So often, when people are seeking a job or trying to move to more satisfying work, they feel they have to hide who they are and act in ways that they believe will impress. Instead of trying to impress people by pretending, dig a little deeper into yourself and show them who you are and how the whole of you can contribute to your success. Share with them all of the skills that you bring to creating success – not just those you think they want to hear. Of course we want you to include your relevant work skills but also include the gifts you bring because you are you.
As you think about the role you want to step into, consider if your natural talents (things you do well but have not necessarily been paid to do) will contribute to your success. Some examples of what you might think about include: if your friends come to you for advice and encouragement, let the potential employer know about your passion for supporting and coaching others; if your family has always relied on you during tax season because you have a way with numbers (and of calming people down who are afraid of math) look for ways to talk about that gift; if your children’s school relies on you for your ability to bring people together to get something done, share with them your ability to rally the troops.
Remember, although you are being considered to fill a role with specific expectations, responsibilities and accountabilities, you are also being hired to be part of a community of people who are working toward a common goal. More and more employers understand that who you are as a whole person is central to how successful you will be on their team.
Take a few minutes now and write down some of your natural gifts and talents and how they might benefit you in your work. If you come up with a blank, ask a friend, family member, or even your kids, what you do well. Then think about how those skills can help you contribute in your work and, using the language of the company, include them in your definition of yourself.