We are – each and everyone of us – original. No two people are exactly alike. That originality is our brand and our selling point. The author, CS Lewis, once said, “No man [or woman] who bothers about originality will be original: simply tell the truth and you’ll become original without noticing it.”
Ahhh, but the challenge for many is how to capture and communicate what makes us unique and then how to position that as value to the person with whom we would like to work.
I found two blog posts this week to help overcome the challenges of defining and marketing originality.
Joanna Maxwell’s workincolour.com blog post, What Are Your Talents? is a gem of a working tool. Maxwell says, “It’s not currently fashionable to talk about talents: we focus on skills and experience, or describe someone as ‘gifted’ without getting too specific. But talents are part of our essential make-up – the gifts, passions, interests and natural aptitudes we are born with.”
These talents are an inherent part of our original make-up, and Maxwell takes readers through an exercise, based on Howard Gardner’s “Eight Core Intelligences” to help us identify those talents we have and those we do not. She then goes on to suggest we investigate our other non-Gardner talents and work the whole batch up into a profile (sample provided) that we and others can understand.
Ryan says, “We are trained (badly!) to talk about ourselves in our job search overtures to employers. We are taught to say that we’ve done this and that and worked in X, Y and Z industries. We are schooled in telling employers what we think of our own skills: ‘I’m strategic and savvy and a good communicator.’ This old-school job search approach is dangerous garbage, because it keeps us from focusing on the one thing an employer cares about: namely, him- or herself, and his or her own problems.”
Lots of information in each of these blogs to help make you clear, relevant and valuable.
And speaking of relevant, this weekend we should try to remember the real meaning of Memorial Day and that it is not – as most holidays have become – a car, mattress, coat or cashmere mega sale day.
Happy Holiday and thank you to all of those who gave their lives so that we might enjoy it!