I’m going to ask you a question you may not have been asked before. The question is are your skills portable?
What Is A Portable Skill?
By portable I mean can you relocate from one country to another and get a job without having to retrain yourself?
If you are living in the 21st century you’ll have heard an earful by now of the global phenomenon known as outsourcing which is the relocation of projects or work to geographic locations where the work can be done cheaper or better.
Another global trend similar to outsourcing is the migration of computer programming and business analysis professionals to cities outside of their country of birth.
For example, currently there is a migration of foreign nationals with software development, database or business analysis skills from developing countries to developed countries including the United Kingdom (UK), Canada and US.
Are Your Skills International, Borderless and Cross-Cultural?
Which brings me to my question, are your skills really portable?
If you have to move to a country other than your country of birth, will you be able to do the same work you are doing now without having to go through extensive re-training, certifications and examinations?
Not All Professional Skills Are Portable
I’ve worked with software developers, database developers, project managers and business analysts who migrated from other countries and where able to get a job within a week of landing in the US, doing exactly the same work they were doing back in their home country.
I’ve also worked with foreign nationals who had good jobs back in their home country but on landing in the US were unable to find suitable employment because their skills, certifications, education, experience, etc. was not transferable!.
Here is the deal.
There are technologies that are so specialized or limited in their usage that you may not be employable with those skills outside your current employer or location.
Not All Careers Are Portable
If you happen to be a medical doctor you may appreciate the fact that you cannot migrate from some countries to the US and immediately find employment as a medical doctor without having to pass some qualifying examinations which sometimes, may take you time to complete.
In my first career as a Chemical Engineer employed on a manufacturing line, I realized that couldn’t get up and migrate to South Africa, Canada, UK, Singapore or Kuwait for example and find employment without essentially starting my career again from scratch.
Even though I had a chemical engineering college degree, my engineering / technical skills were still limited to certain types of manufacturing plants which cost millions of dollars to setup and where not available in a lot of cities.
So my future employment prospects where dim outside a few a handful of employers round the world.
What about you, what are your employment prospects?
Bringing It Home
We advise, coach and train a lot of business analysts, data analysts, computer programmers, database developers, etc. who invested a lot of time studying obscure technologies or learning skills that are not portable. Don’t make the same mistakes that these professionals made!.
Before you invest more time learning any career, skill or technology, ask yourself this question;
Are you learning a tool, technology or skill that will be useful to just a handful of employers or are you mastering technologies and skills that make you instantly employable across the globe?
To Your Career,