Boss Lady

How improvisation can help your success


So, you find yourself in a new job. When learning the ropes, it helps to be able to draw upon something you already know. Whether it’s information, an activity, or a relational experience, leveraging transferable skills shortens the time it takes for you to get up to speed and can make you a hero on the job. And one of the handiest transferable skills is improvisation.

Improvisation is a transferable skill that you can use to adapt quickly in the moment to whatever is thrown your way. On the stage, improvisation can be likened to bridging a gap and carrying on. Just as for the actor, for those in the corporate and business world, improv is problem solving. Applying available information in real time can help the actor save a performance, propelling the production and its objective forward.

Improv can be handy in an office environment. How many times have you experienced technical difficulties? Because I came from the arts, I learned how to make the most of any situation and get through it. The show must go on, after all! For example, your PowerPoint was on the ‘other’ thumb drive and you’re frantically digging to find it. The Apple TV isn’t mirroring your presentation, or wi-fi connectivity is dodgy to say the least. Maybe someone’s beverage spills on your speech moments before addressing a crowd. If you have the ability to improvise, you’ll be far more likely to quickly recover and adjust course when unforeseen circumstances arise.

Another transferable skill performers have is drawing upon previous experiences to create connections that make their work more personable and unique. When watching an actor at work, it becomes clear right away if their performance is one that you can relate to and if they are believable. They’re adding a bit of themselves into everything they do strengthening their interpretation and ability to suspend the audience’s disbelief.

When you bring part of yourself to a task, there’s an unmistakable stamp or signature on your work. This makes you stand out and helps create value, yet another fantastic transferable skill to possess. Who doesn’t like value?

No matter where you work, that space instantly becomes a stage where you can shine and give your best. Leveraging transferable skills is not only helpful to you (you’ll love making those connections!) but also brings something fresh to the table and your team. You know you’ve got experience and skills you can relate to other environments, so be sure to figure out what they are and tap into them wherever you may find yourself.

Time to sign up for a theatre course?

About Stephanie Ciccarelli

Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of, the industry-leading website that connects businesses with professional voice talent. Having found a unique way to apply her education to the field of voice-over by bringing a fresh perspective to the industry, Stephanie has been listed on the PROFIT Magazine 2013, 2015, and 2016 W100 lists, a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®. Her insights have also been published by The Huffington Post, Backstage Magazine, and Fast Company.

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