Like taking a seasonal inventory of your closet, you need to poke into the corners of your mind on a regular basis.
I was reminded of this over the weekend when a wonderful lunch turned into an impromptu and exciting job interview. Some of my answers were rusty ... shame on me!
I usually ask myself the questions below. My answers change like my taste in shoes - I'll always wear a pair but somedays it'll be Birks and others a pair of patent leather tomato-red heels. Regardless, I should always know what is in my closet!
Knowing yourself at this point in time:
1. What can I do? (list job skills, hobbies, interests, volunteer experience, etc.)
2. In which of these things do I excel? (subset of #1)
3. For which of these things would I like to become more skilled? (subset of #1)
4. Which of these things do I love to do? (subset of #2)
5. What do I think others come to me for most often? (subset of #1)
Note which skills (if any) are not picked up from #1 by the end of this exercise.
* Stop including them in your self-promotion.
Note which skills might be using to create a training plan that could reading, mentoring, networking, courses, etc.
* Draft that plan.
Note how much of an overlap is evident between list #4 & #1. Between #4 & #2. Between #4 & #5.
* Try to shorten the gap between 4 & 1 and 4 & 2.
* Try to promote yourself from your areas of joy.
The next time someone asks what you have to contribute, you can take your top 3 items from list #4 and back it up with the other lists ... instead of the other way around like we usually do!