Yes, we tend to think of others first and, yes, we sometimes find it difficult to toot our own horn. But, if you are vulnerable to being laid off or have already received a pink slip, this attitude needs to change. You have to be able to calmly and with confidence, speak to your strengths and how you add value to a position, a team, and an organization.
This is even more critical if you have passed your fiftieth birthday. Although it won’t be spoken or overtly displayed, ageism is alive and well in this country. You can, however, articulate your worth and added value with a little forethought and a bit of practice.
So, as a critical component to your job search, you will need to take a look at what makes you unique. Identify the skills that reflect your personality traits and individual style; how you approach problems and ways you deal with people.
Take some time to consider the following:
• What skills tend to come naturally to you?
• Are you a people person (friendly, cooperative, easy-going, sociable)?
• Are you a creative type (innovative, inventive, expressive, intuitive)?
• Are you good with details and follow-through (conscientious, orderly, efficient, thorough)?
• Are you a leader (confident, dynamic, outspoken, assertive)?
• Are you someone who can diagnose and solve problems (analytical, objective, critical, astute)?
• Are you a physical type (active, energetic, robust, vigorous)?
Which personality traits would your friends identify with you? Ask them to list four or five and jot these down. In fact, ask several friends and you’ll begin to see certain characteristics listed again and again.
Give yourself five to ten adjectives that describe your personality. Think of ways you act when you’re being your “natural” self. How were you as child? Which personality traits have always been a part of who you are?
As you spend some time gathering information, you’ll begin to get a sense of those characteristics that set you apart from others. These personal skills represent your unique value and your individual strengths. You’ll need to know them, speak to them, and show them on both your resume and in an interview.
This is the time to put modesty aside. You have earned the right to share what an asset you are as a team member, employee and—most of all—a person of quality and strength.