Versatility: The Stylish Ability

The year is 2019 and Yorkshire born singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has just released his fourth award winning studio album, No.6 Collaborations Project. There is no denying that the talented musician had blown us away in the past with his vocal ability after exploding onto the scene with ‘The A-Team’. Eight years on and the ginger haired performer is proving he is much more than a one trick pony. His latest album includes not only associations with Justin Bieber and Stormzy, but a myriad of different genres, from country to RnB and everything in between. 

What’s our point? In order to project himself further into the music scene, (not that he needed to), Sheeran has tapped into every possible market. He’s developing a multitude of transferrable skills, while still demonstrating what he does best. Similarly, his path replicates the one that each and every young professional needs to take in the same era, regardless of the sector. We aren’t suggesting that you need to grab a plectrum and a kick drum, but you do need to think about becoming versatile.

Employment background

Let’s be honest, the employment market is a dog eat dog world — this is by no means a negative. This year set yet another record. With 473,000 more people in work from January 2018, employment rates reached an all time high of 76.1% here in the UK. For the workforce and economy alike, lower unemployment rates boast incredible positives. But for aspiring professionals, the more people in work means the less jobs available — a no-brainer really. 

That said, prior to embarking on the journey to landing a job, discovering what your transferrable skills are is crucial. “Tell me about a time when you…”, is one of the most common template interview questions, and there is no textbook answer. Responding with a truthful, yet eventually positive answer will stand the interviewee in good stead. This is an example of a transferable skill: showing how a past experience will help in the offered role. 

Here, with North East recruitment agency Zenith People, we take a look at some of the interchangeable skills that can guarantee a steady footing across the vast majority of sectors. 


Whether you’re working in a laboratory as a biochemist or on the beat as a broadcast journalist, displaying leadership qualities is essential to success. Employers, regardless of the sector, will look at someone who can take the ropes with admiration. You will stand out amongst a crowd as unlike peers, you don’t need to receive orders to carry out a task — you go and do it. Of course, there does exist such a thing as over-confidence, and no, a considerable percentage of companies will not appreciate a Wolf of Wall Street style attitude.  However, you do have to certain level of confidence in yourself — if you don’t believe what you’re saying, how do you expect anyone else too. 

Having leadership skills allows you to be more assertive when making decisions. Let’s think about the “tell us about a time when you…”, question that regularly pops up in an interview again. Often the question surrounds the theme of failure. Leaders will easily answer that question, because, undoubtedly, they have failed in their past. Why have they failed? They made the wrong decision, because they acted with a sense of haste. But they will be able to look back at their mistake and recognise where they went wrong, amending their course of action and learning from it. This displays the much-needed positive outcome from a difficult situation.


The ability to be able to project your desired message is something which carries significant importance not only in business, but, in life as a whole. Research conducted by LinkedIn ranked communication as the most in-demand soft skill. Often overlooked in favour of other career related skills, communication offers benefit to every sector. It isn’t the amount you can talk either — because, as we all know, although you can talk yourself into a job in a day, you can talk yourself out of it. A persuasive tone, the ability to use contextual language, positive body language, and active listening skills all rank highly.

It is important to remember, particularly in the age in which we live, that communication is no longer restricted to the spoken word. A positive presence and understanding within digital is also considered a major bonus. It is rare that a job will not require some form of technologic literacy and a general understanding of technology will provide a good foundation.


Even roles with a severe lack of linear scheduling require a significant attention to detail. For an employer, a lack of organisation will cost both company time and money. For this reason, when deciding between potential candidates, one who can show structure will excel in the eyes of interviewers. Unforeseen circumstances will be easily overcome by a member of staff who has pre-planned.

Although there are inevitable skills which are required to land the job of your dreams, a good place to start is to gain a firm understanding of your own transferrable skills.