This title is meant to confuse or befuddle. Here’s why. There’s a common thread that runs through many job seekers who’ve been let go from their jobs. They don’t know who they are. They’ve forgotten what they love doing. They can’t remember why they are good at what they do. As a result, their job searches are all over the map, they don’t ooze the confidence they should and they get discouraged. They don’t have a brand either.
Who Are You?
- What is important to you at this point in your life? And why is that important?
A simple question, right? Can you answer it? No, it isn’t necessarily the easy answer…money. Dig deeper. That is why this is difficult. You really have to sit down and mull this over. Be honest!
What Gets You Up in the Morning?
When you think about the times you were happiest, what were you doing? What activities were you doing and what types of people were you interacting with, either directly or indirectly?
Again, this requires some thought.
What Do Your Friends, Family and Co-Workers Think and Say About You?
See, there is this funny phenomenon. We tend to hold on to the negative memories. But, if you were to reach out and ask people some questions, you would find they actually have good things to say! Try it!
Sometimes performance reviews are good ways of uncovering the good stuff. You may even have testimonial letters or emails from happy customers. Come on, dig!
What Are You Really Good at Doing?
I want you to answer these questions.
- What were you proud of doing at work?
- What did you do better than others around you?
- Were you ever recognized (formally or informally) for work that you did?
- Did you ever go above and beyond what was required of you?
- Were you ever selected to be a part of a team or train others?
- Did you identify and solve a problem?
- Did you save time and/or money?
- Have you improved productivity?
- Have you ever streamlined operations?
- Did you devise new strategies?
- Did you minimize customer complaints?
- Did you provide a service that did not exist before?
- Did you develop an idea that was used or presented?
- Did you help others achieve their goals?
Tell Your Story
For every question you said “YES” to, please recall a specific example. I don’t want to hear “I just did my job” or “I can’t remember”. Those answers tell me you aren’t trying hard enough.
It may not be possible for you to answer all these yourself. Get help! Why are you trying to do this all alone? People who know you would be incredibly glad to help- just ask any one of your friends what they think about you and see.
There are some important lessons here:
1) Managing your career means you need to know what it is you love doing and are great at doing so you can build your brand!
2) You need to keep track of your successes on an ongoing basis.
3) Ask for feedback regularly. Both good and bad! Consider a personal board of directors.
4) Are you paying enough attention to how you impact a company’s bottom line? Those are the questions asked in the “what are you really good at doing” section.
5) Sometimes you are too close to the forest to see the trees. For crying out loud, ASK FOR HELP!
You Are Unique
You bring a very special combination of skills, talents, abilities, experiences and knowledge. Who you are and what you do is part of your personal brand. You have to sell this! YOU! Otherwise, no one will know.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.