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How to use transferable skills in your digital career

No matter what position or industry you might have worked in, the skills you accumulate often stay with you as you move on to your next role. These skills are transferable, all-encompassing and are rarely specific to a particular field of work.

Instead, they set you in good stead for a wide range of industries. Take problem solving, for example. A skill which can either come naturally or improve over time, problem solving gives you the capability to look at things from another angle, and to consider alternative solutions.

So, you’re a great communicator? Do you find it easy to form relationships? Communication is vital, and with this under your belt you’d be a prize asset at many companies.

The point is, we often take for granted the strengths we build up. Whether you’ve been in the same position for a number of years and are looking for a change, or you’re chasing that promotion into new and daunting territory – never fear.

As digital recruitment specialists, Forward Role Recruitment is here to offer the advice you need to take your experience into the digital industries.

Why Digital?

The digital world may seem intimidating at first - especially if you’ve come from more traditional types of employment. However, it’s an exciting industry, fast-paced and ever-changing. It’s also very inclusive, allowing applicants to hone their skills and learn along the way.

With this in mind, we spoke to a number of industry experts to get the low-down on the kind of skills you’ll want to possess before embarking on your digital career.

Attention to detail

Having an eye for the finer details is handy in many industries, digital marketing being one of them. Regardless of where you have come from, attention to detail is priceless.

We spoke to digital growth consultants BrainBroker to find out more – speaking is co-founder and Grey Matter specialist Larry Kotch.

“One of the most important skills needed is attention to detail. Often in digital marketing, especially in the context of a growing/ambitious company, you need to tweak and tweak and tweak. Whether it's trying to get your material effectively across to customers on different online channels or whether it's tweaking the content within each campaign.”

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If you’re working with intricate data tools like Google Analytics (more on that later) then you’ll want to have this under your belt. The ability to notice things that others may miss can set you apart from the crowd.

Perseverance

Next on our list of transferable skills is perseverance. Perseverance is a skill you’ll use in most industries, from the most traditional of roles to almost any digital position.

It is evidence of a focused, headstrong mindset. Larry Kotch commented on how perseverance will benefit those working in digital companies.

“It's an exercise in steadily increasing ROI and requires a mindset that is inquisitive and persevering to get the right results. People who want quick wins and get frustrated when their first attempts aren't successful will find it difficult to succeed.”

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When instantaneous results are not always a given, some long-term perspective will pay off and, in the long-term, will set you up for success.

Flexibility

As we’ve said, digital is fast-paced and if you’re not moving with the tide you may find it difficult to stay afloat. Between new tools, strategies and technologies, there is a lot to keep up with.

If you’re flexible, and able to balance numerous responsibilities with ease – digital may well be for you. To find out more, we spoke with digital PR consultant Mitch Labiak of digital marketers Exposure Ninja.

“I think flexibility is key, too. So much of my work is about handling several leads at a time on behalf of several different clients,” he commented.

“Added to that, you have to account for the unexpected. Sometimes the editor no longer wants the article, sometimes the client drops out, and sometimes people just forget to read their emails. These things happen and, at times like that, it’s important to keep moving forward.”


Working flexibly, having back-up plans and being open to new ideas are all central to digital success. Mitch had a little more to say about why flexibility is so important within the industry.

“People working in digital also need to be flexible because of the way the industry changes. So much of what we do is based on what we think Google wants and what we think customers want,” he added.

“However, Google is only as consistent as the people who use it, and the people who use it are rarely defined by consistency. Barely a month goes by without someone talking about some new trend or another within online content.”

Know your tools (and be computer literate)

While we’re talking about flexibility, it’s important that you’re open-minded about trying out new tools and technical processes – the systems you use to get data can be integral.

Commenting on the tools of the trade is Preeti Vadgama, Digital Marketing Manager at Ideas Made.

“Make sure you are constantly developing your technical skills. If you are a graduate or somebody who has switched careers to work in digital, you'll be starting from scratch,” he remarked.

“Get to know how online communication elements work: the ins and out of Gmail, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Excel, etc. It sounds basic but you'll be using these on a day-to-day basis and you don't want to be spending time Googling how to do it. 

“Start with communication tools and work your way through common tools within your niche - being technical-minded makes you more productive as well.”

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Sage advice, there. Being able to work through the numerous platforms you use in digital will prepare you for future innovations.

We’ll end with a useful piece of advice from Karl Blakesley, Marketing Consultant at business management gurus OrderWise.

“Increasingly we are noticing that an applicant’s CV with a standard list of educational institutions attended and the various skills and certifications acquired along with their professional career, does not necessarily provide an accurate representation of the applicant in real life situations.

“Being able to give context to an applicant’s skills and knowledge by allowing them to demonstrate this in a live environment often presents a better picture of their capabilities.

“From this, we’ve learnt that finding the right people might not necessarily mean that they have to come from a technical background to work in a digital space. Instead, looking for hungry, motivated and most importantly prioritised individuals with a transferable set of skills seems to be the key to a successful digital recruitment process.”

To sum up – the digital industry awaits!

Get in touch with the team at Forward Role Recruitment for more information on how you can pursue a career in digital.

Categories: General