For professionals working in the defense industry, with Homeland Security, or in federal civilian markets, cross-functional skills are vital. Along with increasing your odds of career success, they can help you overcome an array of challenges you may face on the job. Plus, they give you a greater understanding of a wider array of functional areas, providing you with insights that can make you more effective.
If you’re a defense candidate that would like to learn more about cross-functional skills – including what they are, why they matter, and how to develop them – here’s what you need to know.
Understanding Cross-Functional Skills
Cross-functional skills are capabilities that are relevant in more roles than just the one you currently hold. Often, cross-functional skills allow you to actively support adjacent or related professional areas, as you have knowledge and abilities that relate to those positions or departments, as well.
Why Cross-Functional Skills Are Essential
Having cross-functional skills provides you with a range of benefits. First, it allows you to cultivate a non-linear career, giving you the option of making non-traditional career moves to continue moving forward. Second, cross-functional capabilities support collaboration, making it easier to work with a cross-departmental team on projects.
Often, cross-functional defense candidates are also more valuable to employers in the defense, Homeland Security, and federal civilian markets. Your capabilities go beyond a single niche, allowing you to provide more value. In turn, finding new opportunities or advancing with your current employer is often easier.
With cross-functional skills, problem-solving is also potentially simpler. You’ll have a greater understanding of other parts of the company, and that could help you identify viable solutions with greater ease since you’re not operating on incorrect assumptions.
Finally, cross-functional skills can enhance your job security. Along with making you a more valuable team member – which may reduce your chances of getting targeted during layoffs – it ensures you can explore as many opportunities as possible if you need a new position. You aren’t limited to one specific niche, and that’s helpful during periods when finding opportunities is challenging.
How to Develop Cross-Functional Skills
As a defense professional, there are several ways to develop cross-functional skills. First, formal education and self-directed learning are both options, as those allow you to focus on specific capabilities that are adjacent but not directly related to your current role.
Another solid strategy is to request a position on cross-departmental project teams. With this approach, you’re exposed to new capabilities as you collaborate with colleagues in other specialized areas, leading to organic learning opportunities. Similarly, stretch assignments that push the boundaries of your current specialty can lead to chances for cross-functional skill development.
Ultimately, as a defense candidate, cross-functional skills are a boon for your career, often opening doors that may otherwise stay closed. If you’re ready for a position that creates opportunities for this type of professional development, the Staffing Resource Group wants to hear from you. Apply Today and SuRGe your career forward.