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Assessing Your Uniqueness

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on June 26, 2014 12:30 PM

Individuality

How can we take a step back and look at what we have to offer a prospective employer or other people?

Let's look at how to define the "product" we are selling by assessing our skills, knowledge and behaviors.  

We can look at our uniqueness in various ways:

Skills – what you can do – speak French, program in C++ or ride a unicycle.

Knowledge – what you know – all the names of the seven dwarves, how a tractor engine works, or how to make a perfect muffin every time.

Behaviors –  what you do - easily give honest and motivating feedback to others, smile when you meet new people, or love to solve problems.

Experience – what you’ve done – worked in a bakery in Paris, worked in a bakery making wedding cakes, been a wedding planner at Paris in Las Vegas.

Attitude – how you do things – with a smile, with purpose, treat everyone as if they were a trusted friend.

Personality – how do you present yourself – sunny and bright, cool and collected, serious and studious.

Work through your skills, knowledge and so on so you can convert your uniqueness into a product or service.

For example: Jane works in a clothing store. She is something of a misfit because she also loves to teach and would like to work in training one day. Her colleagues either are happy with their job and don’t want a promotion or they want to become a store manager. She gets criticism from her boss when she takes time to teach her colleagues the computerized cash registers. Her boss tells her that she is there to sell not train.

Frustrated with this advice, Jane teaches reading to inner city kids, teaches basic car maintenance at a college in the evening, and she coaches her extended family on how to surf the net.

What is Jane’s product or service?

Jane could sell herself as someone who knows the store (knowledge), understands computers (knowledge and skills), and loves to teach (behavior and attitude). She is a scarce commodity – there will not be many people who have store knowledge, want to train and who have the teaching experience.

Reflect on what makes you unique from the analysis of yourself.  What do you know?  What is your personality?  What experience do you have?

Excerpt from Chapter 3 manuscript of David's "Outsiders on the Inside"

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