Learn About YOUR Transferable Skills!

I told my kids not long ago that under no circumstances should my obituary include the word “lawyer.” “Problem-solver” and “servant leader”… maybe. They were much more accurate. Not that I wasn’t proud of being a McGill grad (BCL and LLB 1985) or my time in private practice or as General Counsel with The Forzani Group Ltd. (thank you Creator for the opportunity to have worked with John Forzani).

The word “lawyer” did not speak to me nor did it speak for me. It was a label and oftentimes, a very limiting label at that. My forte was in getting to the heart of an issue and seeking to deal with it effectively and efficiently.

Rarely did I ever describe who I was as “lawyer.” I would rather talk about the kinds of problems I wanted to solve – whether they were governance matters, operational queries or stakeholder engagement issues.

What I was beginning to appreciate was the concept of Transferable Skills – that personal toolkit of technical skills and core competencies (what some might call “soft skills”—although, as an HR colleague of mine said just recently, “those skills ain’t soft”).

At CRIEC we work with internationally trained professionals (ITPs), employer and community partners, as well as individual champions like Mentors and Connectors. Our mandate is to deliver strategies that are designed to lead to successful employment outcomes – as measured by the ITP and the employer.

Almost from the word “Go” in 2010, CRIEC has emphasized this concept of Transferable Skills. Our conversations, workshops and mentoring of ITPs are built on this foundation. We explore 3 lines of inquiry with each ITP, engaging employers and Champions at each stage:

  • Understanding transferable skills, including technical skills and core competencies.
  • Appreciating your transferable skills.
  • Telling others about your transferable skills through networking, enhanced resumes and cover letters – and your overall career journey.

The video above gives a sense of CRIEC’s Transferable Skills workshops – and how they can benefit you.

Let’s dispel with a few myths – Skill Transferability does not mean that you have failed in Plan A (to become a doctor in Canada, for example) and now have to settle for Plan B. You can “run” these career paths simultaneously.

Nor does it mean you leave your profession altogether. Indeed, many engineers have the ability to shift to project management or stakeholder engagement precisely because of their strong technical backgrounds as supplemented by their well-crafted communication skills and their experience in building a budget.

Contact CRIEC today to find out how we can take you through this Transferable Skills process. Email me directly at bruce@criec.ca to connect!

—Bruce Randall, Executive Director, CRIEC

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