Your Uniqueness, Your Threads, with Aubrie De Clerck

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The most important—and most difficult—part of any job search is finding focus. You need to have some idea of what you actually want to do in your career. Without a focused job search goal, it’s almost impossible to sell yourself to potential employers.

Aubrie De Clerck, of Coaching for Clarity, says the best way to find career focus is to explore your unique, natural gifts. In this bonus episode, Aubrie shares strategies for identifying your unique threads and professional capabilities. She reads her contribution to our book, Land Your Dream Job Anywhere, in which she explains how you can identify your “better than the rest” qualities.


Mac Prichard:

This is Find Your Dream Job, the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want and make a difference in life.

I’m Mac Prichard, founder and publisher of Mac’s List. On today’s bonus episode, we’re sharing exclusive content from Land Your Dream Job Anywhere. For 15 years at Mac’s List, we’ve helped people find meaningful, well-paying work in Portland, Oregon, one of the country’s most competitive job markets.

Now, we put all of our best job hunting advice in one new book that can help you no matter where you live. Land Your Dream Job Anywhere also includes advice from many of the national career experts who have appeared on our podcast. Today, we’re sharing one of these features exclusively with you, our podcast listeners.

Here’s Aubrie De Clerck, owner of Coaching for Clarity reading her contribution, ‘Your Uniqueness, Your Threads.’ Take it away, Aubrie.

Aubrie De Clerck:  

This is Aubrie De Clerck, reading ‘Your Uniqueness, Your Threads.’

As we advance through our career, it is up to us to tell our story—the story of who we are, what we can do, and how we stand out doing it. Our story is not simply about identifying transferable skills. To find fulfilling work, we need to communicate our threads—the things we are best at, the things we can’t stop doing if we try, the things we do naturally; our gifts.

Using your threads as a foundation for your search builds confidence, both within yourself and with employers. It simplifies your messaging for resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn, while preparing you for interviews. Threads can also help you understand what questions you need to ask to find out whether a particular role would be fulfilling.

To get a sense of threads, let’s take a common transferable skill – problem solving – and go a few steps further. Being a problem solver is great, but many people solve problems. This skill alone won’t help you stand out. You’ll need to narrow in on your special brand of problem solving. You can start with these questions:

First, what, specifically? What kinds of problems do you solve, people, data, organizational problems? Problems that may take many years to solve, or ones that you can check off a list each day? One example might be: “I resolve complex customer service issues.”

Second, in what way? Is there a particular way that you solve problems that’s unique to you? Have you received positive feedback from others about the kinds of contributions you’ve made? Let’s continue with our example. “I resolve complex customer service issues with patience and persistence.”

Third, to what end? Is there a particular outcome to solving the problem that you’re trying to achieve? Does the solution need to work in one instance, or always work? Taking our example even further, “I resolve complex customer service issues with patience and persistence, resulting in concrete repeatable solutions.” With that statement, what do we know about the example problem solver?

We know this person would be fulfilled by solving challenging, multi-faceted people problems; having the time to understand the issue and craft a solution and making sure the problems do not continue in the future. Knowing this, an employer could expect a thorough driven employee, someone that increased operational efficiencies as problems are solved and that would be committed to satisfying customers. What questions could this person ask employers to evaluate whether he or she wants a certain job? What kinds of problems do you solve for customers? How long does it typically take to resolve customer problems? Are there recurring problems? If so, how are they handled?

Now it’s your turn. Pick a transferable skill you enjoy using and run it through this process. Start building your foundation for not only an easier search but also for more compelling conversations about your unique gifts at any point in your career.