Profession vs. Transferable Skill

Let’s clear something up right off the bat. Focussing on a single profession without acquiring any sort of transferable skills is a sure-fire way to find yourself trapped in a basic 9-5. Now, you might be wondering, “Well, what’s a transferable skill?” It’s actually quite simple. A transferable skill is an ability that can be applied to multiple careers within the same field of work.

Let’s say, for instance, that you’re looking into studying optometry to help patients improve their vision. Not only will this take you a minimum of four years to simply earn your bachelor’s degree, but it will also require an additional four years before you can even qualify to earn your “Doctor of Optometry” degree. Once you’ve become certified, you can officially begin practicing your new profession. Cool, right? Well, not exactly.

Suppose that after a few years of optometry, you decide that you want to take up a new career as a dentist. While both of these careers fall into the field of medical science, they are two completely different professions. This means that you are unable to take your skills as an optometrist and apply them to dentistry because they are not transferable skills. The experience and education that you’ve gained throughout your years of study and practice are all but worthless in pursuing a new career. On top of that, there’s the issue of student loan debt to consider.

So, let’s go back to square one. Say instead, you decide to invest your time into developing a transferable skill, such as Copywriting, for instance. You spend a few weeks studying and practicing on your own time (at a fraction of the cost, if any) and eventually land yourself a job writing sales copy for a client. The nice thing about this is that once that job is completed, you’re not necessarily out of work. Why? Because you can still take your experience and core skills as a copywriter and apply them to new and different careers within that same field of work.

Look at it like this: If you have one job writing sales letters for one client, and you decide that you want to pick up another job on the side writing, let’s say, web copy for a separate client, your general skills as a copywriter are being transferred over and applied to both jobs. Each and every job you pick up will increase both your experience and your chances of being hired for more projects in the long run.

  • Profession is a career with a single skill set that can only be applied to one particular job.
  • A Transferable Skill can be applied to multiple careers within the same field of work.

The main point that you should take away from all of this is quite simple:

When you develop a transferable skill, your income opportunities will skyrocket.

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