A few months ago, I received a call from a woman looking for help to position herself for employment. She had been out of work for 18 months having a baby and was now ready to begin the process of finding a job. So I asked her what she did. There was a long pause and then she replied in a soft voice. “This is my problem. I can’t talk about myself at all, let alone articulate why someone should hire me.”
Wow! I thought. This was an extreme case of someone who had identified herself with her job and because she had been away from it for a while, she was lost. She was no longer connected to what she believed was her identity and value (her job).
Most of us spend more time at work than we do with our families and friends. We work long hours and our jobs consume a tremendous amount of our energy and focus. It’s understandable that we begin to “become” our jobs, and it’s a challenge to separate our identity and value from our work. That being said, we need to take the time to understand what value we bring to the job and how our value benefits the company and our clients if we want to be successful in moving our careers and businesses forward.
We are much more than our jobs. If all of you reading this had the exact same background and experience, the same position in the same company, you would still be unique and special because of the way you DO your work. Each of us brings something different to our work that defines us and sets us apart. Zeroing in on how you “deliver” the work is the first clue to identifying your unique value proposition and what differentiates you.
Charlotte Beers, former CEO of Olgivy and Mather, writes in her new book, I’d Rather Be In Charge, that it’s not about the work, but the way you deliver the work.
The way you deliver the work comes from an interior place. You know all about the exterior you; it’s right there on your resume. But your delivery is about the essence of who you become when you’re at work, your deepest, truest self sent out to play in the field of work.
Delivery means the way you get your work in front of the right people. It’s how you manage to get the work used properly and, drum roll please, ‘appreciated’.
Ask yourself this: How do you “deliver” the work? What is your contribution? This is your value and identity that will follow you to any job or any company because it’s not about the job, it’s YOU.
When you want to promote or position yourself for a job or attract new clients, remember this. Your value and how it benefits others is what people want to know about; not just what you do but how you do it.