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Using transferable skills and values to bridge the gap across industries

Sandra Kelly, UK Director, People 1st International

We are all part of a changing work landscape.  What we knew and understood even just six months ago has been shaken up and is evolving before our eyes.  The new norm isn’t static, it’s shifting and continuously finding new ways to survive.  Many of us have faced redundancy before but not on this scale and not at a time when the opportunities are limited in the only industry we may have known.  Many fears and concerns are raised but we have to remember, it’s changing for everybody, not just the individual or the employer, we’re all having to adapt.

Previously we may have felt committed to working in just one industry, but this is changing.  At a rate more so now than ever before. Companies hiring over the next few years will have to completely shift their mindset when it comes to hiring.  Over 5,000 people were interviewed by Totaljobs, 23% of which expected to change their job in the next year, 50% within two years and 43% wanted something new as soon as possible.  This is potentially a lot of change, so employers have a responsibility to level the playing field and be more transparent in what they are looking for in an employee. And many are now becoming far more focused on the person and how they fit culturally with an organisation.

Individuals must take a step back and look at their whole self.  You might be excellent at organising events, but why?  Job seekers can focus less on the experience and more on the attributes that help them to excel. 

We worked closely with Jason through our Redeployment Service which helps those individuals working in hospitality and tourism to find work in other industries, such as care and logistics.  Jason was a self-employed tour guide with 20 years of experience in his field but he had no recent qualifications which affected his confidence in terms of seeking work in other industries.  After sharing his CV with us we realised it was not the best description of Jason.  We had a 20-minute chat and he completed a self-evaluation based on his values which allowed us to build a new profile for him.  Jason is highly self-motivated, incredibly confident and driven, excellent at communicating, very resilient and calm, he can think on his feet, he’s engaging, incredibly compassionate, caring yet with an authoritative nature, has tremendous attention to detail, his time keeping is spot on and he learns very quickly.  This paints a very different picture of Jason and as such we were able to position him for a very busy GP practice in London.  And that’s where he is now.

This is a fantastic example of how focusing on transferable skills and values can help individuals reach other industries and bridge a gap between job roles across sectors. Increasingly, individuals looking for work today versus 6-12 months ago have new drivers, 51% only want to join a company where they can learn new skills and new challenges, 43% want better work/life balance, 37% want more development/training opportunities, 32% seek job security and 21% want to work from home.  Employers know this too and so also have to look at other ways to market themselves in order to find the brightest and best talent. Individuals therefore need to market themselves and their transferable skills to the best of their ability.

So how should individuals looking for work best prepare? There are a number of important aspects to consider:

Do you fit well with the organisation’s culture? Are they values driven?  Do their values work well with yours?  Make sure you present yourself in a way they are receptive too.  Is a CV the best way to market yourself?  Is its content relevant to the role?  Are you using social media effectively?  As the barriers across industries are lowered your chances of gaining employment outside your area of expertise are strengthening and increasing all the time.  You are work ready.  You will have a set of life skills formed from your previous employment.  And that’s extremely valuable.  Make sure you focus and describe your skills to the best of their potential.  You’ll have innate abilities, most likely where your passion lies, where you’re touching on your intrinsic motivators – and that’s you at your best! It’s important to be able to tease this out from your previous experience, recognise your strengths and core values and shout about them. 

For individuals that have faced a very difficult last few months, like Jason, their confidence may have been knocked.  They may have found themselves in a situation they could not have predicted, and can easily lose sight of who they are because of it.  This can be really destabilising for an individual and sometimes you just need somebody to pick you back up, dust you down and give you the boost of confidence you need. 

 

If you've been affected by Covid-19 and are looking to gain skills and transition into a new role whilst the hospitality and tourism industry continues to face disruption, we can help.  Through our redeployment service, we're working in partnership with a range of organisations to redeploy people displaced from hospitality, non-food retail, travel and aviation into industries looking for staff as efficiently as possible, for as long as the disruption impacts vacancies.

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