What Are You Known For?

When people develop their careers, they often abdicate their career planning to employers and take advice from friends and family who are well intentioned but want you to be “safe . . . ” whatever that means these days.

Instead, in this video, I offer one thing you need to do to advantage you for opportunities within your firm AND outside your firm.



In talking with you today, I want to give you a metaphor for using a restaurant, for example. Have you ever bee n to a restaurant that you never been to before, walked in, and asked the waiter, “What is it that this restaurant is really known for? What is your signature dish?”  You can see the smile appear on the waiter or waitress his face as they describe this dish that they think is spectacular.

Have you ever been to a resort to a particular part of the world. And, before booking the trip, ask yourself, “What am I going to do here?  What is this part of the world really known for?”  Isn’t known for diving?  Isn’t known for great theater? Whatever it is, you are looking for the signature item for that location.

As a career professional, you are mapping your career.  When you are thinking of joining the next organization, you need to be prepared to talk about that thing that you are known for, the quality that you really excel at, the thing that when your boss is talking to their boss, they can say, “What Jeff is really good at is…” They can answer it.

When you’re going on the interview, there is something that you did, I can call it a “hero story,”where you stepped into a situation and you really stood out from everyone else.

If you are just going to recite a litany of roles, responsibilities and the whole bunch of stuff that you’ve done, you are going to come across as being ordinary.

However, if there is that one thing that you have invested blood, and guts, and effort for, that you are known for in your organization, where your boss will go to bat for you internally, where the next organization is going to think, “Hmm. We really need someone like this,” you will have a way of standing out from all the other people who are saying, “Sure.  Bring it on!

Invariably, what gives you an advantage in job hunting is your branding.  This is a form of branding.  Where, through time and effort, you can stand out from anyone else.

Catch that.

Where you can stand out from anyone else.

I want to remind you that most people make the mistake of keeping their heads down and doing a great job and forgetting to tell people about it.  They try to do the “cool approach.”  They tried to use false modesty in what they talk about but you have to go “big” with this.

I’m not saying to take out a billboard somewhere, but you have to make sure that everyone knows what you have accomplished– what you set out to do, the challenges that she faced, and how you went about persevering and succeeding.  If no one knows, what’s the point?  People need to know.

What advantages you is the signature dish, where people think to themselves, “Ahhhh!  The beef Wellington.”  “The vegetarian (fill in the blank).”  Whatever it is, it is extraordinary and you have done fabulous work .  You have testimonials on LinkedIn profile and you can reference this.  You have done this in an organization. We helped turn it around or gotten into a strategic role with this firm where the money was invested in growing this line of business.

The administrative stuff like the accounts receivable system, is boring.  You are a commodity.  No one cares.

Look for situations where you can turn around something or join an organization or lead an organization where money is invested because they are growing something significant.



Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell you as much as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

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