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A colleague of mine recently shared this article about “the biggest mistake job seekers make.” In it, the author quotes Liz Wessel, CEO and cofounder of WayUp, saying that the biggest mistake job searchers make is that they “are generally far too modest.” “If there’s ever a time to brag,” she says, “it’s during your job search and interviews.”
This is fantastic advice, and Liz Wessel is right on target. The question I had, though, when reading the article was: Do people know how to do this?
What I have discovered in my work helping young professionals discover (and then actualize) their unique career path is that many young professionals do not know how to brag about themselves. “It feels uncomfortable,” they say, “like I’m showing off.” “Yes!” I tell them “That is exactly what I want you to do. I want you to show off!”
You see, each and every one of us is a unique individual, with unique qualities, gifts, talents, and strengths. Each of us has a unique way in which we do things and a unique way in which we each approach that which we do. I am not saying anything new here. We all know this to be true, but do we really know how to embrace this truth and express this truth to others with confidence? Are we aware of how important this acknowledgment is and how much it impacts our success in all that we do?
“Bragging” does not need to mean that we are being pompous or above anyone else. Bragging simply means that we know who we are and how we do things. It means that we know all of these things and we want to share these talents gifts and strengths with the world (in the form of a great job, for example.) It does not take away from the other, it simply acknowledges you. And it is this confident YOU that people are looking to hire.
Here are some tips to help you practice Bragging the right way.
Referring back to the article I mentioned above, Wessel suggests that job seekers take 30 minutes and jot down all of their accomplishments. While acknowledging your accomplishments is a great thing to do, my stance is that this step is only the beginning. Real confidence is formed when we acknowledge those qualities that led us to our accomplishments. It is your qualities that you want to acknowledge and emphasize (and brag about!) both to yourself and to your interviewer.
My husband, an executive director of a successful non-profit, interviews people for jobs all of the time. He says that what he is looking for in an employee is someone who knows themselves well. He says that many people he interviews have an easier time rattling off their degrees and experience, but have a much harder time expressing WHO they are. He wants to hire a person, he says. “I want to know that the person I am hiring knows themselves well so that I have a good sense of who they are how they will contribute to our team.”
I am not suggesting you throw your accomplishments out the window. On the contrary, reviewing your accomplishments will help you discover the real you. Once you have a list of your accomplishments, go a bit deeper and ask yourself “what is it about me, about who I am, that led me to accomplish __________?” Some qualities you might find are: hard-working, driven, intuitive, thoughtful, passionate, caring, committed, honest, risk-taker, and more. It is these qualities, this YOU, that you intend to bring to your new job. (Who wouldn’t want to hire someone like that?!) Acknowledge it and let those CEOs know WHO they will be getting when they add you to their team.
Because knowing who you are and knowing how to brag about yourself is such an important skill to have (not just in your job search, but in your life, in general) for a limited time only I am offering a one-time session to a limited number of individuals (I generally only enroll people in 12-session private coaching programs.)
In this session, I will help you discover your qualities and teach you practical tools you can implement right away to help you walk out in the world, your job, and in dating/relationships knowing who you are and what you have to offer…with confidence.
Contact me to schedule your appointment. In your message please indicate that you are interested in the “Qualities – One-Time Session.”
In support and in awe of all that you are,