EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

One of the most challenging aspects of looking for a new “work opportunity” is having enough introspection to know what your special value is to a potential employer. I’m afraid that in most cases, we’re the last ones to know.

When we do our 90-second announcements at our chapter meeting in Westport, I usually have the appropriate resume in front of me. I am always checking to see if the 90-second announcement matches the resume.

Interestingly, sometimes there is more on the resume than in the 90-second announcement, and sometimes the reverse is true. More meat and delightful factoids are in the 90-second announcement, but nowhere to be found on the resume. Although it has been said that many of us enjoy listening to the sound of our own voices, the truth is that most of us don’t do enough listening to ourselves.

What are your favorite war stories about what you have accomplished at work during your 20-30+ year career? And, if these are stories you tell all the time, are they on your resume and in your 90-second announcement? If they aren’t in both places, you are short changing yourself.

The resume and 90-second announcement were never intended to be dry history lessons. Their purpose as vital elements of your marketing campaign is to promote your true value. We all have had elements of very dry and boring activities we are responsible for. The ones that can potentially be viewed as exciting are the ones we want to highlight.

Each of us has talents that others in the organization recognize. Just like Mikey in the Life cereal commercial from the 1970’s (I’m not going to try it. Let Mikey try it. Mikey will try anything.) each of us was recognized for being able to take on something others viewed as “impossible” and without blinking an eye, accomplish it.

The problem is that we are all so modest about these things that it takes a 2×4 upside our heads to get us to do a little bragging. (I understand they say in Texas: “It ain’t bragging if it’s true.”) I hope that helps you get past this false modesty.

While it may be important from a social standpoint to know that you are just like the rest of us, it is what is different and special about you that will get you the job. Everyone called in to interview for a work opportunity will be technically competent to do the job. It is the special qualities and your ability to communicate those qualities that will make the difference.

Spend some time with those who really know you and ask them what they know and/or have heard about you from others. Sometimes we’re not the only ones who are shy. Others may recognize our special talents, but neglected to tell us.

Once you find out why it was they were paying you the big bucks, you will be well on your way to having it happen again.

Regards, Matt

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