When I ask my clients to give me success stories of their various career achievements I often hear the following comments:
I can’t really quantify my successes
It’s just my job
I don’t think of myself in that way
I can’t recall accomplishments “like that”
It’s really hard for me to give you that information
Can you relate? Its Okay first of all – you see, you are not alone! But I will let you in on a secret: there is a simple trick to recalling and creating your accomplishments and once you master this little technique you too can create “jaw-dropping” accomplishments that will have potential employers really excited to talk with you!
So here are several tips to get you started:
Tip #1: Key Word Your Strengths
Start with a blank sheet of paper. Now begin to brainstorm on all the things you love to do the best. Just have fun with it. If you are feeling stuck take a break for a day (which gives your subconscious mind a chance to bring these thoughts to the surface). These are the things you love to do and they are usually connected to those skills and functions you are doing when you are really doing your best work.
Tip #2 How to Turn Your Strengths into Stories
Now look at your list and for each keyword ask yourself “why do I feel this way?” For example maybe you wrote “Motivating” as one of your strengths. Asking yourself “why do I feel I am motivating?” will trigger your memory of an event you are connecting that determined strength to. Maybe it was the time you motivated your boss to let you take on a project that generated a certain amount of revenue for your company or perhaps you motivated a national sales team with incentives that increased the companies client base.
Tip #3: Write a Simple Template for Each Story
Your template is really easy and it goes like this:
What I Did:
A key here is not to make this complicated at all! Keep your answers short (think of how products are marketed…less definitely increases your impact!)
Bonus Tip: Don’t be tempted to fall into the trap of thinking your successes aren’t important enough to write down or share! This is a common trap you definitely want to avoid. If it shows off your strengths is generally worthy of sharing.
It’s hard to be objective about our successes because of our internal rationale that “oh, that’s just what I do” or “anybody could do it really”. If you catch yourself thinking this way then know you are devaluing the unique, amazing and honorable skills and strengths you bring to the table. Give your skills and aptitudes their due and you will find as you grow confident in communicating them – it can and will result in more interest and bigger offers from potential employers!