My phone rings: it is an executive industry peer I haven’t heard from for a while (it happens every fortnight). I answer.
Many times the conversation will begin like this… “I’ve seen what you’ve been doing over the last few years and am wondering what I do next, but I’m unsure what that could be…”
Our chat moves through a structured series of explorative questions about what could be next. It proceeds something like this:
What have you significantly enjoyed in your career?
For me, within my paid employment, it was working at Microsoft and John Holland. Both had strong founders, and I was working with smart and humble people.
WHAT AND WHY
We dive deeper. Specifically, what did you enjoy about your time there, and why?
In my example, it was the camaraderie and limited pointless politics. I remain connected with people in both organisations. We resolved some BIG challenges during my time at both companies.
What problems are you skilled at solving?What situations do you thrive in? What is unique about this?
Everyone has something they do better than other people. What is it that others have recognised within you?
I learned from both organisations that I could discover the critical actions (through my ability to ask questions, facilitate teams and challenge thinking) to achieve 80 per cent of the priorities. It built great teams and people’s careers.
The initiatives led to collective outcomes that people were proud of. These experiences enhanced my leadership and developed my facilitation skills; I am now highly skilled at facilitating groups of strangers.
How can you validate your unique capability? Who could benefit from this? How do you move from a position of intuitively knowing what you are capable of, to doing this at scale?
People often look for a job, but the circumstances within the company often enable a greater sense of purpose within the job.
Look to match your uniqueness with a company’s situation. You become a compelling option under challenging circumstances.
I have always explored and qualified employment situations with respectful straight-talking conversations and independent data wherever possible.
How do you share your brand? How do you make it easy for people to understand your gift?
We live in a dynamic and no longer static world, with short attention spans.
People must communicate their insights regularly without explicitly selling.
There needs to be a place where people can learn more about what you do. My blog, my place on LinkedIn and my author’s website all endeavour to do this.
So, when should you start? If you have read this far, probably now.
Or if you know someone that could and should start, then share this with them.