Many professionals often forget a simple piece of advice when it comes to marketing themselves to employers: You are not special, but you are definitely unique.
Those who are aware of how they can best leverage what makes them unique are the ones who create satisfying and successful careers. There is no point in looking for a good job if you aren’t 100% certain what “good” is for you.
So it is important to start assessing your unique combination of values, skills and interests by either writing out on paper all the things that make you stand out. Otherwise, ask your friends, family or colleagues to give their input in terms of what they see as your best assets.
Give yourself some time to explore who you are and what you can offer to prospective employers. It is important to do this because you should be able to be confident enough to convince employers to hire you by firmly articulating your values, strengths and interests.
So - don’t fall into the trap of lame excuses for not assessing yourself. Try TO focus on the following four commonplace excuses for avoiding self-assessment and I am sure you will overcome your objections!
1. 1. “I’ve already tried a bunch of assessment tools and don’t feel any clearer about who I am.”
If you’ve taken lots of tests but still can’t make sense of how to use the data, then it’s time to seek some help. Consulting a mentor is an ideal option. Sit down with someone whose professional success you admire and see if they can help you to connect the dots. And of course, working with a career strategist is an excellent way to get your assessment completed. The key is to recognize you need some kind of assistance. Why? Because it’s hard for us to be objective about ourselves, so it helps to have an unbiased professional get involved.
2. 2. “I’m afraid I’m not assessing myself accurately.”
That’s a common concern. It’s not easy to assess ourselves. Consider validating your assessment by sharing it with several colleagues to see if they agree with what you see as your strengths… they might even be able to add to your list!
3. 3. “I've assessed my strengths, values and interests but feel silly promoting myself.”
You don’t need to become your biggest cheerleader or strut around like an ostrich. In fact, studies show too much ego does not help anyone. However, you do need to possess a good balance of confidence and humility. So, while you certainly have many things you are good at, the goal is to pick just one or two you are most comfortable sharing as your professional strengths. The easiest way to determine this is to answer the following, “If I had to be known as the go-to person in the workplace for only one thing, what would it be?” The goal should be to choose the one area you do best and feel truly satisfied doing.
4. 4. “I don’t feel like there is anything really unique about me.”
Well, then you definitely need to speak to someone who can show you how wrong you are! Everyone has something unique about them. Every human being is born distinctive! So, in summary, if you want employers to see you properly, you must determine your professional values, strengths and preferences. Remembering everyone is unique, it’s time to get nice and clear as to what you want to offer to employers.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!