While certain roles don't seem like they have a lot in common, sometimes there are transferable skills that we can take from one role to another. Read What Transferable Skills Can You Take to Your New Role?

At first glance, I assumed freelancing had few similarities with being a personal assistant.

After having a closer look, I realized there are transferable skills from my years of being an assistant, as well as some character traits I already possess, that will be valuable as a freelancer.

Here are a few transferable skills that will come in handy in my new role.

See if any of these apply to you. If not think about what your unique transferable skills would be.

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Working to deadline

Working in sales and accounting environments you quickly learn the importance of hitting deadlines. Hitting monthly deadlines (and targets when it comes to working in sales) is important.

As a PA, much of the work I do needs to be sourced from other people.

If they miss their deadline then I miss mine (a fact that has given me considerable grief in the past as I hate not getting work in on time).

As a freelancer hitting deadlines is essential.

Related contentThe Importance of Hitting Deadlines

Working with different personality types

I have worked for many bosses over the years. Most of them have been wonderful.

Along the way I have also worked for Mr. Demanding, Mr. Ego Manic, Mr. Arrogant, Mr. Don’t have a clue, Mr. Don’t want to be here and Mr. I Don’t want a PA.

Mr. I will create a crisis for my staff when there isn’t one is probably my least favorite.

While working for these managers may have been challenging at times, they also taught me a lot about dealing with different types of people.

It taught me a lot about working with difficult people if I am being totally honest.

Working as a freelancer, I won’t have one boss but several across a variety of fields and companies, which will be different from what I am used to. While I have much to learn about working with editors, I’m sure my experience in building good working relationships across all personality types will be of value.

More work-related content – 


Writers need perseverance. You won’t get far if you try something once, get knocked back, and never try again.

Pondering one day if I had the ability to stick with my writing despite what may happen, I realized I had already been writing short stories part-time for several years.

I took breaks between producing stories (sometimes longer than I should have) but I always went back and continued writing. I realized I was already displaying the trait, I wasn’t sure I had.

Related post – How to Deal with Rejection


The urgent task you had to get done first thing in the morning, just got sideswiped for something more important, actually, make that several tasks more important.

As a personal assistant, you have to be flexible as your workload is constantly changing depending on the situation.

Not to mention being able to cope with major company changes. Large companies often restructure. A company’s survival sometimes depends on it. Staff changes and changes in who you report to are part of corporate life.

As a writer I will need to put aside important tasks, to enable rewrites for an editor at short notice, as well as work on several ongoing projects (bring that on!) at the same time.

Staying flexible and going with the flow of the work is the key.

Feel that some of your work and business skills could do with an upgrade? CreativeLive has an excellent range of online courses that can help you.

What skills do you possess right now that will be helpful if you move into a completely different role or industry? You might have more transferable skills than you think.

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Read next – What Transferable Skills Can You Bring to Your New Role Part 2