Remember you have got options,when job hunting

One of the classic mistakes in job hunting is not recognizing your own skills. The tendency is to go for the same job again, not look for other possibilities.

The problem with that is that you're limiting your choices, in some cases severely, and reducing your chances of finding a job.

It also narrows your perspective for a career. If you want to be an accountant, there are plenty of different types of accountancy. Maybe you started off in payroll, but you don't have to confine yourself to that forever, and the better paying jobs are upscale, anyway.

In lower paying jobs, that lack of choice can be fatal, if you allow it to become normal. For every job you go for, there will be at least a couple you're missing, because the jobs have different titles, not different skills.

The term transferable skills isn't some obscure concept. A lot of skills work across a very wide range of jobs.

The obvious case would be administration. The common skills in admin cover virtually the whole spectrum of administration.

The trouble with going for generic jobs is that you may feel you don't have the basic skills, because it's a different industry.

That's not the case. Employers want skills first and foremost. They need the skills, not necessarily a track record in the industry as well. In some cases they want to train people in their own methods, which might be different from others in the industry.

If you're a great administrator, you can get a job in admin anywhere, in any industry, anywhere on Earth. Your skills are the big decider.

Figuring out where your skills can take you

Have a look at your skills list.

You'll probably have, in an office type job:

  • Computer literacy
  • Communications
  • Administration
  • Customer relations
  • Sales
  • Problem solving

OK, now-

Did you ever see a more transferable set of skills?

Those could apply to anything, any industry, anywhere. That's a particularly useful basic skill set, and you probably have most of them, if not all.

Experience in an industry counts, if it's current, and it's useful in context with the job. But it's not the only criteria, or anything like it.

A good interview, with that skill set, will establish the fact you're not going to have any particular difficulty doing the job, and you won't need to be trained in the basic stuff.

That's particularly important.

The basic training is the time consuming, expensive, mistake riddled, learning curve stuff. It takes years, and employers, understandably don't want to do that if they can avoid it.

The specific requirements of any job are a lot easier to learn if you know the basics, and any new starter will have to be taught those anyway.

So your skill set is a real asset, and you can use it to find jobs you may not have been even considering possible.

Examples of generic skills and careers are endless. Read the job ads for some totally different type of job, something you wouldn't normally apply for. See how many skills you have related to that job.

It'll soon become obvious that you're looking at jobs where you have at least the basic, and probably some of the advanced, skills.

Opportunities and career possibilities

There are always a few jobs available where you may only need some very minor additional skills to get a job, and perhaps a whole new career.

These are potentially very important opportunities..

Get in contact, ask whether you have the right skill levels, explain your position. You may find that you're a better chance than you think for the job. You may also get some useful advice, information, and some suggestions about your application.

The fact with jobs where you're almost qualified to do them is that in many cases the additional skills aren't that important.

If you have the really essential job skills, the employer may not be too worried about a bit of extra time to get you up to speed on the less important stuff. Other candidates usually aren't going to be fully covering all the skills, either.

All jobs are different in some ways. Even experienced people haven't done that particular job, when they apply for it. Some experienced people don't fit too well in some jobs, too, and that is an issue, sometimes a big one, for interviewers.

Remember another very simple point:

You won't get lost in these jobs. You do, already, know your way around most of any job using your skill set.

Have some confidence in yourself and your skills

Lack of self confidence can be a real problem for job hunters. You can talk yourself out of a job pretty easily, if you freeze up with self doubt.

It might seem bizarre, but even people who've been doing their own type of work for years can somehow convince themselves they can't go for a job.

It's one thing to see a job where you know what's involved and not go for it. It's quite another to talk yourself out of a job you can do, simply because you don't believe in your own skills.

Have some faith in your skills. You earned them.