Writers suffer from block. This occurs when they cannot produce an interesting idea. They want to write but in their minds they can’t seem to put two sentences together that anyone would want to read. It is frustrating and can be emotionally painful.
Job applicants suffer from blind spots. They have a unique and interesting story that, when properly told, will dramatically improve their interviewing ability and go a long way towards helping land that great new job, but they just do not see it.
Their story may explain their passion, highlight an important success, or focus on a unique skill set.
Finding the key to an executive’s unique story is sometimes easier said than done. We use research interviews with our new coaching clients. It is during this interview, focusing on the early life, parents and grandparents, and any event or events that may have played a key role in shaping who they are, that we are searching for that interesting/compelling theme they can use to describe in a memorable way what makes their value relevant to a prospective employer.
In addition to a focus on their early life, we ask our clients to talk about what ignites their passion, to explain an important success or focus on a unique skills set. This is all important to helping the executive develop an interesting story and add relevant examples that will support their recent accomplishments.
This is too important a process to simply blow off. If you do not have a coach with experience in helping you define your story — not all coaches, certified or not, have that ability — then ask a trusted friend who will be honest with you, what they think makes you unique, what they like most about you — your story. Then play back your life’s game film and look for those events, stories and lessons that formed you into what you have become. This is a process that works better with an independent, objective “editor” but if that is not possible, then do it yourself.
Self reflection, aided by honest market research, is central to understanding and developing the narrative that will make you stand out, that will differentiate you from other job applicants, highlighting the good and valuable things about you are.
In a time where there is a lot of finger wagging about self obsession and narcissistic behavior, this may seem too uncomfortable a process to pursue. But it is necessary. Self reflection, aided by honest market research, is central to understanding and developing the narrative that will make you stand out, that will differentiate you from other job applicants, highlighting the good and valuable things about you are.
© 2020 John Gregory Self