It may have been the job that got you through college or circumstances out of your control are forcing you to pivot; but jobs in hospitality and the service industry are some of the best for developing a variety of highly marketable skills that transfer into the career of your dreams.
What are “transferable skills”? Also known as “portable skills,” transferable skills are qualities that can be transferred from one job to another. You likely already possess many of the top skills employers are looking for from your time working in the service industry.
The top 8 skills learned in the service industry are:
- Communication – Are you able to clearly and effectively communicate both written and verbally? Good communication is fundamental in the workplace. Your experience servicing a variety of customers with unique needs and personality traits has helped you refine your communication skills. The ability to communicate, both written and orally, is highly valuable to any employer in a wide array of industries.
- Active Listening – Do you listen to your customers well? In the hospitality industry, active listening is very important to providing high quality service to your customers. Active listening involves listening with all senses and indicates you are fully concentrating on what is being said. Employers, colleagues and customers will all appreciate your ability to effectively listen to what they are saying.
- Problem Solving/Crisis Management – Are you solutions-focused when things aren’t going right? You’ve likely encountered a displeased customer or had to handle a product that wasn’t quite right. Knowing what to do or how to respond when in these situations develops your problem solving skills. Demonstrating the ability to be a solutions-focused employee when faced with adversity is a highly desired skill that is universally useful.
- Multi-tasking/Time Management – Can you work effectively being pulled in different directions? Many employers seek employees who can wear many hats and juggle a variety of tasks while keeping focused on what needs to get done. You’re likely accustomed to being pulled in many directions, all while servicing your customer with attentiveness and a smile. Strength in multi-tasking is applicable for working in any profession.
- Teamwork/Collaboration – Can you work well with others? While working in the hospitality or service industries, your ability to work well with others is what ensured good service and a good product for your customer. Demonstrating collaborative teamwork skills is essential for success in many professional environments.
- Leadership – Have you successfully led a team? If you held a leadership position or performed leadership roles while in your hospitality or service industry job, set you apart from other job candidates. Leadership experience is a skill that will help you in your next role.
- Teaching/Training – Have you ever trained new teammates? It demonstrates mastery in your job to be able to teach another how to do it. If you have trained others in how to do the job they were hired to do, highlight your ability to teach and train on your resume.
- Results Orientation – Can you tie your performance to the bottom line and demonstrate ROI? Employers like to see that while performing your duties, you kept an eye on the bottom line. Being able to tie your performance of your job to the overall performance of the company shows you are focused on results and ROI.
Where Do These Skills Transfer?
Much of what you’ve already learned can be applied to many different career fields. If you’re experienced primarily in servicing customers, an entry level careers in the Information Technology Field is a great place to start with endless career advancement possibilities.
If you have retail or food service experience, beginning a career in sales and marketing could be the launchpad you’re looking for.
If you don’t know where to start or how your skills can apply to a future career, start with a career assessment and see what careers match your interests.