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I mastered the courage to go for the job, having graduated just about 3 weeks earlier. I went to the receptionist and asked to see the Managing Director. She ushered me in to the office of an elderly man who was kind enough to give me a hearing. I told him I had just graduated with a bachelor of commerce degree with accounting major and someone informed me that his esteemed company was looking to fill the position of an Accountant which had fallen vacant. “You have no experience to do the job” he said. I was taken aback but gathered the courage and replied “if no one is willing to give me an opportunity to gain experience, how will I ever get any experience?” Proving that I could perform without prior work place experience was the door way to my first job.
The lack of relevant experience for a job is a challenge to many a graduate or job seeker. I have learned how to go around this challenge since then. #IfIWere22, I would look for transferable skills that I have and use them to bridge my supposed lack of experience. In this particular job for instance, they managed their books of accounts using QuickBooks Accounting software. I had neither heard of nor used QuickBooks Accounting software before. However I had enrolled for a computer course and I was being trained how to use MS Word, Excel and Access. I told the interviewer about my computer skills and how I can use the exposure to easily learn how to use QuickBooks. I have since grown to be a Financial Management Consultant and QuickBooks Trainer.
My CV or previous job description may not be an exact match to what my potential employer's job description states. This could be because I have not yet had an opportunity to apply all my inherent and acquired skills in the positions thus far held. What I would do is to demonstrate my #transferableskills from the sum total of my life experiences. I specifically say life experiences and not job/work experience because there are numerous sources of transferable skills (administrative, organizational, leadership, team building, strategic planning, relationship management, customer care), that can be derived from volunteer causes, community activities, membership groups, hobbies and even from home as a parent, a spouse, a sibling.......
Top 10 Employability-Transferable-Essential Skills
According to Career Notes, Employment Skills = Transferable Skills = Essential Skills. The top ten are:
|1. Communication Skills||6. Learning Skills|
|2. Teamwork Skills||7. Computer Skills|
|3. Time Management Skills||8. Listening Skills|
|4. Problem-Solving Skills||9. Creativity Skills|
|5. Organization Skills||10. Leadership Skills.|
The Community Employment Services also provides a Checklist of transferable skills that you can take with you from one situation to another, from one job to another.
Your Hidden Skills
We all have skills that we take for granted and do not think can be useful to the work place. You can identify your hidden skills and use them to market yourself.
|If you think you are .....||Then say this to an employer ...|
|Too compulsive: Your friends think you're nuts because everything in your locker is in alphabetical order.||Too compulsive? I have strong organization skills and an ability to plan ahead. I always do a thorough job.|
|Too argumentative: You always tell people exactly what you think and feel - even if it's about them?||Too argumentative? I'm very confident and deal with issues directly. I enjoy taking on a challenge.|
|Too lazy: You always start essays the night before they're due. If there's a reason not to do something you'll find it.||Too lazy? I can work with short deadlines and under pressure.|
|Too loud: When you talk, people can't help but hear you - you love being the centre of attention.||Too loud? I'm enthusiastic and outgoing. I interact easily with groups.|
|Too stubborn: You hate to back down and don't like to admit when you're wrong.||Too stubborn? I'm persistent. I always carry a project through to the end.|
|Too talkative: No one can get a word in when you're in the conversation - you are the conversation!||Too talkative? I'm articulate and enjoy public speaking. I'm persuasive and present my ideas well.|
|Too weird: You dance to a different beat and do things your own way.||Too weird? I'm innovative and can always offer a fresh perspective. I enjoy taking the initiative.|
|Too indifferent: You never seem to have a strong opinion and just can't get excited about anything.||Too indifferent? I'm adaptable and can be counted on to stay calm in stressful situations.|
|Too sensitive: You take everything to heart.||Too sensitive? I'm a caring, perceptive person with strong people skills and a desire to please others.|
|Too serious: Everything is important. You never seem to relax.||Too serious? I'm a careful and reliable person. I'm good at considering all the options.|
|Too extreme: You always overreact - every event in your life seems to be out of a soap opera.||Too extreme? I'm imaginative. My creativity leads to good ideas.|
|Too shy: Meeting new people makes you really nervous - you end up doing most things alone.||Too shy? I'm self-motivated. I work well independently and need little supervision.|
Which transferable skills have worked for you?
This post was inspired by LinkedIn #IfIWere22 Series, you can see other readers comments on this link https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20140602134042-70681999-when-you-have-no-work-place-experience-consider-your-transferable-skills?trk=mp-reader-card