Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Standing Out in a Job Search

By Careerealism

Sometimes, there is nothing wrong with defining who you are based on NOT being someone else.
Let me explain.

When I was in high school, I didn’t really stand out. Despite how hard I tried. Grew my hair long, dyed it green. Whatever it was I tried, it didn’t really work. I was still the quiet, unremarkable kid in the back of the class.

Then, one day the loud speaker announced, “Will Joshua Waldron please come to the principle’s office immediately.”

I turned bright red. The whole class started to chuckle, “this quiet kid got into trouble?”
“But wait”, I futilely tried to explain, “She said ‘Waldron’, I’m Waldman!”
“Never mind that, go to the principals office.”

And so I got my first badge of honor. Which I didn’t really deserve. So I thought.
But I kept explaining it wasn’t me. There was indeed a Joshua Waldron who got himself into quite a bit of trouble on a weekly basis, and it was NOT me.

Looking back, it was that one silly mix-up and then my defining myself as “not-Waldron” that turned things around for me.

I Am Not this, I Am That
I believe this same principle can be applied in almost any situation based on a principle found in a book called, “Made to Stick."

It describes the idea of a Meme, an idea-object that is easily grasped by others. The example of, “a pomelo is like a large grapefruit” can be better understood than a lengthy description of the exotic fruit.

By relating to something that others already know about, you can define yourself.

In high school, Waldron was notorious. By defining myself as not-Waldron, I became memorable to many people who I ordinarily wouldn’t have known.

Who Are You NOT  - More advice and complete article

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