I thought I would reiterate some comments from an article that we posted on the old blog a few months ago. The article came from the BBC Newsnight Job Market Mentors and the thrust of it was around how Public Sector employees, amongst others, can learn to survive in the real world, sorry, I meant to say the private sector. Deborah Meaden was seen to offer a young lady called Kelly, a PubSec employee, advice on what she should do to find work, and, if she can make the transfer across the Rubicon.

To coin a phrase, “let me explain where I am”;

I’m not the Deborah Meaden off Dragons Den biggest fan. I find her lack of courage and vision in the Dragons Den incredibly frustrating and she really does not put herself in the best light. This is a shame, as in the cold hard glare of the real world she actually does hold her own and speaks a lot of common sense.

But I digress. She suggested that she could take someone that has had a job and “apply at least 75% of the skills that they have acquired in it and use them in another role” (sic). Think chap that sweeps leaves in the park and turning him into the next CEO of RBS and you can see what she means – able to clean up a lot of mess with a new broom?

I’m not sure about the 75% figure, it does seem a tad throwaway but the real question is, is she right? Yes she is, but with a caveat. There is a natural point of reason whereby the statement does not apply. How do you check? First check the advertisement and what it asks for.
If you can’t answer yes to at least 80% of the requirement then it’s a safe bet your skills do not transfer to the level the employer may require and this is the issue. Expectation and square pegs for square holes. Ms Meaden is right to bring up transferable skills but unfortunately she will not be interviewing you.

Read the article and watch the video and you will probably feel that the example does not fit with your profile but you would be missing the point somewhat. Think laterally, take the main idea of being transferable and then believe enough in the idea to be credible. Ensure the CV conveys the idea and that the cover letter pushes the point home. Your next role could be completely different and you might just find it is the best move you have ever made.

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