Transferrable Skills in Edmonton
October 15, 2019 by Shannon Perry
While 2020 began like any other year, COVID-19 changed the world in many ways and made the year unforgettable—and a year many industries will be recovering from for years to come. For those industries that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, furloughs, layoffs and downsizing isn’t a matter of growth (such as when an acquisition occurs), but survival.
When layoff events have to occur, outplacement is an invaluable resource for companies that want to ensure the longevity of their brand and take care of impacted employees. Outplacement services in Edmonton provide a next step for exiting employees that helps them find employment with a new company quickly and easily. We have plenty of articles talking about the benefits of using outplacement (and you can read them here) but, since COVID-19 impacted industries as a whole and not just companies, buzzwords like ‘transferrable skills’ have become popular.
So, let’s talk about how outplacement can help highlight these skills for impacted employees in Edmonton.
Edmonton’s Transferrable Skills
With entire industries experiencing severe downsizing, many employees have had to look beyond what’s familiar and consider not only jobs with other companies, but other industries as a whole. Outplacement becomes an essential service when it comes to transferrable skills because career coaches don’t just see the job title and description that an employee had, but the skill set they used in that job and can use that, along with the personal needs of a participant, to help identify new industries.
Here are a few examples of transferrable skills that outbound employees can use when transitioning from one industry to another.
The very nature of quarantine and safe distancing has put an enormous amount of financial pressure on transportation agencies to cut the budget. The sharp decline in riders and fares has led to a loss in revenue for these agencies. In addition to fewer commuters, safety measures such as more frequent cleaning, personal protective equipment, and other adjustments necessary for public safety have put an additional financial strain on these agencies.
COVID-19 has had such a drastic impact on public transportation that even cuts can’t fully remedy the situation. However, downsizing and laying off employees is a part of it and a tool that many agencies have utilized to keep busses, trains, and other transportation services up and going. The skills that employees in this industry have gained apply to other industries as well. Part of outplacement is to find out how those skills can be used and help the participant highlight them for potential employers.
Let’s look at an example:
Peter worked as a bus driver in Ontario and had been an employee for three years. When budget cuts (not related to a global pandemic) forced the city to lay off bus drivers, Peter was one of the employees impacted. But, he wasn’t simply laid off without help. The city contracted an outplacement service to help Peter and everyone else.
In addition to having people skills—a must in public transportation—Peter had years of experience as a driver and was competent at driving large vehicles. And, he has his Class C licence, which means he is also qualified to drive vehicles that fall under the D, F, and G licence classes. Peter could drive smaller vans, such as what’s used with medical patient transportation, some smaller trucks, or even a tow truck—provided that the vehicle he tows is a smaller passenger car.
With his experience and licence, a career coach and resume writer could work together to tailor his resume and cover letter to show that he’d be an excellent candidate for a patient transportation service.
Peter also could qualify for a restricted Class A licence, which would give him more opportunities such as driving smaller truck-trailers, such as one that delivers smaller equipment. And, if Peter wanted to, he can even use that time to complete training and get his full Class A licence, which will allow him to drive large tractor-trailers and deliver much-needed goods to cities across the nation.
Like city busses and other public transportation, the airline industry was hit hard by COVID-19. The very design of airplanes made air flight difficult, to say the least, and the aviation industry had to downsize just to survive. For impacted employees, this meant that it wasn’t possible to merely go to work for another airline but, those skills that they acquired while working for their former company may be transferrable skills to other industries.
For customer service representatives at the front gate, computer skills (such as database and query programs, point-of-sale software, and spreadsheet software), combined with experience in customer service can be applied to other jobs such as positions available in manufacturing or an office setting. For other former employees that worked with customers on a regular basis, such as flight attendants, those communication skills, active listening, and empathy can be used towards customer-oriented positions like a caregiver.
And, while pilots may have trouble finding a company to land at, the skills gained as a pilot can be used in other areas until the airline industry fully recovers from 2020. Aside from pilots needing several certifications, permits, and a few thousand hours of flight time every year to remain certified to be in the air, pilots also need to have communication skills, the ability to think on their feet, social skills and an understanding of geography and public safety.
All of these skills can be applied in jobs that involve city planning or even in the aviation industry. Pilot input can be invaluable to companies trying to adapt to the new normal that COVID-19 has created for much of the world.
New Normal Equals New Careers
For everyone from bus drivers to flight attendants who have been laid off, there is one opportunity that has arisen thanks to COVID-19. Airlines and airports are a great example of this because as airports race to adopt new ways of doing things that keep travellers safe, the need for employees to administer tests and screening has been in demand.
In addition to screeners, jobs in contact tracing have been created. Contact tracers are tasked with identifying and contacting those who have been in contact with COVID-19, provide the latest updates on how the virus operates and affects patients, guidance on quarantine and social distancing, and helping potential patients setup appointments for testing and medical treatment.
Both of these customer service jobs are ideal for employees who have been impacted by COVID-19 and are accustomed to working with the public. In the case of screeners, the position is typically in-person, but many contact tracers are able to work from home, thus minimizing exposure to the virus and many of the frustrations of going into an office or travelling for work. Take a look at some other jobs that have been created as a result of COVID-19.
The main purpose of outplacement is to get participants into a new, meaningful job that they can thrive in. Sometimes it simply isn’t possible for a former employee to do the same job for another company, but very often that employee has skills that can be used in other industries. Sometimes it just takes a professional outplacement provider to help uncover and highlight those skills so that impacted employees can find new opportunities in an industry that they never thought they’d be working in.
Our dedicated career coaches and professionals are dedicated to providing that service and making sure that displaced employees find a happy ending, even with the uncertainty brought on by COVID-19.
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