Fingerprints and peoples career value have much in common. Each is unique and not a carbon copy. Indeed ‘no one does exactly what you do in the exact same way you do it’.
And this is essential to embrace as the marketing and media hiring landscape is as changeable as Melbourne’s weather is in one day.
Fluctuations swing the gamut to favour either candidates or hiring companies at any time. Up until 12 months ago it was an open field for candidates spoilt for choice in the volume of roles available.
But in July, the IAB Australia-2023 Industry Talent Report found that digital advertising and ad tech vacancies dropped from 11.8 percent to 4.5 percent. Fuelling the ratio of roles to candidates available is a host of overseas talent on top of thousands of local redundancies.
There are many avenues to champion personal career brands. And of course, LinkedIn has changed the game for career and marketing professionals to raise their visibility and champion their value.
The opportunity to really stand out and showcase individual profiles is available to all. Some do it very well, and unfortunately a lot are not exactly kicking any goals for themselves.
Promotion and communication of value can be hard in many avenues as people revert to clichés and replicated vanilla narratives that could apply equally to hundreds of others.
Over 20 years in and around the hiring and career strategy sector, I am regularly saddened and disappointed in the responses from both men and women when I ask: “what makes you really unique?” or, “what are your proudest achievements?”
The answers often remind me of the latest McCain TV campaign ‘Nothing Special’.
Irrespective of skills or role seniority levels, many grapple with feeling they are not unique or have anything really distinctive to offer. They feel in essence, nothing special.
People may be aware they are competent and do a good job. However, there can be a disconnect between reality and self value judgements. The inner chatter is ‘well anyone could do it equally the same’. This is just not true.
And that can bite hard when applying for a new role as communicating how you solve problems and have integrated solutions and team cohesion etc is critical.
There is logic behind embracing your uniqueness and how that interplays in organisations, relationships and success.
Fingerprints and logic
The creator of fingerprint technology, Sir Francis Galton found there is a 1 in 64 billion chance that two fingerprint sets are identical. Quite a remarkable statistic given the world’s population in 2023 is 8.1 billion.
Professor David Conley of Washington State University says they are unique because:
“The pattern of fingerprints can be attributed to genetics and how the skin grew when inside the womb. The reason fingerprints are unique is the same reason individual humans are unique. Variation is the norm, not the exception”
Every single job seeker and career professional is like a fingerprint. Everyone has them but no one can replicate the same package
The 12 elements that make up a person’s unique value mosaic are multifaceted and nuanced. It’s simply impossible to have the exact same mix in a pot.
It’s not just what you do, but how you do it that matters. The technical skills may be similar, but a host of other aspects interplay in the end results to clients and stakeholders. And vice versa.
Everything we have experienced and who we are at the core informs our unique workplace and business value.
Awareness, acceptance, integration
If you are grappling with awareness of your unique value, take a really long hard reflection of the mosaic without any value judgements. Facts are facts!
Then what do you do with the awareness and acceptance of your unique value?
It’s about communicating that value in an inspiring and honest way. Your vibe will attract your tribe, so it’s about holding court that you are not meant to be loved, hired and promoted by everyone. And that’s ok.
But what you can do is show up with stories, examples and deeper reflection on how you deliver and impact broadly.
It’s about holding your special McCain chip moments and history and translating that to the needs and challenges of the role and career you are in, or seeking.
And it’s having the guts to own and talk about your unique career mosaic and integrating that in your CV, bio and LinkedIn profile.
But most importantly it’s always remembering that “no one does exactly what you do in the exact same way you do it’.