Women’s History Month: 5 Ways to Draw From Diverse Experiences for Job-Seeking Success

Five areas of transferable skills that can upgrade your marketability

NWBC advancing the women's entrepreneurship agenda

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In terms of employment, women face unique challenges that their male counterparts don’t. Disparities still exist when it comes to salary and top-title jobs, and though they are faring better than men in regaining jobs, they still struggle to make ends meet as primary heads of household.

Ford R. Myers, career coach and author of Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring,” encourages job seekers to draw from their diversity of experiences–whether on the job or in their personal lives—when applying for new employment. These “transferable skills,” especially for women who often wear hats of mom, girlfriend, wife, philanthropist and business powerhouse, can be valuable in seeking new career opportunities.

Myers divides these skills into five general areas:

1.   Communication: Writes clearly and concisely, speaks effectively, listens attentively, openly expresses ideas, negotiates/resolves differences, leads group discussions, provides feedback, persuades others, provides well-thought out solutions, gathers appropriate information, confidently speaks in public

2.   Interpersonal Skills:  Works well with others, sensitive, supportive, motivates others, shares credit, counsels, cooperates, delegates effectively, represents others, understands feelings, self-confident, accepts responsibility

3.   Research and Planning: Forecasts/predicts, creates ideas, identifies problems, meets goals, identifies resources, gathers information, solves problems, defines needs, analyzes issues, develops strategies, assesses situations

4.   Organizational Skills: Handles details, coordinates tasks, punctual, manages projects effectively, meets deadlines, sets goals, controls budgets, plans and arranges activities, multi-tasks

5,   Management Skills: Leads groups, teaches/trains/instructs, counsels/coaches, manages conflict, delegates responsibility, makes decisions, directs others, implements decisions, enforces policies, takes charge

“My hope is that this International Women’s Day will encourage female job seekers to really think about the professional skills they’ve developed in all the facets of their lives, not just from years of on-the-job experience,” adds Myers.

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