal, written) to the settings (formal, informal) to the methods (in-person, phone, text, email), there is a lot that goes into effective communication. These skills are important not only because every job will have some form of communication but also because we spend a lot of our time outside of work communicating with others.

Developing your communication skills will help you get your message across more clearly, help you to be understood by others, and show others that you care about their message.

The following list of ways to improve your communication skills is from Masterclass and you can learn more about each one here: How to Improve Your Communication Skills

          • Practice active listening.
          • Focus on nonverbal communication.
          • Manage your own emotions.
          • Ask for feedback.
          • Practice public speaking.
          • Develop a filter.

There are many great resources available for improving your communication skills, here is another from Coursera.

Sales Skills

The last set of common skills we will discuss is sales skills. Developing customer service and communication skills are two important things that can contribute to these skills, but there is more involved. You do not have to work in a sales role to benefit from these skills as they can also benefit you in other ways like increasing your chances in a job interview, getting your proposal approved, and more. So do not overlook improving your sales skills because you think you do not need them. Like the others, there is a lot of information available for improving this skill. Below is a list of tips for improving your sales skills with links to the resources that mention them.

Computer Skills: Microsoft Office

It is hard to deny that computers are a big part of our lives. As time goes on, computer use is only going to increase, with many jobs involving some level of computer use. There are many different things you can do with computers but one of the most mentioned skills employers are looking for is the ability to use Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office, soon-to-be Microsoft 365, is a collection of computer software applications with a wide range of uses. We will briefly talk about the most desired applications: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook. There are many great resources available for learning how to use each of these applications, so if you do not like one, there is likely one that you will enjoy more.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a word processor that allows you to create many different types of documents. It is used to create reports, presentations, proposals, and almost any other type of document you would need in the workplace. It can also help you land your next job because it is used to create attractive resumes and cover letters. Mecklenburg County job postings in the last 12 months mentioned this as a desired skill over 11,000 times.

Microsoft Word Training

Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint is a powerful program that allows you to create presentations and more. You can use it to create engaging presentations, that go beyond typical slide shows, with audio, video, images, and more. Mecklenburg County job postings in the last 12 months mentioned this as a desired skill over 17,000 times.

Microsoft PowerPoint Training

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is one of the most popular spreadsheet programs available. It can handle enough data to make it useful for many types of businesses. In the workplace, it is used for budgeting, data analysis, inventory tracking, and more. Mecklenburg County job postings in the last 12 months mentioned this as a desired skill almost 38,000 times.

Microsoft Excel Training

Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook is a personal information manager. It is popular in the workplace because it allows you to send and receive emails, keep track of schedules, manage to-do lists, and more. Mecklenburg County job postings in the last 12 months mentioned this as a desired skill over 13,000 times.

Microsoft Outlook Training

Start Improving Your Transferable Skills Today

When looking at the industries with the highest expected growth in Mecklenburg County, some of the most desired skills are communication, customer service, sales, and Microsoft Office. These are all learnable skills and having them as a foundation will help in your current job, finding a new position, or transferring to a new industry.

For more assistance developing job skills or finding qualified candidates, feel free to reach out to us here at


By: Ryan Nelson

Data Analyst

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