Can You Stand Out From The Crowd

The question does seem like an easy one to answer, but if you take time to ponder over it, you’ll most likely realize that there is more to it, especially when we get to relate it to the employment situation of the country. 

Our universities keep pouring graduates into the labour market, year in and year out. Consequently, employers have a very large pool of people to pull from and absorb into their organizations. But there is a clause, and whether or not we want to believe that this clause exists, it is true – Recruitment is not an obligation for any organization, this means no organization will employ just any kind of graduate all for the sake of fulfilling some recruitment obligations. They have to be convinced that whoever they bring in to join their team is worth it. Companies want to remain in their line of business and make a profit, and they need to make sure that the set of people they are going to employ has what it takes to make this possible. Hence, the essence of the question, “can you stand out from the crowd?”

To stand out from the crowd, the first question you need to ask yourself is, what (skills) do I have, that will sell me out the more? Or to put it in a better way, what skills will give me an advantage over the large number of applicants who are applying for the same position just as I am?  It is when you have found out what these skills are that you can begin to work on yourself to develop those skills needed to help you stand out from the crowd – in essence, the skills that will give you an edge.

Skills are not just talents ‘untapped’ or potentials ‘undiscovered.’ Rather, skills are talents and potentials that have been tapped, discovered, refined, redefined and more importantly, ready to be deployed for use. In the 21st Century, your ability to learn, “unlearn” and “relearn” is crucial to your success. I also believe that the moment you come to a consciousness that you don’t know something, you have succeeded in knowing one thing – your ignorance of that thing; and therefore have come to the first and most important step in learning, because now you want to know.

In my book – EDGE, I discussed subtle but important things that will enhance your skills; help you develop your inherent potentials, and teach you practical and strategic ways of deploying those skills and potentials in the marketplace. Remember, everyone lives by selling something: it may be a product, a service, an idea, or even your personality. It is all about presenting yourself or whatever comes from you in an irresistible way – this is the key to relevance in today’s workplace, some call it “BRANDING.”  

Finally, remember that what you do differently is what makes you different, what makes you different is what makes you unique, and what makes you unique is what makes you stand out. An Action Plan is provided here to help you begin your journey of becoming irresistible in the marketplace. The questions will serve as a guide to help you find your edge and sharpen it. 

Action Plan:

  1. What are your interests i.e. things you have passion for?
  1. What are the things you admire? 
  2. What are the things your heart beats for? (things that easily get your attention) 
  3. What help would you render to people and feel good doing so?
  4. What are the things people mostly ask you to help them with?
  1. What are your professional Inclinations (Projected path)? 
  1. What is your career plan? 
  2. Where do you see yourself in 5, or 10 years? 
  3. What course(s) did you study or are you planning to study? 
  4. What are your major considerations for choosing the course(s)? 
  1. What are your career goals and aspirations i.e. your vision? 
  1. What did you intend to become when you entered school?
  2. What motivated the intention? 

I hope you take a pen and jotter and do this exercise dutifully. Finding your edge guarantees you a cutting-edge advantage in the marketplace. 

Excerpt from: 

Edge: Becoming Irresistible

By Ayodele Awi

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