The years of getting a job on the merit of your written CV and qualifications, are fast becoming a thing of the past. Employers, or clients you sell your services to, will want to know more about YOU, they want to know your story.
Telling stories about your professional self-helps to inspire a belief in your character and in your capacity, and this is why telling your story will be important in the future.
This means that who you are, and why and how you do what you do, is becoming a very important part of the equation. Listen up to shift your mindset about the changing world of work, whether you are aiming to be employed or start your own business, or if you are the parent of a child. Your story and how you draft it is essential for the world of work according to the Harvard Business Review.
The mantra in the world of work is increasingly as follows: ‘Who you are is going to be is far more important than what you do’ as jobs shift and change. Job titles are going to become a thing of the past and the focus will be more on ‘what value can you add’?
What are your X-factors for success beyond the qualifications you have and your work experience so far?
• Can you showcase a time when you were innovative and came up with a creative solution that made a difference?
• Think back on trying circumstances that you can use to showcase your resilience.
• How do you drive your own learning journey to keep up with skills and knowledge development in a changing world?
• What gifts or strengths do you bring to a team?
• How well do you know yourself?
You see, you are more than just a report card or the paper trail of your employment record.
You are also more than just your job title. This links to how well you know yourself and what you can contribute to a team.
What is your story – how are you going to add value?
I may be a speaker and writer but that is just the expression of who I am – an outlet for my talents. What I really am is a creator-teacher. Someone who can pull complex stuff apart, put it together again in a creative way, express it in words – written or spoken, and teach it – online or offline.
I can apply the essence of who I am in many different ways and in different environments. Right now I help individuals and teams to future-proof themselves to win at both work and life.
A woman I met a few years ago was employed by one of the large banks where she was designing financial products. As the conversation goes, I was interested in what she studied. She was a qualified architect who actually wanted to be a fashion designer, but her parents didn’t feel that was a proper profession.
I dug a little deeper and we settled on this – as long as she was building or designing something, she was happy. A few years later I bumped into her and she was now employed by one of the new virtual banks and was helping to build it from the ground up; she said she had the best job in the world and she was designing clothes on the side.
What is your essence?
Do you know the essence of who you are and what makes you get up in the morning? Because that is what someone is going to pay you for. How are you applying your skillset and your experience in ways the world needs now or will need in the future?
Who you are is going to be more important than what you do or what you sell, because what you do and what you sell is constantly going to be changing as the world changes. Whatever you are doing right now is contributing to your personal brand story, and it’s important.
TAKEAWAYS FOR WINNING AT WORK
• Capturing who you are is an exercise in self-reflection. It isn’t self-indulgent; it’s essential. Self-awareness will help you market yourself better and find a better match.
• Don’t wait until you are actively looking for a job to record your X-factors, your stories and your experiences.
• Discovering and fleshing out your story is part of self-leadership in a changing world. Future-proof yourself in this way.
TAKEAWAYS FOR WINNING AT HOME AND LIFE
• The more self-aware you are, the better quality choices you will make in your personal life too.
• Your story includes both your personal and professional life – you are one integrated human being.
• Help your children to keep a track record of their stories, experiences and X-factors for success too. All experiences over time count.
You can read more about self-leadership and future-proofing yourself in my book, Future-proof Yourself, available on my website and in bookstores.
Contact me to discuss my talks that can help you and your organisation:
• Future-proof Yourself
• Reframing Disruption