If you’re in transition and want to be found among the many people looking for work, you must stand out. How can you increase your chances of being called in for an interview if you cannot be picked out from the crowd? The answer is in your brand. Why do people ask for a Coke or buy Adidas? The reason is that they want that specific brand. So, how do you know what your own brand is? After all, that’s actually what you’re “selling” to your next employer in the hope that you’ll distinguish yourself from the many who have the same skills that you possess.
To find out, I decided to do a quick experiment in an attempt to reveal what my own brand is. I sent a request to several friends and acquaintances asking them to send me three words that come to mind when they think of me. The result was revealing. Forty-six people answered, for a total of 138 descriptors comprising 60 different words. I grouped the similar ones and found out that eight times, people used the words honest and passionate; seven times; caring and insightful; six used the word smart; and five, dedicated and helpful. Many other words repeated themselves less frequently.
Several things can be learned from this. On the surface, it would seem that my brand lies in the words that were mentioned most frequently. But if we look into it a bit further, it becomes evident that different people see different things in the same person. And although there are indeed some commonalities, the descriptors spread out very widely.
For people in transition, such a quick exercise might be very helpful. Even though you might be able to anticipate some of the descriptors, like I was you, too, might find many surprises. I hope they’ll be pleasant ones.