13 August 2022

How to Harness the Value of Transferrable Skills

When I think about transferable skills, I think of them as part of my career tool belt. The ability to transition from one role to another using these skills shows flexibility in an ever-changing world. I use my existing skills daily by applying them to new challenges, which demonstrate adaptability and resourcefulness (which are also transferable skills).

Every career experience has taught me to hit the ground running and it was no different when joining McGillicuddy Hospitality as Operations Administrator.

My role requires me to assist with the launches of ships, remotely – my first experience was daunting, but more so as it was the unknown. The minute I related it to my experience in the events industry, it wasn’t that unfamiliar at all.

Here are a few challenges I’ve faced arranging events, with parallels to ship launches:

During my first year on-site with the team of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, I was faced with arranging transport for 300 individuals to 12 different areas in 3 different locations and communicating this to them.

While arranging the launch of the Viking Venus, the challenge was to arrange transport to and from the hotel to the shipyard for crew members, daily.

Hotel contracts, rooming lists, services, meals, the list goes on, and regardless of the industry, the concept remains the same. All bodies involved with either the event or the ship launch needs a comfortable place to stay, do laundry, eat, and un-wind. When arranging these services, it is our duty to ensure that there are enough rooms, every attendee/ crew member/ team member is accounted for, their dietary requirements have been taken into consideration, that they are aware of what to expect and who to contact.

Reflecting on this encouraged me to identify my top 5 transferrable skills, which I use almost daily:

1. Attention to Detail

Paying attention to the finer details means I notice everything. I go through projects/ documents with a fine-tooth comb to make sure everything is correct and that nothing — no matter how small – gets lost. Being detail-oriented means our founder Darragh can count on me to pay attention to every detail with every project and catch errors and correct them as needed. It also means that I’m intentional about how projects are executed and there’s strong reasoning.

2. Adaptability

Many times during my role, I find myself having to adjust due dates, workflow, and even how I approach my job. In some cases, I may need to learn new skills to help get the job done. Adapting to change proves that I’m able to go with the flow while maintaining a positive attitude and getting my work done.

3. Problem-Solving Skills

My problem-solving skills don’t only help me identify when there is a problem, but they also helps me identify what is causing the problem, so that I can find a way to implement a solution. Being empowered by Darragh helps a great deal as most times, the solution is shared with him and he approves, this helps with identifying bottlenecks and inefficiencies.

4. Teamwork

Teamwork means working together as a group to achieve a common goal. But being on the team and part of the team are two separate things. The most important skill I value is helping the team accomplish its goals and not just show up. I make a positive contribution to the team to help them succeed.

5. Creativity

Creativity isn’t always about painting or drawing skills. Creativity is about how I approach tasks and solve problems. As a creative thinker, I always try to find new solutions to the problems I’m faced with. I use these skills to help the team see things differently and solve problems in new ways.

In general, employees with transferable skills have the tools that help them go beyond their job description. Perhaps the most important aspect of these transferable skills is that they are mine to keep. No matter where my career takes me or where I choose to take my career, the transferable skills I develop will always be there, helping me adapt, change, and grow professionally.