How many interviews have you been a part of that start with the tell us a little bit about yourself question? I wish they would start with what makes you unique instead.
After all, that is what they will remember – your superpowers and key differentiators. This is what will give you an edge and stand out from the crowd.
To help you answer this routine question, I invite you to take some time for a little self-discovery. In stage one of my 5 stages to Design Your Dream Career, we look at your mindset. We spend time narrowing down your values, assessing your energy, and digging into your personal brand. Think of your personal brand as how you want people to remember you. What is your legacy? Your legacy is what makes you unique.
To help you gain awareness of your uniqueness, I have five areas for you to simmer and journal on.
List all your qualities or strengths
Start with some self-awareness here and make a list for yourself. A quick google search will lead you to various pages that share lists to choose from. It is also a good idea to ask your family, friends, or colleagues what strengths they admire most in you. See what words continuously come up. Think back on projects you worked on. What strengths did you bring to the group or activity? Were you the leader, or did you like being part of the group? Did you bring energy to the group and keep everyone involved? Examples of strengths include honesty, flexibility, determination, persistence, creativity, discipline, dedication, versatility, patience, and respectfulness.
Now add in your skills or superpowers
Do you have certain skills or superpowers you like using more than others? Are any of these a unique skillset? What about combining various skills together? For example, I was a graphic designer and I had a marketing background. I also enjoyed writing. Those skills separately were attractive but combining them made me even more valuable. Having emotional intelligence is very critical these days for many employers. Are you able to recognize and manage your emotions and the emotions of others? Skills and superpowers are part of what makes you unique. Examples of skills would include communication (written and verbal), management and leadership, organizational, active listening, technical competency, critical thinking and problem solving, teamwork and collaboration, and professionalism.
Make a list of what gets you excited
Are there topics you enjoy talking about or reading about? What area do you want to shine a light on? Maybe you enjoy writing on a certain topic. Sift through your social feeds and note where you feel pulled to stop and either read or watch what has been shared. Is it around health or personal development? To help you think deeper here, consider noting your interests in the eight different areas of life. These are family, fun & enjoyment, spirituality, finances, health, personal development, career, and relationships.
What is your story?
I had a coach one-time hand me a piece of graph paper and told me to write down a timeline of my life. Sounded simple until I started it. I found myself wanting to dig into things I had forgotten even more. I called my parents, asking them about important dates and life events. Once I could see the big picture of my life, so many pieces of the puzzle made sense. Try this, and don’t forget to add to your career. Once you have done that, look back and see if there are any big themes that come up? Where did you excel, and why did it perhaps stop? Your story is what makes you unique.
What makes you a superhuman?
Make a list of the roles and projects you have worked on. What stands out of the ordinary? If there was a particular area, what made you so good? Are you learning anything new? Have you spent time qualifying for a certain profession? Are you investing in online learning to further develop your skillset? Remember here to think of yourself outside of work as well. Did you plan a large family reunion? It may not be work-related, but I would guess you had to be very detailed, sensitive to various age groups in attendance, and responsible when handling the finances. All those traits and qualities are ones you possess at work and in life.
When you represent what makes you unique – your experiences, insights, and story – you draw an audience to your unique voice. Once you begin to connect these aspects, you define what sets you apart. Remember, no one has lived your life or had the career you have. Own your superpowers.
If you read this and want to know more, or would like assistance in narrowing down your superpowers, let’s hop on a call and chat. I would love to share with you more about the 5 stages of the Design Your Dream Career program. It is never too late to begin again.