How to Discover New Ways to Differentiate Yourself in the Job Market

Hint: The answer is in YOU!

What do walking, jogging, working out, running, gardening, or even swinging a pick axe and job search campaign strategies have to do with each other? It sounds crazy, I know, but consider this:

Man walking dogHave you ever gone for a walk or gone jogging to help you think, create, or solve a problem? Have you ever deliberately engaged in an activity in order to help you think through a challenge such as developing new job search strategies, or different ways you can present yourself to reflect the value you bring to a hiring employer – or anything?

No? Well, you know, brilliant, innovative, creative people get out for activities to help them think! Steve Jobs, Sigmund Freud, and Harry Truman were known for taking walks to help them think and innovate. Monet would go to the countryside and sit and study scenes of nature for hours before painting. Sitting and gazing was his creative thinking process. Painting was the easy part.

Pulling weeds, trimming bushes, dead-heading your flowers – activities that are routinized, that don’t take a lot of thought to do repeatedly, can help your brain process and figure things out. My mother-in-law likes to wash dishes by hand because it relaxes her and she can think. For some, it’s model airplanes, or sanding, or doing laundry.

I come from a family that likes to walk. My dad went on walks several times a week for as long as I can remember. He was also an avid gardener with constant landscaping projects. I guess that’s why when I need to think I walk or immerse myself in yard work. Manual labor is good for my head! I really like to dig holes. My record for digging holes in one weekend is 12. I filled them with flowers and shrubbery. Great for thinking!

I asked for a pick axe for Mother’s Day (I know, right?) a few years back because I wanted a tool that would really break ground. My husband refused. Perhaps he feared that I would hurt myself, someone else, or a window. But I knew swinging it really would have helped me brainstorm challenges!

New ways to market yourself in the job search process; or to find your brand voice to differentiate yourself; or to really make an impression in an interview, are there to discover. Perhaps they’re deep down in your thoughts. Trust me, the ideas and answers are in you! They really are! Go for a walk or exercise class, or wash the evening dishes. Let your brain wander!

Then, if you still have trouble finding the answers, give us a call and I guarantee you that we will fill your head with new ways to market yourself and manage your career!

In the meantime, I’m wondering what ideas I didn’t come up with since I never got to swing that pick axe!

Susan Howington is the Founder and CEO of Power Connections.

Photo by Cathy Yeulet