What difference do you make?

At every good job interview, there is at least one ‘nagging’ question that follows you home. One that has forever stayed with me is: ‘What do you bring to the table, that isn’t already here?’

Ok…what do you say that won’t come off as arrogant to a team that has decades of experience in an industry or field that you are just starting out in? Yeah, you know you have transferable skills, but which ones do they value? All these questions were racing through my head! Meanwhile, the hiring manager was waiting for a memorable response, especially after so much thought was put into it. Eventually, I simply said: ‘You’ve stumped me with this one.’ Despite fumbling that ball, I did get the job. Though my response was uninspired, the question has inspired me from that day on.

Whatever you do and wherever you go, you need to know what difference you make. However, if you are not sure what difference you make, don’t beat yourself up. It requires ongoing self-reflection. Just keep in mind that self-discovery is not all about internal reflection, it’s also about how you interact with other people. Be warned: It’s that interaction that often is a bit of a revelation to you and to others!

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