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From Glass Collector to Executive Assistant: Embracing your Transferable Skills

Embarking on a new career path may seem daunting, but it’s a journey bursting with opportunities to leverage the skills you’ve amassed along the way.

Meet Ben Kirwin, our Executive Assistant, whose remarkable transition from a 15-year stint in hospitality to the dynamic world of marketing at Agent, is a testament to the value of transferable skills.

Did you know that, on average, people switch careers 5-7 times during their working lives? And here’s a surprising statistic – less than half of us end up working in the field matching our college degrees. So, if you’re feeling a bit of career wanderlust, you’re not alone!
The great news is that there’s no such thing as starting over. Every role and experience you’ve had has gifted you with a set of transferable skills – a core set of abilities and strengths that you carry with you from one career to the next.

Ben Kirwin, who recently joined Agent as the Executive Assistant to our CEO, embodies this idea. His 15-year journey in hospitality, climbing from a glass collector to a general manager in various bars and independent restaurants in Liverpool, has provided him with years of diverse expertise. Beyond the obvious skills in customer service and team management, Ben gained invaluable attributes like adaptability, resilience, and the ability to thrive in dynamic environments.

In his new role at Agent, Ben’s hospitality background shines through, demonstrating that skills homed in one career can seamlessly transfer to another. His expertise in managing studios stems from the customer-centric focus ingrained in hospitality. “The chaotic nature of hospitality has made me calm and calculated in the eye of a storm. It also helps that I’m as organised as humanly possible. And have great communication skills from managing people, treating them well and driving them to be better.”

Ben’s advice to others thinking of doing the same is simple: “Don’t undervalue the skills you’ve gained in another career. Everyone possesses transferable skills. The key is recognising yours and seeing them as valuable assets.

Being able to demonstrate his strengths in communication, planning, organisation, and initiative have given him the opportunity. Switching industries, of course, comes with its challenges, from adjusting to new hours to learning every facet of the business.

So, how do you leverage these transferable skills when transitioning to a new career? It starts with recognising the unique strengths you’ve cultivated and being open to learning new ones.

“Throw yourself in the deep end,” encourages Ben. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help to understand a situation or process better. Learn from the people around you. Change is only scary if you fight against it.”

For more proof that there’s no one-size-fits-all career, check out our video to find out where some of our Agent team started their journey. Watch the inspiring Agent team journey on TikTok.

Looking for career-changing inspiration? Why not explore the RISE program at Agent Academy, a transformative 12-week journey offers you a gateway to real-world experience, working on client briefs alongside industry professionals. Embrace change, seize opportunity, and craft a career uniquely yours. Discover more about the RISE program at Agent Academy.

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