Claire writes: ‘When we bought our car, all I knew was that it would be a supermini with room for 4 people and good fuel consumption. Being available in red was desirable but not essential! If that had been the final criteria, it would have been very difficult to chose between the makes we looked at – Citroen, Peugeot, Skoda, Renault etc. What allowed us to make an informed choice was that each garage was able to clearly communicate what they felt the added value was in their car. And we did a test drive. So we had to choose between interiors, boot space and leg room. On the way to buy the Toyota Yaris which fulfilled all the criteria except boot space, we stopped off at the Honda garage because it was raining. It was the leg room and the magic seats which made us buy the Honda. You can fold the back seats up or down. We didn’t know we needed that, but realised it would mean we could fit a bike in the back… or a large plant… or a big box of training materials.
When employers advertise for posts, they advertise the generic basics which are essential for the job. When we apply, we need to be really clear how we fit that and also what added value we bring so that they can decide who is the best fit for the job. That means that you need to be crystal clear what you bring before you even fill out the application. If you only answer the questions you are asked, there may be a significant piece of information which you forget to include. Until you are clear what you bring, the potential employer will not be able to find it out from you – however hard they try. Especially if you are changing sectors or applying for a different type of role. That’s why we spend a considerable amount of time with individuals and groups facing job changes simply asking: So what did you do? If you have a job change coming up, do you know all the generic skills you bring? And what evidence you have for them? It’s worth investing time to find that out BEFORE you start approaching employers.
And if you don’t know what you’re thinking unless you speak, don’t waste time siting staring at a blank computer screen or white paper… enlist a listening partner – a friend, colleague or a coach.
© 2007 3D Coaching Ltd
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Claire writes: “Someone came for a Career Makeover yesterday who we had met at One Life. He thinks he has a boring job, and wanted to be able to unpick the skills he is using so that he can communicate them clearly to get a completely different kind of job. Leadership may be a skill, like customer service – but until you can describe clearly how you lead or support customers, you’re only giving half the story. And it’s how you use your skills that is your unique selling point, or your Magic Seats.
So if you’re stuck and struggling to communicate, try this: Imagine that you are sitting next to someone who does exactly the same job as you and has a very similar background. The difference is that you are really good at your job, and they are not! Now describe your skills – and make sure that you distinguish yourself from them.”
Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who is underselling their skills.Discuss this week’s juggling at http://www.3dcoaching.blogspot.com/
Claire writes: “In Lee Child’s ‘The Visitor’, Gary – one of the crime profilers used to be a landscape gardener. In an off the cuff comment, another character notices that was a strange move. Gary responds: “It was relevant. It teaches you to see the big picture. To be patient.”
Our skills are as transferable as we allow them to be… and then it’s all in the marketing and how we communicate that to a potential employer. Take the helicopter view: If you were observing someone doing your job – from a distance – describe the skills which you use in a generic way. Once you are convinced they are transferable you will be able to convince someone else.”
Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who is looking for a complete change of direction.
Claire writes: “We had a big family celebration last weekend and went out for Sunday Lunch at a restaurant in the Midlands which is hoping, with reason, for a Michelin star. My brother has been there before and we had high expectations and felt lucky to get a table. On arrival we were handed the brunch menu. There were 2 lunch choices – roast lamb or duck salad. The rest was definitely skewed towards breakfast. When we enquired about starters we were told that we could choose from the menu. Didn’t fancy porridge or croissants! And even more surprisingly we were brought blueberry muffins… with the wine!
Whether we are selling a meal or ourselves, it’s important to be clear about what we are selling. It’s equally important that we consider what the customer or organisation want. It won’t surprise you to know that there were only 12 people in this restaurant at peak Sunday lunchtime.
If you’re looking at a change of job, how are you going to find out what the organisation wants? And how will you sell them what you bring? Because you may have many more transferable skills than you think… but it’s all in the marketing and how you communicate that. If they want a main course, they won’t be looking for blueberry muffins! But you could sell another item using the same or similar ingredients. After all adding smoked salmon could have produced smoked salmon blinis with blueberry coulis.”
Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who you know who likes food!
(c) 2008 3D Coaching Ltd