It’s easy to think that every job is separate and distinct, especially if you’re changing industries. But the truth is that while certain technical skills may only apply to specific positions, “soft skills” tend to transfer readily from one field to the next. These are the skills that help you navigate the work environment and get along well with other people.
Here are a few examples of transferable skills for your next customer service position.
Whether you have ever worked in customer service or not, you know that patience is key to getting through the workday. You need to be able to deal with all sorts of personality types, clear up misunderstandings, and wait for things to happen over which you have no control. If you know how to breathe deeply, remain cool under pressure, and deescalate tense situations, you will be a huge asset in any customer-facing position.
Communication is the art of both putting across your own message and listening carefully to what someone else is trying to say. In a customer service role, your communication skills will be tested. Through the course of a single day, you may encounter customers who are angry, tense, excited, and even joyful, and you’ll need to respond appropriately to each one. If you are good at active listening, negotiation, and clearly explaining instructions, you’re ahead of the game.
Working with the public means rolling with the punches. Whatever decisions the company makes in a boardroom, you’re responsible for putting them into practice. Whenever customers are angry about something, you’re the first to hear it. There’s no way to predict what will happen from moment to moment. You’ll need to be good at making decisions as you go along. Have you already mastered the art of resourcefulness? Do you know how to think outside the box to get things done? Then you’re ready to face life in your next customer service job.
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