Struggling To Define Yourself? Try Pinning It!


By Catharine Craig

Pinterest

Ask any career professional what you absolutely must have in order to successfully carve out a professional niche for yourself, and they will state the obvious. You need to know what makes you unique.

The key to success today is standing out from the crowd. What defines your service? How do you do things differently? Why would a client hire you as opposed to some other equally qualified candidate?

If you can’t communicate your services or your approach to your work in a memorable way, you will be forgotten.

Oh great right?  Not only do you need to do all the regular traditional things right, like get the right education, network with the right people, learn the right skills and gain the right experiences…but now you have to brand yourself as a unique entity in the process.

We are a gourmet culture folks. We want a personalized, individualized, unique and tailored solution to all of our wants. Apple has built a monster of a company on this very premise.

How can you be sure what you offer can’t be shipped overseas for someone else to do at half the cost? Offer something no one can replace.

Why is this even an important thing to consider?

Here is the Why: Figuring this out will do several important things for you. 

1. You will be able to stand out from the competition.

2. You can take ownership for your uniqueness — and let’s face it, being creative this way is just way more fun.

3. You can communicate your strengths to your supervisor…who will love you for solving their problems and will recommend you in the future to other potential clients.

4. You will have the creative freedom to do your work your own way. If you’re hired because of a unique brand, people will want to watch you work your magic — and no one will want to mess with your chi.

5. Articulating your brand to your audience will put you in a position where you are sought out to do what you are good at over and over. In the process, you build more skills, refine your strengths, and construct a deeper network of those you might serve in the future.

Sounds easy enough right? Here’s the reason why it’s not.

You have to know who you are first before you can do any of this!! How can you begin the intense process of mindfully and intentionally sharing your unique service if you don’t know what that is?

Here is the How!

Don’t panic. I’ve got a starting place for you. Even big personal quests have to start somewhere right?

You don’t need to journal. You don’t need to pay a career coach for this one. You don’t have to struggle to fill in worksheets, and you don’t have to go to therapy. Just start Pinning!

Pinterest has created the perfect place for you to find images and quotes you can assemble to help you in understanding who you are, and what makes you different.

I fell into this idea completely by accident after finding a pic of Fred Rogers that sent goosebumps up my arms and filled my chest with a sense of  ’yes’. I created a board called, “What I aspire to be” where I collect photos, images, and quotes that resonate with me.

Don’t think! That’s where we tend to get so tripped up to begin with. Just feel. If you’re sorting through Pinterest and there is a photo that causes you to mist up, get excited, want to cry, and fires goosebumps up and down your arms you’ve hit on something important. Pin it! Your soul is speaking to you!

So if you’ve lost yourself, or are struggling to define yourself, or really want to know what unique qualities you can incorporate into your service to others….

Try looking on Pinterest.

For an example of my board click here!

Happy Pinning!

(Note: This article was originally published at http://www.catharinecraig.com/)

About the Author

Catharine Craig

Catharine Craig is a secret weapon to the successful (aka: Professional Resume Writer and Vocational Counselor). She is a certified professional resume writer affiliated with the National Resume Writers’ Association. She is known for the seminars and workshops she provides to university students, and for her genuine desire to assist others in finding their bliss. You can reach her via email at: catharine.craig@gmail.com

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. http://www.whatsforwork.com

Our Mission: Provide a community that encourages members, employers and providers to work together; to inspire and help each other grow.

The Doors That Close


By Catharine Craig

You tried your best, you worked hard, you put it on your vision board, you meditated about it, you prayed for it…and despite your good intention and herculean efforts it’s a big fat fail. There are few things as frustrating as the realization that  despite our best efforts the universe just refuses to cooperate. I know I’ve felt that way.

Not fair right? The rule is that with enough hard work, dedication and practice we are supposed to be able to do anything we want to! We are the one in a million! We are the odds defying statistical outlier…and dammit…movies should be written about our tragic yet inspirational stories. Yes. We are believers. We believe with our whole hearts.

So what the heck man? Why is it not working out? How did we get fired? How are we broke and about to close the business? How did our relationship break up? How did we NOT get accepted to the grad program we know we were just destined for? How did we get rejected from the path we know is ours? How is this so PAINFUL!?

Consider this just for a second… what if the universe knows you just a little bit better than you know yourself. What if the journey that leads to  authentic self involves some doors being shut in your face. It involves what you perceive as failure. It teaches and redirects through the pain of rejection.

I hadn’t mindfully considered this before but in my role as vocational counselor it is a possibility I would be remiss not to address. I’ve been there. I’ve messed up big time. I’ve come up short. I’ve not been picked. I’ve been left for something more interesting or attractive. Despite my best efforts I have not been smart enough, or the right size, or known the right people or been able to create the thing that would win approval and accolades from someone that mattered in that moment.

What if the doors that close teach us just as much about who we are as the doors that open easily?

Parker Palmer addresses this very issue beautifully in his book, “Let Your Life Speak.” Maybe we failed for a reason. Maybe it really was lack of effort even though we thought our heart was in it.  Maybe what we were trying to force ourselves through was just so contrary to the nature of who we are it became impossible.

I can’t tell you how many students across my desk have felt destined to become a pro athlete and have had that dream fall through. Or go to medical school despite the fact they can’t get through Into to Chemistry. Or marry the love of their life only to be discarded over spring break.

If we fixate on the closed door all we see is what we can’t have. We only see what was lost or how we are not good enough or how we have failed.

Here’s a bit of wisdom from Parker…

Turn around.

Look at the life you were ignoring while you focused on that closed door.

When a door closes the world opens up and you come closer to understanding the nature of who you are.

So while it stings..and it really does feel terrible..and it outright SUCKS to not get what we think we want consider this…

Now you can refocus on figuring out the most important thing of all.

Who are you really?

(Note: This article was originally published at http://www.catharinecraig.com/)

About the Author

Catharine Craig

Catharine Craig is a secret weapon to the successful (aka: Professional Resume Writer and Vocational Counselor). She is a certified professional resume writer affiliated with the National Resume Writers’ Association. She is known for the seminars and workshops she provides to university students, and for her genuine desire to assist others in finding their bliss. You can reach her via email at: catharine.craig@gmail.com

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. http://www.whatsforwork.com

Our Mission: Provide a community that encourages members, employers and providers to work together; to inspire and help each other grow.