Sapped. Stagnated. Stuck.
These feelings can strike anyone from unpaid intern to executive board member, but they don’t have to be obstacles. Such feelings can give rise to opportunities for gaining transferable skills, AKA skills that are fundamental for thriving across different career paths and industries. By incorporating them into your professional and everyday life, you can develop additional skill sets to help you continue to grow. In this article, I offer you three places to look to learn: your higher-ups, your peers, and yourself.
First, look to your bosses and supervisors to gain inspiration. What are they working on, and where can you lend a hand? Learning from those who may have more experience and more responsibilities can help you grow while developing stronger professional relationships. This approach requires you to be proactive; for example, don’t be afraid to ask what you can do to help, or when you have downtime, think about and research solutions to problems affecting you and your team. Take this a step further by learning the art of managing up. Be adaptable to the needs of your supervisor and try to anticipate what they might ask for. Work to understand their communication style, especially when it differs from yours.
Second, try incorporating advice from your coworkers. They aren’t competition or people you sit next to at the office every day – they are valuable resources. Networking with people who are in different departments or teams can be helpful for learning more about your company and maybe even discovering new interests! Moreover, work becomes more interesting and more fun when you have colleagues to collaborate with.
Despite your colleagues being great wellsprings of knowledge, you have the most power to teach yourself transferable skills. Take some time to research what transferable skills you want to build – there’s no shortage of them. Seize the opportunity to transform your state of mind at work by mastering skills that you will be able to transfer and take with you wherever you may go.
Student Correspondent Bio: Annika Sison is a senior at Boston College, double majoring in Sociology and Communication. Upon graduation in 2020, she is looking to start a marketing career in the start-up space. Her professional interests include behavioral science, brand management, and graphic design. She is always looking to build upon her skill set and take on new challenges. Here is a link to her previous article: https://prsaboston.org/how-to-attract-the-best-young-professionals-by-annika-sison/.