10 Corporate Skills That Will Help You Develop Your New Career

September 10th, 2010

Guest post by James Adams

Your present position is a stepping stone to your new career. Moving to a new career is going to require new skills and qualifications. The corporate job that you have right now has taught you many skills which you can use for your next position.

Some skills are universal. They can be parlayed effectively into any profession. Here are some skills and ideas which will help you gain that new career.

1. Computer Literacy

Computers are ubiquitous. The computer skills that you learn at your current job will translate very well to your new career. It is especially beneficial to know the MS Office package, email interfaces and general troubleshooting skills. Typing skills are also helpful.

2. Leadership

Do you have a knack for encouraging and inspiring people? Can you motivate others to excel at their duties? You might be a manager in your current position. Even if you are not a manager in your new career, those leadership skills will be useful.

3. Relationship Building

Regardless of the position, you need to relate well with your coworkers and management. If you are planning a freelance career, you need to build relationships with your customers. If you are charismatic, relationship building probably comes easily. If you are not, it is a skill which needs to be learned. Interacting with others is a facet of every profession.

4. Listening

Are you able to learn information solely through listening? Have you had situations in your current position where you were forced to be especially attentive? These experiences will help you within your new career. Are you familiar with the speaking styles of certain cultures? Listening to others will help you excel in your new position.

5. Commitment

Do you have motivation which goes beyond the paycheck? Do you want to do the job properly? Your level of commitment to a job will help you when you are in a new situation. If you are not completely committed to a job, you can pretend that you are. In other words, ‘fake it til you make it.’

How to Make the Transition

Here are some techniques that can be used to get the first job in your new career.

1. Volunteer

Potential employers love volunteers because they are unpaid labor. If you are truly committed to an industry, volunteer your services. If you want to learn how to cook a style of food, volunteer to work in a restaurant. If you want to be an architect, become an intern. This will give you an idea of what to expect when you make the switch.

2. Choose Your Heroes

Look at the stars who are in your new career. Pick someone to emulate and learn everything about them. Study their rise to the top of their field and look at your own life for those types of opportunities. If you have a local hero, ask them for a volunteer position. If you excel at your position, you might receive a reference when the volunteer work is completed.

3. Brainstorm for Ideas

There are many types of writers. There are many types of engineers. Do you know the specific type of career that you want? Brainstorm about positions within the field to discover your desired position. Your sole intention of brainstorming is to learn the vocabulary from your new career.

4. Take a Look Around

Why do you want to leave your current profession? Are there similar positions within your current field which will give you the same fulfillment? If you travel to a different facet of your current profession, you are creating a stepping stone to your new career.

5. Study and Research

New companies perform competitive research within their field before they set up shop. You should do the same. You should research your new career with the critical eye of a private investigator. The transition will be easier with more information.

You have the motivation, the skills and the commitment to soar in your new career. You can learn the vocabulary. You can get your dream job!

James Adams, a writer and analyst for an online print cartridge store, contributed this post. He blogs for his company and reviews products like the HP 300XL ink cartridge.

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Cherry Douglas

Great reminder of the basics that are so often overlooked. It is so easy for career changers to feel their skills are only relevant to their own sector or industry and not understand how they can be transfered easily to other arenas. In terms of making the transition, I would just add to your list the need for a support team. Find a friend or colleague who will be there when your motivation is fading and you need a little encouragement.

Your Career Change Guide


I’d add, having a social conscience: seeing that the Citizens United ruling leads to corporate rule.

Dr. Cris Green

I love this post. Volunteering is so beneficial that I believe it is overlooked when preparing young people for the work market.
Every job you have done in your life helps you decide what career direction you want to take, in addition to acquiring skills to take to your next dream job.

Dr. Cris Green

I totally agree that all skills learned on one job can easily be used and translated into the next job. Especially people skills. How you work, communicate and stay open to others opinions, points of view is so important in expanding your own knowledge and may even inspire new ideas.

Keith R. Enste

While most of the advice promulgated by this piece is of “some” value; I found far too much of it to be “overly-overtly naïve” and rather out-of-touch with current trends in the present job-market. The first thing one must prove in the search for employment is the ability to add value to the company, department, or organization; and this is tenuous at best; it is unflinchingly difficult in a fifteen minute, twenty minute, thirty minute, forty minute, or other interview duration; to adequately prove one’s value to a prospective employer. This fact coupled with the reality that all-too-often the person doing the interview is totally clueless as to the appropriate skill-sets necessary for a given position. I have personally been on many interviews wherein, I asked rather specific, pointed questions as related to the position for which I was interviewing. All too often, the person; sometimes persons, with whom I was meeting, could not even formulate a cursory response to such inquiries. They could not even direct me to someone else within their company whom might posit some kind of intelligible response
Experience has clearly demonstrated to me, at least; it is not what you know, but whom you know. This is the fundamental principal and precept behind networking. The current economy has truly overly exacerbated this issue.
Do not insult our intelligence with such a “touchy-feely” presentation regarding the state of the current job market: which; at best, it is abysmal; and shows virtually no signs of improvement; yes there a few pockets of hiring going on; but nearly anyone over the age of eighteen, is extremely “over-qualified” for virtually every one of them. I have applied both on-line and in-person for well over two hundred advertised, and even un-advertised “openings; I’ve been on three or four interviews: then never “heard” anything: and then began playing “telephone-tag” with the two people with whom I had interviewed with. (Unanswered voice-mails, messages, and so on) (This is what passes as purportedly “professional”? ) These are interviews occurred several months ago. And yes; the hiring process does indeed take much longer now; but come on. Don’t spit on me and then tell me it’s raining.
I would have appreciated some sage advice that was reflective of the anomalies occurring within the present job market: and not the “touchy-feely” hyperbole that this piece posits.
At least attempt to present an honest assessment of the current economic and employment climates: presently they are both horrific; while demonstrating anemic, at best, improvements. You readers deserve better.

Keith R. Enste

I don’t buy any of it: my experience with significant unemployment has demonstrated clearly that “what you know” is infinitesimal in importance by comparision. All this “touchy-feely” hyperbole is mere fluff. It just does not stand-up in the “real” world. It “ain’t what you know it is and always will be whom you know! What do you think networking is really about anyway?! This sacrosanct attitude just doesn’t fly in the face of current reality. And I fear that it is only going to get worse!

Keith R. Enste

Your follow-up advice about volunteering; misses the mark also: months ago I attempted to do exactly this. After receiving my college degree; I thought (rather naively) that I would like to give a little something back to my community. I contacted several volunteer groups and organizations that supposedly “match prospective volunteers” with agencies and/or groups that are in need of such skill-sets. Completed the six page application, mailed it off with resume, references, transcripts, (all at my own cost) then never even got the old-tried-and-true “Thanks but NO THANKS” letter or E-Mail. Please be real; it’s truly bad enough and disgusting enough to be ignored for a paying gig; but being ignored as a volunteer is truly ludicrous: as is this advice!


In a very simple words you mentioned everything that is needed.All the points are equally important..Nice blog..Enjoyed reading it..
Job Seekrs

Peter Raeth

You can achieve considerable success in your career. It is possible to overcome what most people call discrimination, accidents of birth, and late blooming as you continue down the path you prefer. But, you will find that it is not something to be done casually. There are no get-rich-quick schemes, no 90-day wonders, and no labor-free approaches to a successful career. If you want success, you have to reach for it. That reaching takes time and effort: a continuous cycle of studying, learning, working, and producing. In this personal enterprise, you will find great joy and solid employment opportunities. The CareerMentor website offers insights from a 35-year industrial career. You are welcome to make use of its free content (

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