Forget what you think you need to be. Forget the boxes you’ve been trying to squeeze into, the boxes you have been told you have to fit into, just for a moment. Stop for a moment and take a step back. Let’s figure out what you already have in your tool-kit of experiences, value the things you enjoy & create a go-to-market strategy positioning & launching the most valuable product out there – YOU! (cue confetti canon here!)
You’re the one with the most knowledge about “the product”, so be the first to value & position the benefit….of YOU!
1) HARD SKILLS
List all your tangible tasks & deliverables. TIP: go back through your CV or LinkedIn profile and pick out the things that you delivered & can be quantified, measured or transferred to another role.
2) SOFT SKILLS
List all the non-tangible, subjective traits & attributes that describe the way you work and interact with others to get the job done. TIP: think about how you’ve described yourself or how others have described your working style. Think of examples in your day to day of how these traits show up.. <spoiler alert> These are clues to your culture code & finding your tribe where you thrive.
3) STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES (RESET)
Re-gig your mind and give a new label to what strengths & weaknesses are. Think of “strength” orientated tasks as the things you do in your job that leave you invigorated & energized at the end of the day. Then re-think “weaknesses” as the tasks at work that come with the job, but suck the life out of you after you’ve completed them (maybe not so dramatic but you get the picture!). Even if you’re good at the task, it should be considered a weakness in this exercise (“just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!”) NOTE: You can’t strip out all the tasks that drain you in your job, some tasks just come with the territory (damn you excel spreadsheets!), but you can sweeten the deal by doing more of what gives you energy!
4) CONTENT & CULTURE
Now take another look at the hard skill deliverables you listed earlier. From everything you have learnt about what you do & how you do it, make a new list of the top 5-10 deliverables (strengths) that leave you energized & you’d like the bulk of your working week to be spent on - that’s your content focus. Then take another look at the soft skills you listed and map them across to buckets of personal values & beliefs - that’s your culture focus. If you’re stuck for the labels just google “personal values & beliefs” to help shape your own.
5) MOST IMPORTANT THINGS (M.I.T’s)
Now let’s look at the non-negotiable aspects & reality of where you’re at in your career & consider the Most Important Things (M.I.T’s). These should be parameters you’ve set yourself that you won’t compromise on & aspects that can be quantified. Start with the basics of time, money, etc but feel free to add other tangible conditions that fit with where you’re at in your career & what’s important (i.e personal learning & development or career progression could rank high for you – or not).
Money: What is your get out of bed rate? If you don’t know your worth, no-one else will value it.
Availability: Full-time, part-time (90%, 80% etc), regular day off
Location: City, radius commute, % international travel
Industry: Are there industries that are a no-go for you? Is there an industry that you’ve built a lot of experience in & what other industries do your skills compliment or cut over to?
At this point, your product sheet should resemble basic math & be a (somewhat) clear one-pager, containing:
Deliverables: providing focus around the content in your role
Values: giving you a map to your culture code what tribe you’ll thrive in
M.I.T’s: non-negotiable & set in google doc stone!
Make this one-pager visible, put it on the wall to act as a filter to every job search application, interview or orientation chat you have to make sure you’re putting yourself first for any new opportunities. Start practicing your dialogue around your anchors, valuing who you are, what you bring & how you bring it. And if you need some additional guidance, then just reach out to a Talent Agent in the team who will be happy to help.
Photo by jesse ramirez on Unsplash