There are many ways to list our own assets. And that’s something that is very healthy to do. Practice it from time to time, not just when talking to recruiters.
- What we’ve done. This is the first thing that comes to mind. Many CV/resumes are travel books, with a bit of Tripadvisor. This list will give you the ‘been there, done that’. It may look impressive or may not. But it’s not the most important list, even if you have the heroic assignments in the Amazon (the forest and the online).
- What we know. Ah! This is the bit that usually deals with qualifications and ‘experience’. Experts, experts! Can you really list what you know and don’t know? OK, but this is not the most important list anyway.
- What we care about. That’s another list. Try it. Seriously. (Now?!) Hard sometimes. It’s the list of values. But don’t call it values, it’s a bit devalued. Call it ‘The Things I Seriously Care About List’. This is a very, very important list, but not the most important list.
- What we do, and like, that not everybody knows, probably not in the company anyway. Training kids, singing in a choir, driving old ladies to the doctor, making mojitos. Very important list, but not the most import list.
- The that’s me list in front of a mirror. What is unique about you, from all the lists above, that defines you, when you look at yourself in the mirror and say, Ah! I know that guy. This is the you as ‘the only world expert of your own experience’ (William Stafford). This is the unique blend of good and bad, and less good, and those unique pieces of the other lists. This is the most important list.
Can you make that list? Just as well, because whilst somebody else can list the things that you have done, the marvellous things you are an expert of, your values and your secret likes, nobody else other than you can write list number 5.
It’s also a choice to define yourself by (1) what you do, (2) what you know, (3) what you like and are good at, (4) what you care about, or (5) what it’s only you and nobody else knows about.
Note that the default position in introducing people is to talk about what we do. Nice to meet you Peter, nice to meet you John, so, what do you do? Well, I run the IT back office for Super Duper. And you?
Now, imagine this: Nice to meet you Peter, nice to meet you John, so, what do you care about? Well, these are the things: kids, fishing, and global warming, no particular order. Awkward? But why? It’s a perfectly legitimate question.
I am digressing. Make that list 5.
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