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Academic Coaching and Study Skills

Blog Post # 9: How Can I Apply the Skills I’ve Learned to The Work Environment?

How Can I Apply the Skills I’ve Learned to The Work Environment?

By: Chelsey Finney & Cody Rogers

Entering the workforce for your new job or career is an intimidating life-stage. More so, many of us take this step at different points in our lives. Many students have gone through grade school with a group of peers roughly the same age and from the same community. Some of you may have just finished high-school and others may have taken some time off in between. Or maybe you have come to Canada seeking a new life in a different country, and a new challenging career to go with it. Or maybe you’re looking to change careers and challenge yourself. Nevertheless, we have all developed skills along the way to prepare us for life, education and the workforce. Our first step is to recognize this!​


Think of 5 skills that you possess and have developed along the way, either before or after coming to Red River College Polytechnic. Most likely you have a transferrable skill or two that will be beneficial in your student and professional life that you can build upon and develop!

Transferring Skills

Skills that you’ve developed through life experience or in class may not always directly transfer over into the workplace. You will face challenges that you have not encountered previously and you will need to apply your new skill-sets to overcome these challenges and benefit from new opportunities. Navigating these waters can be unsettling, but know that you are prepared to take this next step.

Transferrable Skills

During your time at Red River College Polytechnic you have been developing skills that will help you succeed in your future career! Transferable skills are useful skills that you can carry over across a variety of different subjects and fields! These are generally skills that you often see on a resume that include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Technological skills
  • Personal and professional development

It is now up to you to apply these skills to the best of your ability, as they can benefit your job and the team around you. How you can best utilize these skills is dependent upon your individual strengths and experiences. Do you possess these skills? Think of a time that you have used these skills. Where did you learn or acquire them? Could you apply them to a different scenario?

Human Skills, Skills for the 21st Century

Now more than ever the workforce is adopting a more human-centered skillset. As automation and digital innovation is making our lives more convenient, it is critical that we can efficiently cooperate with one another. This skillset highlights our ability to work together, communicate, problem-solve and be creative!

Royal Bank of Canada refers to these skills as "Human Skills".

Paula Golden is the president of Broadcom Foundation, an organization that “enables young people to be college and career-ready by attaining the 21st Century Skills they need to succeed as scientists, engineers and innovators of the future”. She delivers an insightful TedTalk identifying the “5 C’s for the 21st century”: Watch her full TedTalk here.

Critical thinking

This is the ability to understand a concept or solve a problem by breaking it down into smaller chunks. Use the scientific method; ask questions and then test it for yourself! Critical thinking requires discipline to stay focused and paying attention to detail. Make clear observations that you can call facts, don’t rely on assumptions.


Working with a partner or team brings together each individual’s talents and shared interests to achieve a common goal. Teamwork fosters innovation and insight within the group and helps to develop confidence in each other when everyone is contributing to the team. It provides the opportunity to review your own skills and abilities, and the abilities of those around you.


Being able to provide and receive ideas with those around you is essential to any work environment, including the ability to understand others though both verbal and non-verbal cues. Strong communication skills will in turn help to develop your leadership and advocacy skills. Expressing your ideas to others demonstrates you’re engaged in the project and opens the door to new options and opportunity for reflection.


We all have individual imagination and talents, our strength is the ability to create something new through our own creative processes. This takes time! Our best work comes through trial and error. Be patient, and form your own process. Creativity isn’t about being wrong or right, but rather the ability to focus and commit to your process.


Believe in yourself! The goal in building the skills discussed in this blog is to help you grow and develop both personally and professionally. In doing so you will begin to build your confidence.

Making a Career Change

Changing careers can be a challenging and intimidating life-stage. Moving into unfamiliar territory is just one of the many concerns that can make for this unnerving change. Fortunately, the skills that we’ve been discussing will make for an easier move. Reflect on the transferrable skills mentioned earlier, these will more than help you get your foot in the door to that next stage. Most importantly these skills are human centered and will help you get along with new colleagues as you learn and adapt to your new job!

Examples of Transferrable Skills.

  • Writing, speaking and listening
  • Working well with others
  • Evaluating and breaking down problems using facts and observation
  • Using computers and other relevant tools and technology to do the job effectively
  • Gather and process information to be able to use and retrieve at a later time
  • Ability to grow

If you are in the process of changing careers, this LinkedIn Learning course will take you through the steps you will need to take to be ready to take the next step!

The Take Away

During your time at Red River College Polytechnic you will be learning and developing the skills necessary to thrive in the workforce. Learning how to adapt these skills to new situations is key to success. Transferrable skills will help you bridge the gap between school life and your career! Being able to communicate and collaborate are just a couple of the skills practiced in school that are transferrable across all fields of work. Also, being able to think critically, be creative and problem solve are strongly valued human-centered skills in the 21st century that highlight you as an individual!



Carvalho, A. (2016). The impact of PBL on transferable skills development in management education. Innovations in Education and Teaching International53(1), 35-47.

Vancouver Public Library (2016). Changing Careers: Identifying your transferable skills: A guide to newcomers to British Columbia.

Broadcom Foundation (2019).