Why your new job needn’t be in the same industry

Gee Foottit, from St. James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy, explains how to do it.

changing job transferable skills


It can be quite a poignant moment when you realise that the passion that you have for your current career is unlikely to last the test of time. Perhaps the end of your working life seems like a distant prospect or perhaps you’re itching to find purpose in your career and a change has been on the cards for a while.

The decision to switch careers can be a daunting one – swapping one successful role for another may seem like the dream that’s out of reach. But it doesn’t have to be. With the right approach and mindset, you can successfully transition into a new career that aligns with your interests, values, and goals.

So how did they do it?  

One key to making a successful career change is to focus on your transferable skills. Transferable skills are skills you’ve developed in your previous roles and industries that are attractive to new roles and industries. These skills include problem-solving, time management, communication, leadership, and teamwork.

By identifying and highlighting your transferable skills in your job search, you can demonstrate to potential employers from other industries that you have the skills and experience necessary to succeed in a new role. 

For example, Sean Briggs, adviser at Connected Financial Management, decided to pivot his career with the St. James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy after a career as a mental health specialist. Sean describes himself as a people person – he knew that whichever role he transitioned into, it would have to be people focused. Drawing on his experience from his previous career, he now applies this to financial advice. “People are surprised when they hear where I transitioned from – both roles enable me to support, understand and get to know people, as well as their families too.”

Identifying your transferable skills 

Start by listing all the tasks and responsibilities you’ve had in your previous roles. Then, think about the skills you used to complete those tasks and responsibilities. For example, if you’ve been a customer service representative, you’ve likely developed strong communication, problem-solving, and the ability to handle difficult situations.

Another way to identify your transferable skills is by creating a list of achievements and successes in your past roles. Reflect on what you did well, what you enjoyed and where you excelled. These will give you a good indication of your skillset.

Once identified, it’s time to highlight them in your CV and cover letter and during interviews. Again, use language that demonstrates how your skills can be applied to new roles and industries. For example, explain how you’ve used your skills to achieve specific results in your past roles and how you plan to use them in your new role.

Changing careers may not be an overnight process, but with time, research, and effort you can make it happen. And the reward of a career with purpose is sure to make all the effort worth it!

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