I run into this kind of thing all the time when helping people with their job search (see if this sounds like anyone you know):
Me: “So, what do you do / did you do at work?”
The Other Guy: “I made sure stuff turned out. I understand business goals, and I worked with (programmers, engineers, accountants) to achieve the outcomes the client wanted.”
Me: “And that means?”
The Other Guy (TOG): “There was a (programmer, engineer, accountant) who was really good at the technical side of things, but they only had one speed: fast forward. Whatever the client asked for, this person would say sure, they could do it.”
Me: “So what did you do?”
TOG: “I was the contact between the clients and the technologists.”
Me: “So what was it that was special about what you did or how you did it?”
TOG: “I made sure the projects resulted in what the clients expected…”
As you can probably tell, this isn’t very helpful. For your job search, your resume and what you say to potential employers, you’ve got to get what it is you do clarified.
If you ever want to make above-average money, and get your job search over with quickly, you are going to have to stand out to employers. If you are unclear about what it is that you do that makes you special, you are going to be just another commodity. Commodities live and die by price. Cheapest supplier wins. Hello, low salary. You have to be unique. The key to being unique in an employer’s eyes is to be clear about what it is you have to offer.
The rest of the applicants are going to blubber and go on and on as in the above example. If you are able to communicate the key few things you do well so that the employer gets a ringingly clear picture of how you are going to benefit their organization, you’re going to stand out like crazy. And when it comes to salary discussion, you’ll have much more leverage at the negotiating table.
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