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What I’m not Good At

What is the one word a co-worker or supervisor would use to describe you? Why should we hire you? Why do you want this job? Where to you see yourself in five years? Very good interview questions, each and every one of them. But after going to 11 interviews over the past two and a half months (May, June and July), I’m left with seeing what I’m not good at (especially since I didn’t get the job). At times like these, I need to remind myself that, while yes, there are some things I’m no good at, there are many things I have accomplished and can still do well.

I’m really, really good problem solving, anything to do with organization (data, people, projects) and logical thinking. I enjoy the process of using strategies or goals to map out the path that keeps the project on track as it travels from point A to point B. Give me a job to do and the first action I will take is to identify priorities and then break the overall task down into manageable steps.

One of my strengths as a writer is the ability to transform complex concepts into relatable ideas. I’m really, really good at using empathy to write from different points of view, in other voices. I get inspired by a vision and turning it into a concrete reality. I’m passionate about words, any kind of word – new, small, three or more syllables, loud, descriptive – and crafting them into sentences to inform, educate, or even change a mind or two. I see words as connective tissue, linking people and thoughts together in ways that move the world forward.

In a job hunting workshop I attended several years ago, the instructor pointed out that many employers print a “wishlist” – they will list the optimum qualifications and requirements needed for the position, but they don’t expect one candidate to possess all of them. She encouraged us to apply for a job if we had 60% of what the advertisement was asking for. And I do – I’m a fierce warrior when it comes to applying for a job that really interests me even though I realize I might not have everything they’re asking for.

I think my problem is I absolutely excel at intangibles – loyalty, dedication, persistence, punctuality, honesty, analytical thinking, open-mindedness, intellectual curiosity, efficiency, enjoys challenges and not afraid to get my hands dirty. I know I should correlate these intangibles to my accomplishments. That’s what I’m not good at – the art of self branding or selling myself. Something, I guess, I need to work on.

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