Getting into The Business of YOU

Getting into The Business of YOU

Your company has offered you a new position. Is this position right for you?

After urging from your boss and the human resources partner for your organization, you finally decide to craft a personal development plan. Where do you start?

Your boss informs you of your position in the organization’s talent pool. Is this where you think you should be or want to be? 

You are out of a job. Your company has downsized and your position has been eliminated. Where do you start your job search?

You have a job interview scheduled? The interviewer may request: Tell me about yourself. What will you say?

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.


As an employee, you operate your own business. You provide your personal product (your strengths, skills, and capabilities) to satisfy the needs of your customer (your employer). You are in The Business of Me.

Last week’s article, Developing a Product Called YOU, pointed out that products are the foundation for operating a successful business. The article explained how you can apply the Business Product Development Process to the Develop Product component of The Business of Me Career Management Process.

As promised, this week’s article explains Assess, the initial step in the Personal Product Development Process.

Assess is about knowing yourself. There are several strengths and personality assessments that can help you know yourself. The assessments establish profiles of you based on your answers to questions related to your interests, likes and dislikes, personal values, and how you act in certain situations. These profiles provide terms or themes that can help you identify situations, roles, and assignments in which you will be effective. Leading assessments include Gallup’s Strengths Finder, DISC, and Myers Briggs. Your company may have HR professionals who can administer assessments for you. There are also several free assessments that you can take online.

Assessments are also available to help you identify your strongest skills and capabilities. These assessments:

  • Measure your natural abilities.
  • Define your interests.
  • Inventory your skills.
  • Relate your skills to job responsibilities and roles that will work best for you.

Again, your company may have HR professionals who can administer assessments for you. There also free assessments that you can take online.

Two techniques that I use to help my clients understand their strengths, skills, and capabilities are:

  • Seeking input from co-workers, managers, and subordinates.
  • Your finest moments.

It’s hard to see the picture if you are in the frame. People who have worked with you or for you and those to whom you have reported can provide perspectives of your strengths, skills, capabilities that you may not realize. I ask clients to ask the following questions to solicit input.

  • What types of assignments, projects, or situations would you ask me to join with you or solicit my advice?
  • What are 3 things that I do well?
  • What are 3 things that I do not do well?
  • Why would you hire me to work for you again?
  • What would you say about me if someone contacted you to be a reference for me?

Your finest moments may be times when:

  • You could not wait to get home to tell your spouse or significant other about what you accomplished at work.
  • You turned up the volume so loud on your car radio and felt like you were in a special zone of emotion.
  • You were so tied up in the moment from your accomplishment that you almost ran a traffic light or stop sign.
  • You had a smile on your face that was so pronounced that it seemed to be permanent.

I ask clients to document what they accomplished in terms of:

  • Situation or challenge they overcame.
  • What action they took (how they overcame the situation or challenge).
  • Who benefited and how they benefited.

Sometimes I play the theme song from the Superman television program from the 1950’s to liven the review of the client’s finest moments.

Faster than a speeding bullet.

More powerful than a locomotive.

Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

It’s a bird.

It’s a plane.

It’s Superman!!

Through the finest moments exercise, clients see patterns that reveal their strengths, skills, and capabilities. The clients and I establish personal descriptors such as Problem Solver, Thought Leader, Old Reliable, Innovator, Task Master, etc. We then relate these descriptors to situations that call for the client’s strengths, skills, and capabilities.

Knowing yourself (your strengths, skills, and capabilities) provides a filter for addressing career situations and challenges such as the ones cited at the start of this article.

In the right situation, you can be Superman.

In the wrong situation, you will be Clark Kent (Superman’s disguise).

Next week’s article will cover Research, the second step in the Personal Product Development Process.

Did this week’s article generate Aha Moments for you?

Did the article provide ideas for addressing your career opportunities, challenges, and situations?

Have you thought about times that you took a business management approach to address a career opportunity, situation, or challenge?

If you did not, do you wish you had?

Why would you promote or hire you?

I invite you to share your comments, experiences, and suggestions.

Your career is your most important economic asset.

Linwood Bailey is a career coach and the author of The Business of Me: Your Job … Your Career … Your Value. The Business of Me provides a career management and information resource designed for today’s business professional. Since 2008, Linwood has enabled business professionals to manage their most important economic asset—their careers. Linwood, the been there coach, provides innovative career management solutions derived from his 34 years of experience managing functions and people in multiple industries, regions, and corporate cultures.