We’ve all been there. We’re thirsty for a promotion or a new job, but don’t quite know how to convince the guy in the corner office that we’re worth it. This is partly because we’ve been trained to think that bragging is bad and to avoid anything that resembles it, making it easy for us to forget what makes us valuable workers. Here’s how to remind yourself of your best talents.
What are the biggest obstacles you have overcome?
The average worker can grind out their daily duties no problem, but the only way to see how they react in a clutch situation is by putting an obstacle in front of them. Being able to tell employers what you’ve gone through and how you smartly managed red alerts can show them how resourceful you are and how consistent you can be at executing your skills. Some challenges you have to fight through may also require skills outside your job description, which is a good way to hint that it may be time to jump a salary grade.
What new things have you learned?
This comes in handy most when you’re looking for a promotion. A company wants to know how the money they spend on your salary is paying off in terms of you acquiring new skills and ways of thinking. With a firm grasp of this, you can show them that you’re a rising star, not a worker who has plateaued. Similar to knowing what obstacles you’ve climbed over, it is also valuable to know how you’ve learned from past mistakes. Not only are you less likely to repeat them, you’ll be able to help others make them as well.
What do you do in your free time?
This may not sound particularly work-related, but free time is often a sure sign of a competent and efficient worker—but if your work/life balance is out of whack and you have to crunch your projects late into the night at home, that’s a red flag, even in industries where the traditional nine to five is dead. Having plenty of hobbies helps show where your values lie and may even help you connect with your colleagues on a more personal level.
What change do you create in the world?
Some people work hard every day, but they don’t seem to be making a difference. Not you. Take a moment to think about the impact you make around you. It can be as simple as increasing your company’s bottom line, but it can also be a humblebrag like going above and beyond to ensure a client’s happiness. These extraordinary accomplishments speak for themselves, and are a great bargaining chip if you’re seeking to move up in your career.
What do you enjoy most about your career, and why do you do it?
These days, it’s very rarely about the money—even athletes find one specific aspect, like fame, and use that as their motivation. If an employer knows what makes you tick, they’ll not only be able to see your passion and motivation, but they’ll also know that you won’t jump ship for the next opportunity that comes up.