OK, so you’ve never walked out in front of Simon, L.A, Britney and Demi (and ten thousand shrieking fans) on Fox’s ‘X Factor.’
Maybe that’s because you don’t have a golden voice like this:
[embedplusvideo height="300" width="430" standard="http://www.youtube.com/v/Ey9wq8RohuA?fs=1&start=111" vars="ytid=Ey9wq8RohuA&width=380&height=250&start=111&stop=146&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=¬es=" id="ep6052" /]
Or you don’t want to make a complete fool of yourself like this:
[embedplusvideo height="300" width="430" standard="http://www.youtube.com/v/_C66QzJrN4M?fs=1&start=127" vars="ytid=_C66QzJrN4M&width=430&height=300&start=127&stop=152&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=¬es=" id="ep6690" /]
But you compete on the ‘X Factor‘ more than you realize. Sure, there aren’t bright lights and TV cameras like on Fox. But there is always a panel of judges reviewing your work with one question in mind:
What do you bring to the table?
Whether you’re looking for a new job or finding ways to move up in your current one, it always comes down to the ‘X factor,’ that special something that sets you apart.
Scenario 1: Looking for work
Let’ s say you apply to a company along with 150 other hungry, talented people. Who gets the position?
Easy. The person with the ‘X factor,’ the skill that no one else can match.
How do you find it?
1. Network constantly and ask people in your industry: what are employers looking for today?
2. As best you can, teach yourself the skills that are valuable in the market. For instance, if you want to learn more about social media/blogging, start a blog (hey, that sounds familiar).
3. Read news about your field every day and understand the trends and techniques that are ‘coming next.’
Then when it’s time for a job interview, you not only know what the boss wants, but you have the skills he needs.
That’s called having the ‘X factor.’
Scenario 2: Finding your role from within
Once you’re in the office, ‘X factor’ opportunities can arise at any moment. The key is to become indispensable and develop a niche, a space in the company in which you have ownership.
1. Mastery of a computer program no one else can figure out
2. Main editor/compiler of a company newsletter/blog
3. Extensive business contacts and relationships a company would hate to lose
Then if job cuts ever roll around, management will say ‘Oh, we can’t lose so-and-so. She’s too important to what we’re doing.’
Again, that’s having the ‘X factor.’
Not everyone is born with superstar vocal chords like competitors on Fox’s hit talent show. But anyone can become the ‘X factor’ in the real world.
All it takes is the ability to see an opening and make it your own.
No Hollywood magic necessary.
Think about your own job interviews. Did the employer ever ask if you have a certain skill and you had to say, ‘Well…kinda’ or ‘No…not really.’ What could you have done differently to answer that question with a ‘Yes. Absolutely I know how to do that’?
Share your tips below!
September 10, 2012
It's not about the clothes. It's about the presentation.
September 17, 2012
For the rest of us, these workplace tips could save your life.