Can you sum up your career in six words? Recently, I read an article in Fortune Magazine called “Your career, summed up in six words”. There is something about the discipline of asking you to find the essence of something in very few words.
In interviews, you are supposed to “Tell Me about Yourself” and people will judge you based on “How You Express Yourself?” It is really hard to describe something as complex as your career in six words. If your career is very short, is it any easier? The length of a career is not the issue or is it? Finding six words to represent anything meaningful is a challenge! Many of you have had practice writing cryptic messages using texting and Twitter, although you can add more words.
This article reminded me how it is difficult to keep people’s attention for very long. Some refer to this syndrome is a consequence of the MTV generation! We are have lots of distractions such as cell phones, smart phones, iPods, MP3 players, computers, social media, computer games and other forms of entertainment. It is amazing we can stay focused at all.
Now I am asking you to sum up your career in six words! What is the problem? Is it that you can write thousands of words or is it picking the right words? People spend too much time on the phone, tweeting and texting and not expressing themselves concisely. Let’s face it, there is no reason to be brief or is there? Say something interesting and they want to hear more! Give me six dynamite words that will get my attention!
Words are part of your skill set! How you express yourself is important. Words can affect other people and their opinion of you. In an interview, you are guiding the interviewer to the questions you want them to ask you. In a social situation, you are judged on how well you can communicate. If you are good, you will hold the other person’s attention.
How can you write about your career and keep everyone’s attention? There are two ways to hold someone’s attention. One would be using interesting well selected words or the other would use humor. Some may even use a combination of humor and well selected words to express themselves. Just a few words, where do you start?
A lot of it is personal choice, but look for interesting words. You want the reader to understand what your career entails and it won’t hurt to show some personality. Humor is another element that reveals your personality. Sometimes it is easier to sum it up in one word. For me, if I could only pick one word to describe myself, I would say “determined”. What is your one word description?
Did you learn anything about yourself by going through this exercise? Distilling your ideas about your career down to either one or six words can be difficult, but worthwhile. It makes you chose word(s) carefully to express yourself. You will be a more effective communicator going through this kind of exercise or maybe not. This is not a cure for cancer, but it worthwhile to think about the words you use in describing yourself or your career. Can you sum up your career in six words?
Photo by: jbcurio