Building Transferable Skills

Hi there,

Welcome to another edition of Simpler Sundays, a newsletter aimed at giving you a dose of relaxed reading at the end of the week. This is the 24th edition of Simpler Sundays. If you’d like any of your friends or family to subscribe to this newsletter, you can share this link. That said, let’s begin this week’s newsletter.

This week, we are talking about ‘Transferable Skills’.

What are transferable skills? Why should I care about building them?

Let’s start by talking about the most famous man on Earth right now (and probably on Mars as well) – Elon Musk.

Do you ever wonder how Elon manages to do so much? Although he’s essentially known for his electric vehicle company – Tesla, there is so much more that he’s into.

He first rose to prominence with PayPal and then founded SpaceX, an aerospace manufacture and space transport company. Some other notable companies that he created include Neuralink, OpenAI, SolarCity, The Boring Company, and Hyperloop.

These companies operate in significantly diverse domains. How did Elon do that? How did he manage to excel in multiple domains that are so widely different from each other?

There are of course numerous factors. However, one essential factor is ‘Transferable Skills’. Let’s understand what transferable skills are.

Simply put, these are abilities, expertise, or skills that can be used in a variety of roles or occupations.

Think of skills like communication, leadership, time management, problem-solving capability, work ethic, and self-control, etc. Skills like these can be used as effectively in one domain as they can be in others.

The specifics of a job may change but the underlying principles remain the same.

  • Irrespective of which job profile you work in, it’s important to effectively manage your time to be successful.
  • Communication will help you in any field whether that’s science, marketing, or finance.
  • Leadership and team-management will serve you irrespective of which industry you operate in.

Since we live in a highly dynamic world, things change pretty quickly. What works today might not work tomorrow. The Covid-19 pandemic showed us how vulnerable our jobs are.

That is why we must focus on building transferable skills along with our core skills. This is what helped many people seamlessly transition to different domains during the pandemic.

Software development, graphic designing, or content writing are skills that are valuable and have specific applications. But these are limited to specific domains. A software engineer can’t do well in a finance company if he only knows software development.

Therefore, having transferrable skills can help you remain competitive and adjustable. If you have a strong work ethic, discipline, and the desire to learn then you can succeed in almost any field. A software developer can flourish in a finance role if he has the right attitude, a willingness to learn, and a sharp mind.

Think of all the CEOs, CIOs, or CTOs. These are the people who are not necessarily the smartest guys in their companies. They are not necessarily domain experts. However, they have sufficient cross-functional experience that makes them capable of handling teams and leading organizations.

What are some transferable skills that you can think of in your domain? Hit the reply button and let me know.


That’s all for this week. Next time, I’ll take up another question and try to share my perspective on it.

See you next time. Stay safe and take care.

With love,
Shikhil Vyas

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