Name a unique talent you bring to the company, each person in the room was asked. It was part of a motivational exercise for a team meeting. I couldn’t think of anything except, “I work like a government mule”, but with Sylvia Browne-like consciousness, I sensed that wasn’t the answer they were seeking.
What would you say about yourself? Do you have a money-maker quality? It’s pretty difficult to come up with a delightful quality you possess on a moment’s notice… especially if it also has to benefit work.
I’m good at a few things, but could a corporation profit from my deep suspicion of the federal government, consuming interest in silent movies, or penchant for amateur handwriting analysis? I suppose circumstances could so weave themselves that my collection of turn-of-the-century photography will quadruple company revenues. But so far, I haven’t seen that happen.
Since then, I’ve been thinking about talent.
One of the more interesting pieces of career advice I’ve ever heard has to do with personal branding, and a personal career commercial, in particular.
Make a list of your talents and strengths and achievements, and then create a little speech (60 seconds or less). Write it down and memorize it. You can use it as a personal advertisement whenever you have an opportunity to sell yourself, or in the event you’re put on the spot during a team meeting.
You know who would have definitely had a personal commercial (back in the day, anyway)? Bill Clinton.
Even if you’re not trying to get ahead at work, it’s a nice little motivational/pick-me-up tool. If you’re very shy, it would be a good thing to have in your back pocket, just to helo you make friends or be confident enough to join a new group. You could have different ‘ads’ for different situations.
The word of the day is milquetoast.