Why You Should Be Uniquely Yourself to Be Successful

Why You Should Be Uniquely Yourself to Be Successful

There is no set path to being successful.

One person may go to business school and become a successful entrepreneur, while another person launches a side hustle and teaches themselves how to run a business. 

One person may have become a copywriter by coming up through an agency, while another person started free-lancing and cold-emailing potential clients. 

One person may have always known what their dream job was, while another person does a career pivot later in life. 

Everyone has their own path and timeline. And what works for somebody else, may not necessarily work for you. 

What really matters is staying true to yourself and doing what you do best. It is your unique set of skills and experiences that will tremendously benefit you in your career. 

Our unique experiences give us an advantage

It’s natural to want to compare yourself to the people around you. 

You can’t help but wonder if the choices you’ve made in life have somehow put you at a disadvantage. Maybe you’d be better off if you had majored in finance instead of history. Or maybe you’d be more successful if you had pursued an internship instead of waiting tables right out of college.

While it may not seem like it at the time, it is your unique and specific experiences that will actually give you a leg up in your career. 

So instead of shying away from your unconventional experience, own it. Maybe waiting tables gave you a strong work ethic or taught you how to connect with customers or pay attention to the details. These are essential skills that would help you in any professional situation and make you stand out amongst your peers.

When we embrace our unique self, we can let go of the pressures to conform. We can let our strengths shine. 

Our unique experiences give us a fresh perspective 

You’ve probably heard coworkers say things like, “No, we already did that and it didn’t work.”

But with your unique skills or experience, you can offer a fresh, new voice and perspective. You’re not going to knock down new ideas or say that something is impossible because you don’t know that yet.

It’s always good to have team-members who know how things work, and what systems and processes work best. But it’s also valuable to have a member on the team who can provide innovative ideas and creative solutions to problems. 

What if I don’t know what makes me unique? 

Don’t worry if you have no idea what it is that makes you unique. 

Despite being around yourself 24/7, it actually takes time to figure out who you are. Not all of us were born knowing what our passions or strengths are. That’s why a regular self-reflection practice is key to understanding yourself and what sets you apart. 

Here’s how you can discover your authentic self and embrace it.

  • Daily journal writing practice. Writers, artists, and CEOs have all turned to a journal writing practice to explore themselves and uncover their strengths. Try free-writing in your journal for 10-15 minutes a day. You can jot down your observations or describe any challenges you faced or write about what inspires you. You can also use a guided journal to add some structure to your writing.
  • Make a list of things you like. Don’t knock your hobbies and interests. They can guide you to your strengths and hidden passions. What do you like to do in your spare time? What music do you listen to? What shows do you like? You never know. An interest in art and design could give you an advantage as a copywriter. Or your knowledge of Greek mythology could pay off as an entrepreneur
  • Catalog your compliments. Not sure what your strengths are? Then take note of compliments that people pay you. Maybe your manager praised your eye for detail or your ability to write on a tight deadline. Or maybe your coworkers are always complimenting your organizational skills and efficiency. Look to your compliments and you will find your strengths. 
  • Connect the dots in your resume. Many of us have had a circuitous career path. Maybe you spent two years working at a theater and then another couple of years waiting tables and a few years freelancing. Find a throughline in your career by connecting the dots. Do you notice any patterns or themes in your career? Maybe a throughline is that you’re great in a client-facing role or you thrive in a deadline driven environment or you relish creative work. Connect the dots and you will build a cohesive picture of your strengths and special skills. 

Put your unique skills in action 

Now that you have a better idea of what your unique strengths and skills are, it’s time to put them to use. 

  • Develop a “beat.” Take a cue from journalists and pick your own “beat” or specific niche. Look to your interests and strengths to help you find your beat. Maybe you’re a copywriter who can translate jargon into something relatable. Or a marketing expert who’s great at storytelling. Your beat and specialized expertise will distinguish you from competitors and help you rise to the top. 
  • Offer your skills. Maybe you’re great at pairing copy with images, but your team doesn’t know that yet. Offer to take on projects that could use your special skills. Work on your company’s newsletter or design the slides for your boss’s presentation. Before you know it, word will spread and you’ll develop a strong reputation for your niche. 
  • Start a side business. A side business can help you develop your niche and gain traction. Make sure to seek out advice and do your homework before launching your business. By laying down the groundwork, you’ll set yourself up for success. 

As you can see, your personal journey has provided you with unique skills, experiences, and knowledge. It is your very uniqueness that will help you get noticed, connect with others, and flourish in your career.

Written by JiJi Lee.

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