A World in Transition: Insights from Transition Hub – Transferable Skills
‘The skills you have learnt through sport, will hold you in good stead for the future’.
I must have heard this a thousand times throughout my sporting career and never truly understood its significance. As an alumnus of Transition Hub and now a Transition Hub coach, understanding transferable skills continues to be an important element to achieving success in the future of work.
As a kid I had one ambition in life, to be a professional athlete. I didn’t care what sport, I simply dreamed of being an Olympian and getting paid to do what I loved. I was close to realising this dream by becoming a professional Triathlete, and later, cyclist. However, after dedicating 10 years to sport and a profession I loved, I was forced to leave it all behind and transition into something new. Following an earlier change of sports from Triathlon to Cycling, this was to be my second transition in recent years.
Sport had been the epicentre of my identity, and when I chose to walk away from it, everything that was associated with that identity quickly unravelled.
It was a complete upheaval of everything I valued and everything I was familiar with. It was as though a tidal wave had formed and flattened everything in its path. There was no island in sight and so I found myself treading water trying to decide which way to swim. I had little to no direction and felt as though I didn’t have the skills to make it back to dry land. It felt as though I’d spent years training and had nothing to show for it other than my past success, which had since become irrelevant.
It wasn’t until I participated in Transition Hub’s ‘Reimagine Your Future’ foundation week that I was able to identify how that training had prepared me for life beyond sport.
As a Transition Hub participant, I was introduced to a process that included some simple, yet important questions that helped deepen my self-awareness and gain the clarity I desperately needed.
This centred around the following questions:
- What values matter most to you?
- What are your top 5 strengths?
- What skills can you leverage to transfer into new opportunities?
These questions served as a compass that helped guide me to take my first stroke in the right direction.
Firstly, we focused on my values, which turned out to be consistent for me as an athlete and in my life. Transition Hub, then introduced me to the CliftonStrengths Assessment which enabled me to identify my top 5 strengths.
This was the first time I began to realise the significance of what my sport had taught me, why I had been considered ‘elite’ and how I could utilise these soft skills to produce wins outside of the sporting arena.
From there, we took a deep dive into examining my transferable skills. In doing so, we categorized my skill sets into the following four quadrants.
1 Professional assets (Enjoy + competent)
2 Career traps (Dislike + competent)
3 Avoided but important (Dislike + incompetent)
4 Prime areas for growth (Enjoy + incompetent)
While I had some well-established skills, there were gaps in my knowledge that were relevant to my new corporate ambitions. The week with Transition Hub enabled me to realise how my soft skills could serve as a bridge to closing the gap on developing the technical skills my new role required. Organising my skills into the quadrants assisted in planning my career direction as it highlighted my areas of interest and ability. I was able to understand what my professional assets were and identify my prime areas for growth.
By keeping things simple, identifying my transferable skills and keeping focused on developing my professional passions, I have been able to successfully transition into a completely new career path.
Today I am working in a career I really enjoy but had never previously considered or imagined myself doing. I am constantly evolving my development and using the above process to continue reflecting and extending my career trajectory … something I believe has become a new skill in and of itself.
To any athlete or professional out there who feels they have reached a transition point, I really want to reinforce that it is absolutely possible to reinvent and reimagine your future.
I am now a trained coach with Transition Hub, as well as a full time Product Manager at Wesfarmers Industrial and Safety and I can fully appreciate where I have come from and where I am going to.
Coach & author bio: Having spent 10 years competing for Australia in both triathlon and cycling, Sascha Bondarenko successfully transitioned into the corporate world. He is a passionate Personal Brand coach whose drive inspires others to make positive career choices.