Here’s a question for you… who are you really? It might seem like an easy question but are you able to readily articulate your unique value?
I want you to answer this one honestly. Not the answer you think you’re “supposed” to give. Not whatever’s written in your resumé or LinkedIn profile. Not the perception you wish others had about you. And not obvious details like your name, age, address etc.
Yes, I know. It’s a trickier a question than you might think.
Who you are is totally unique to you.
It’s your personal profile of interests, beliefs, knowledge, strengths and experience. While others may have some similarities to you, there is only one version of you. Only you are uniquely you.
Believe it or not, there’s a purpose to my pointing this out. Yes, I want you to feel good about yourself but I also want you to start thinking differently about what you bring to any workplace, team, or business.
Because you, my friend, are exceptional and valuable. And, I want you to stop trying to right-size yourself to fit in to your environment. Instead, I want you to start leveraging your unique value.
Your unique value is your greatest asset!
We all have many strengths and weaknesses but due to our negativity bias we humans are quick to identify areas we lack and not so great at taking advantage of the things we’re really good at.
If you think back to almost every job interview you’ve had, you’ve probably dreaded the ubiquitous question about your strengths. And your answers were probably a list of skills and talents… “I’m a numbers person” or “I can communicate at all levels” or “I provide excellent customer service”.
Skills and talents are “what” you do. They can be learnt and improved with experience. They’re not innately “who” you are.
Who you are, your unique profile, is found at the nexus of what you’re good at, what you enjoy doing, and what others value.
It’s easy to list your skills or talk about your experience. But if you leave it at that, you’re likely to be lost amongst everyone else with similar skills and experience.
When you make the effort to stand out and showcase your uniqueness (rather than your sameness) you make yourself memorable… and that should always be your goal.
But uncovering your true personal value can be challenging because your strengths tend to be “just things you do”. In fact, you probably don’t even consider them strengths!
How to identify and showcase your unique value for career success
1. START LOOKING FOR CLUES
Unlock your hidden talents by paying attention to the feedback you receive from others. Notice what people turn to you for help with, what they thank you for, and the compliments you receive. Look for patterns and consider what comes naturally to you. You might just uncover something truly special. And, once you start looking for them, there are clues everywhere.
2. VALIDATE AND CLARIFY
If you’ve got some ideas about your personal strengths, turn to the people whose opinions you respect to validate your thoughts. Ask trusted colleagues, “What makes you seek me out when you need help or want me involved in a project?” Do their responses support your initial ideas or provide new perspectives to consider? With their feedback, you can fine-tune your strengths and become more confident in your abilities.
3. DEFINE YOUR UNIQUE PERSONAL VALUE
Pinpoint your top 3-5 strengths and define them clearly. Analyse their impact on your professional life. How do they show up for you? When have you used them to great success? How do they influence your role in your workplace or team? Use evidence from your current or previous roles to showcase the successful application of your strengths.
4. CRAFT YOUR UNIQUE VALUE STORIES
Bring your strengths to life! Share personal stories that showcase how you’ve successfully applied your top strengths or talents. Describe the situation, your actions, and the impact you made. Did you inspire someone? Create a tangible outcome? Spark an “a-ha” moment? These stories are all about you, so make them uniquely yours.
5. BOOST YOUR CAREER
Unleashing your unique value will immediate boost your self-confidence. How could it not? There’s nothing better than knowing you’re good at something you enjoy, that others rely on you to provide. Enhancing and playing to your strengths delivers far greater benefits than investing your time and energy on the things you’re not so good at. By doing what you do best, you’ll deliver better outcomes and continually increase your worth. It’s win, win, win!
Thinking differently about who you are and your unique value is a game-changer for fixing or improving your career.
Ready to take to change up your working life but not sure where to start? I’d love to help! My self-paced online course, Recharge Your Career, is designed to give you the tools you need to transform your professional life.