Do you have Tremendous Transferability?

Professionals learn a trade. Once upon a time, professionals would stick with that trade. They continue in their trade until retirement or they otherwise stopped working. Today, many professionals move from one industry or role to another with relative ease. For professionals who have taken the opportunity to make a change, that is great!

But there are other professionals who are still stuck. These professionals may feel like they are in an archaic world. Maybe they have been told that transferring between industries cannot be done. All they see is an insurmountable obstacle. Or maybe they didn’t know their skills could be used in other industries. For many reasons, some professionals are stagnant.

When changing careers or industries, it is paramount to demonstrate the transferability of your skills!

But how does someone demonstrate the transferability of their skills? That is one of the many reasons clients come to us.

Many professionals imagine doing something else. But they may not know what it is they want to do. Or maybe they don’t know what choice would be the most lucrative. Or even how to make the change. That’s where The Barrett Group comes in.

Let’s start by examining some statistics. LinkedIn states the executive target population is about 7.9 million executives (See Editor’s Note). These executives have specializations. Because specializations are common amongst industries, the skills learned in one industry are transferable to another. And it is interesting to us (and our clients) which specializations are the most common.

Chart 1_Most Transferable Specializations

The “Most Transferable Specializations” graphic shares the top 50 results. It is no surprise that some specializations are fairly generic. And the more generic the specialization, the more frequently it is cited. See specializations such as “New Business Development” or “Sales Management,” for example.

One executive may have multiple specializations listed. So unfortunately we cannot divide the number by 7.9 million executives and derive the percentage share.

But nevertheless, the chart provides valuable insights, sharing the relative frequency of various specializations. This information is useful to anyone looking to make a change from one industry to another. So this is a really good place to start.

Now let’s look at the frequency of specializations. The top 10 industries demonstrate this relative concentration or lack thereof. See the ”Top Transferable Specializations per Industrial Segment” graphic.

Chart 2_Top Transferable Specializations per Industrial Segment


So it is also fair to observe that there is a low degree of homogeneity across industries. In other words, the Human Resources industry has very few executives who claim a Procurement specialization. And few share Engineering specializations in the Marketing & Advertising sector. The Legal Counsel sector rarely lists specializations in New Business Development and Sales Management.

Here is an example to clarify. Suppose you are a New Business Development professional. You worked in the manufacturing segment for ten years. But now, you are changing industries. You would certainly consider industries that have the most relevance to your specialization. High-level analysis suggests that you have several industries you can consider. These industries could include Construction & Real Estate, Procurement, and Information Technology. You could also consider Marketing & Advertising, and Financial Services. (If you were an engineer, Marketing & Advertising and Finance would probably be less relevant.)

Professionals have more information available than these simple summaries, of course. (See our Industry Updates series, too.) There is much to consider when you are making a career change. And when you are a client of The Barrett Group, we are your partner through the career change process.

Our holistic process begins with the Clarity Program©

Clients begin in the Targeting step. Here they assess where their personalities might best fit. They examine their past and current life circumstances. But clients consider their longer-term aspirations also. Using detailed analysis, we determine a “target industry.” Clients greatly improve the probability of satisfaction AND optimal compensation with clarity. And if the client looks to transfer from one industry or role, this decision is captured at the Targeting step.

We carry the “target industry” through into the Packaging or Personal Branding step. Here, we carefully craft the resume for the client. The resume demonstrates the transferability of experience to their targeted sector. Next, clients locate opportunities that fit their targets during the Market Access step. In the Preparations Step, we coach them as they begin to interview. We help clients to comfortably (and authentically) provide evidence of their transferability to prospective employers. Once the offers come in, clients also find our Offer Negotiation support invaluable. Our support continues as clients work through Onboarding in their new positions.

Our process is customized. It is personalized to each client. And we are good at it because we do it every day (literally).

Over the years, we fine-tuned our process. But each client’s experience is special and unique.

One client shared his personal reorientation:

“My Clarity coach was supportive, respectful, and kind. But also did not pull any punches. Questions were optimally timed for impact. And their insightfulness pried open any doubts, concerns, and second-guesses I might have harbored. I felt challenged and pushed to articulate a clear vision of my professional and personal self. And of how these sides co-exist. At the end of the program, I definitely feel capable of re-orienting my career path in a way that is both realistically attuned with my ambition, and supportive of a holistic self-perception.” [Massimo Rondolino, Read More]

The Barrett Group specializes in helping executive clients change direction. Clients learn to show the transferability of their skills.

Every year we help hundreds of clients achieve their career objectives. This is through our tried and true methodology, fine-tuned over more than 30 years. Are you struggling to make a change? Do yourself a favor. Hire the Expert. Give us a call.

Peter Irish, CEO
The Barrett Group

Editor’s Note:

*Generally speaking, “Executives” refers to the Vice President, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer. And it also refers to Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Information Officer, Managing Partner, and President titles. Our targeted geography includes the US, EU, UK, and the Middle East. But unless otherwise noted, the data in this Blog Post came from LinkedIn. The data represents a snapshot of the market as it was at the time of the research. Is LinkedIn truly representative? Here’s a little data: LinkedIn has approximately 810 million users. (See Source.) And it is by far the largest and most robust business database in the world. LinkedIn is now in its 19th year.

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