Job-specific skills are usually specialised. For example, if you are trained as an accountant, your core skills are in managing accounts comprehensively.
Simple as it may sound, your competency should include writing up accounts according to current regulatory requirements and in compliance with other organisational requirements and business practices. You should also be familiar with auditing procedures, besides knowing the needs of others with respect to accounts. In short, you should be an expert in the subject of accounts management.
Job-specific skills therefore, take much training and practice before you can claim that you have reached a sufficient level of competency to be considered proficient.
Most trades and professions take between one to five years of varied experience before you can be considered for a supervisory or managerial role to lead or train others. This is also dependent on your ability to understand and grasp the issues related to those specific skills.
These are the abilities you have that can be used in different jobs. For example, the expertise needed to be an accountant in the manufacturing industry is very different from that of the service industry.
While the basics and principles are the same, the application and environment are quite different. This also means there is a change in priorities and focus. Consequently, you may have to learn different industry practices and requirements when you change your job.
Therefore, be familiar with the differences if you are considering an industry switch. Be aware how you can make your skills transferable.
Before you apply
When you change your job, you are highly unlikely to find a job that is an exact duplicate of your previous one. So, before writing a resumé or attending an interview, reflect carefully and critically on the transferability of your skills to the job you are applying for, and how your past experience and expertise can bring value to it.
It may take a lot of thought and practice, but if you do it well, the job could be yours!
Article contributed by Dawn Plunkett, branch manager at the International Plaza Branch of Kelly Services, a worldwide leader in offering staffing solutions, including temporary staffing services, staff leasing, outsourcing, vendor on-site and full-time placement.