Are technical skills transferable

Transferable Skills

Differentiation between hard skills and soft skills

A well-known competency model differentiates between specialist, method, social and personal competencies. In doing so, we can simplify the subject and, in some cases, also assign the methodological competence to the so-called hard skills. We refer to social and personal skills as well as to some of the methodological skills as soft skills. The more we move from left to right on this list, the more it is about transferable skills. Transferable means that skills can be applied equally in different functions and / or industries. The specialist knowledge is most strongly tied to certain functions. Programming skills, for example, can only be used in computer science. In contrast, the social skills empathy and communication skills are applied both to an IT project manager and to a property seller. The personal skills can be used even more broadly. Discipline, perseverance or resilience bring benefits in practically all activities. For this reason, the same strengths - we can summarize these as soft skills - can be found in the advertisements for a wide variety of positions.

Transferable skills and lateral shifting

People change jobs much more often than before. With that, transferable skills have become more important. They are less important when you change your traditional field of activity than when you move from one side to the other. In most cases, the transferable soft skills are not sufficient as an argument for recruitment. The gap in technical and methodological skills should not be too large, especially for higher-skilled positions. Most applicants bring more than they know. Let's take an IT project manager who wants to switch to the sale of technical equipment as an example. At first glance, these are different positions and no correspondence is visible. However, a closer analysis shows that the candidate was also involved in the sale of IT projects. The sales processes are similar (methodological competence). In addition to IT, he also has a good technical understanding (professional competence) and sales skills (social competence). So employment is realistic. Often, however, lateral shifts do not succeed because applicants do not know their transferable skills.

Related topics: hard skills, soft skills, strengths, weaknesses, positioning

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For companies: outplacement, location assessment for employees
For private individuals: application coaching, job interview training, position assessment