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How To Help Leverage Existing Skills Of An Employee Who Recently Changed Careers

Friday, September 13, 2019   (0 Comments)
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How To Help Leverage Existing Skills Of An Employee Who Recently Changed Careers

For your business to succeed, it’s important to have happy, engaged, and confident employees. Confidence is directly correlated to better workplace performance – so empowering your employees to feel great about their performance and their skills is key for building a better company.

This is especially important when it comes to new employees, particularly for workers who are in a very new or different role, compared to their previous position. To help bolster the confidence of a new employee who recently changed careers, it’s important to identify their transferable skills – and how these skills can help them in their new position, and in the future of their career. Learn more below.

What Are Transferable Skills?

The precise transferable skills of each employee will vary depending on their role, industry, seniority, and other such details. But there are some general transferable skills that will be applicable to almost any position – regardless of the above factors. These include:

 Communication – Great communication skills are at the heart of proper teamwork, and can be developed in almost any position.


 Organization – The ability to organize projects, busy schedules, other workers and other such things is extremely powerful.


  Leadership – Workers in every position can build better leadership skills, and these skills translate to better team performance, unity, and other such benefits.


 Teamwork – A great employee is a great team member. No company can thrive on its own, and team players are extremely valuable in every industry and position.


 Dependability – Employees who can always perform their duties on time, be punctual, and be relied upon in critical situations are a great asset for any company.


● Technological Literacy – General technological literacy – understanding how technology works in a business setting – is one of the most important transferable skills in our modern, technologically-sophisticated workforce.


 Adaptability – The ability to meet new challenges, adapt to them, and understand how to approach them is very important for employees who are working in challenging environments.

By identifying transferable skills in your employees and helping them understand how they can excel in their new position, you can boost their confidence – and their performance.

How To Identify These Transferable Skills

If you have an employee who is not feeling confident, and you are looking to identify their best transferable skills, there are a few different ways you can help them figure out where their strengths lie.

You should start by simply speaking with that employee about their responsibilities in their previous career. Ask them about what they did on a day-to-day basis – questions like:

 What did you do on a day-to-day basis in your position?

 Did you interact with other people and customers often, or were you more independent and “behind-the-scenes?”

 Did you have a leadership role? If not, were you good at following the directions and instructions of your leader?

 What software and hardware programs did you use?

 What are the “shining moments” that you were the proudest of in your previous role?

 What was your greatest challenge in your old job, and how did you overcome it?

 Did you ever take an innovative approach to a complicated problem, and find a solution?


As you speak with your employee and learn more about them and their past role, you’re sure to pick up on the transferable skills that they have.

How To Make These Transferable Skills Come To Life

Even after you’ve taken the time to learn more about your employee’s transferable skills, you need to do more than just write them down and talk to your employee about them – you need to show them how their new career is bringing their transferable skills to life.

You can do this by relating their previous skills to their new role. You can make your employee feel confident with their new responsibilities by showing how their most-developed transferable skills can be used in their new position – and giving them concrete examples.

 If an employee used to work in sales and is now in a client-facing role – like customer service – you can emphasize how they can use the communication skills they developed in sales to excel in their new position.

 If an employee used to work as an assistant for someone else, and has moved to a management role, you can point out how their organization and dependability skills have transferred to their new role.

 If an employee used to work in research and spent time analyzing and researching data for content, and has moved into a position where they are responsible for creating content, they can use the analytical skills they developed to easily discover new pieces of content to create.

By using these examples, you can show your employee that they have the skills they need to excel – even if their responsibilities have changed. And if your employee shows a desire to grow their skills even further, you may be able to take other steps – like offering them the ability to continue their education in a community college, online school, or even through internal corporate training.

If you’ve been thinking about joining an HR association, but you’re not sure that it’s right for you, we would encourage you to take the time to explore the associations near you, such as the San Diego SHRM, or other local HR associations. Anyone studying human resources management should consider HR associations to be a valuable personal and professional tool – so start exploring your options today, and learn more.

This post was written in partnership with Ashford University, who offers 80+ degree programs, including a Bachelor’s in Human Resources and a Master in Human Resources. Visit their website to learn more.

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