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Use skills to find a job or change careers

CareerBuilder | December 29, 2020

Use skills to find a job or change careers

How to apply your hard-earned skills to a new industry.

Skills are the future of hiring. Employers are prioritizing a candidate’s ability more than a list of job titles mirroring an industry’s career ladder. This means it’s becoming easier to get hired and more accepted of a career path, provided there are clear links. If you can say you’re great at quickly solving problems or working within established processes, for example, and can demonstrate those skills, you’re on your way to a new gig.

Whether your industry declined due to the pandemic or you’re part of the 61% of job seekers reconsidering their current role, you can reframe your skills, expertise and knowledge to fit other jobs.

4 industries hit hard during COVID-19...and how to find a job in a new one

These all require some level of multi-tasking in a fast-paced environment and with a major customer service component. Any ability to work across teams and understand job functions other than your own, with the ability to put a customer front of mind, is valuable to any employer.

If you work in retail (or similar high-contact, public-facing roles)...

  • Skills you likely have: customer service, organization, multi-tasking in a fast-paced environment, understanding processes, working on a team, knowing what consumers want
  • How to transfer them: the theme here is going to be thinking about how you completed your job. Knowing that you have to keep tabs on your coworkers’ lunch breaks while folding t-shirts and paying attention to customers can translate to thriving in roles that require juggling projects or working across teams. If you had to be aware of shipments and products, and help drive in-store sales, your analytical and organizational skills are valuable to any team.
  • Suggestions: e-commerce jobs, warehouse fulfillment jobs, analytics roles

Related reading: 12 e-commerce jobs to consider

If you work in the service industry...

  • Skills you likely have: many of the same as retail workers, with an emphasis on customer service
  • How to transfer them: if you worked for tips, you really have to be good at working with people. And again – think about what makes you successful in this role. Are you able to communicate well with the kitchen staff and host stand to keep restaurant guests happy and operations moving? Can you quickly build relationships with strangers, for example as a bartender?
  • Suggestions: project management jobs, sales jobs, customer service jobs

If you work in hospitality, hotels or travel...

  • Skills you likely have: customer service, attention to detail, cleanliness
  • How to transfer them: these roles rely heavily on your ability to build relationships, if you’re in a public-facing capacity as a hotel concierge, flight attendant or tour guide. You need confidence, a thorough understanding of policies and processes, and the ability to essentially manage a large group of people. And the flip-side of these roles are the valuable workers who make these places and experiences enjoyable – the cleaning, cooking and wait staffs.
  • Suggestions: customer service jobs, logistics jobs, administrative jobs, sanitation roles

If you work in events and entertainment...

  • Skills you likely have: organization, logistics, creative problem-solving, attention to detail
  • How to transfer them: pulling off an event is no small feat. From understanding the vision of the host to liaising with vendors, you’re constantly bringing disparate ideas and goals together into one cohesive experience. What skills do you have that make that possible?
  • Suggestions: project management jobs, analytics roles, logistics jobs, administrative jobs

Industries that have grown or held steady throughout the pandemic:

Tools to find a job and tips to improve your skills:

Even if these roles are temporary until your industry bounces back, you absolutely have skills to bring to a new field of work.