Jane Lowder Jane Lowder is the founder of Max Coaching, an agency that specialises in providing coaching services to individuals and organisations. Jane is passionate about assisting individuals to clear existing career confusion and maximise their career satisfaction. To find out more view Jane’s full bio or visit the Max Coaching website. Follow Max Coaching on: twitter and facebook.

Say it Loud and Proud

If you have taken to heart Alicia’s and my latest posts then I assume that you have started to recognise and itemise your work-related achievements.

Here’s the next most important question: Can you confidently articulate your achievements and strengths in an interview?

No matter whether you’re job seeking, or seeking to stay in charge of your career management and direction, you need this skill.

I guarantee that most people reading this post could rapidly and confidently communicate the achievements and capabilities of their close friends and colleague.  Without a stammer or an ‘um’, without a moment’s hesitation a list of strengths and positive descriptions would flow off the tongue.

What happens to this flow of vivid prose when it comes to describing you? Do you find yourself becoming tongue-tied when asked ‘What are your 3 greatest strengths?’ or ‘What can you bring to this role?’

It’s a mystery why we lose our sense of logic at this point and scurry to find reasons to talk ourselves down. If the facts are in that you’re good at what you do, then face it: you’re good at what you do!

If you constantly receive feedback that you are a valued member of a team and that your work is of a high standard, then there’s a good chance that the people around you are not pulling your leg.  There’s a good chance that this is in fact the truth about you.

Are you a supporter of yourself?  If you were a sporting team, would you be one of the fans? If not, why not? Why wouldn’t you ‘back yourself’ as the punters say?*

For starters, do whatever it takes to get comfortable about talking about your achievements and strengths:

  • make a thorough and detailed list of them
  • read them out to yourself in front of the mirror - while you maintain eye contact with yourself! If you can keep a straight face articulating these points to yourself, you can do it to anyone.
  • rehearse your answers to the  most commonly asked interview questions about strengths and achievements.  Do this in front of the mirror, to family or friends, or into a voice recorder so you can listen back and coach yourself to improve.

It will feel awkward and ridiculous for a while, but only for a while.  Pretty soon you’ll be walking with your head a little higher, taking strides you wouldn’t believe you could take, and wondering why it took you so long to admit to yourself how good you are!

*Sometimes anxiety, stress and/or depression can impact on our view of ourselves.  In that case it is best to seek appropriate assistance.  Some good sites to start with include The Black Dog Institute and Beyond Blue.

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