I attended the Future Female Engineers event in London last Friday, I was introduced to an inspiring woman called Kate Taylor, who is a creative business, and life coach and mentor. Specifically, for the event I was attending, she was discussing what makes you, you; and understanding your “why?”. This was for us to own our uniqueness and present ourselves admirably to recruiters.
Being clear on what we stand for – both personally and professionally – gives us a competitive advantage. Sticking by yourself, trusting your own values and passionately presenting this across to employers is what makes you stand out. It is what makes a company really know who you are and that your values align with theirs.
You are in the place you are in today because you chose to be there but why? Why did you choose your course? Why did you choose that university? Why do you prefer one class to the other when someone may feel differently? Every answer to every “why?”, answers the question of who you are! In between all those answers are values you own, and a personal brand you can own and be proud of.
A short exercise that she encouraged us to do to understand quickly what our why was, was to answer the following questions:
- I am here to…
- To make…
- So that…
This can be hard at first. But it is very useful to think about before going to an interview. You will be able to introduce yourself confidently and come across passionate about what you want to do and why.
For instance, I wrote the following in 5 minutes.
- I am here to… help disadvantaged communities and improve infrastructure across the globe.
- To rebuild, develop and improve the quality of life across the world and across different people’s lives.
- So that they can grow cities and communities to make the best life possible while remaining sustainable and eco-friendly for our planet’s future.
This was a rough piece of work, but the more you develop your statement, the more fluent it will become. This isn’t the same reason as other engineers for as to why they chose an engineering course, but it was partly mine.
This is basically your personal brand and can be used in interviews or profile descriptions on websites such as LinkedIn.
- Find your Why
- Live by your values
- Be you
- Be unapologetic
I believe there is a role in life for everyone. We are all unique, with different values, likes, and dislikes. Be unapologetic about it and just be you.
Oscar Wilde – “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”