I was talking this morning about how there are so many pieces of my story swirling around in my head that I’m having a hard time editing it down to a simple message. This is who I am, what I want to do and where I want to do it. I conducted an exercise on myself a few months ago, trying to distill my thoughts and kind of got it down. But as time goes by and I see a job description or LinkedIn profile that makes me say, “Yes! That’s what I do well,” that distillation of thoughts has gotten muddied.
It is hard to see yourself in a few short words; it’s a case of knowing too much. It doesn’t help that my past jobs were such that I’ve been a mile (or three) wide and an inch (or three) deep for the past 20 years or so. Putting that into 6 bullet points is hard. Which brings me back to focusing on the areas that I want to work in and trying to sort out the noise.
But because I have so much “inside information” on myself, it makes sense and is probably smart to have someone else help craft my elevator speech, resume points, networking lead-in – whatever is causing me pain. On top of having less to weed through, others see strengths that I wouldn’t immediately identify. It’s always amazing to me how quickly someone who knows me well will tell me where it’s at. It also helps when you have friends who know the art of job hunting or networking since there are certain ways of crafting ideas that will make a big impact.
So it’s back to the original exercise, with the addition of some stream of consciousness writing, and some coffees or cocktails with friends to make it all come together again. First thoughts are usually pretty close and with the help of some others, hopefully I’ll get some shine on them and a thoughtful way of communicating my skills and interests.