Perfecting your craft

I was fortunate enough to attend Commerce Ballarat’s Business Day Out last month.  I really enjoy the chance to step away from the desk and attend sessions such as these to connect with local like-minded people. Well done to Commerce Ballarat for organising such a great event with a broad range of guest speakers.

Throughout the sessions there was a common theme of digital disruption, how the digital landscape is continuing to evolve and how businesses need to adapt and embrace a new way of connecting with their customers. James Stewart, Managing Partner of Ferrier Hodgson (who have recently merged with KPMG) started the day with his presentation on ‘Digital Disruption & the New Consumer’. James’ experience gave us all an insight into both global and local digital disruption and the challenges for the business future. Whilst the presentation was largely targeted to the retail sector, one key message I took out of the session was in relation to Automation and AI and that it is here to stay! The job market is forever changing due to emerging technology and some of the most in demand jobs today didn’t even exist ten years ago.  We are constantly hearing about how technology is replacing people in jobs (you only have to go through the self-serve check outs at Coles/Woolworths for example) so it’s important to understand how this affects your industry and your future job viability.  It got me thinking “So how do I stay ahead of the game as a Recruitment Strategist to make sure my role isn’t one that will be replaced by technology in years to come?”

This thought stuck with me well into the second session ‘In Craft We Trust’ where Matt Jones, Co-Founder & Creative Strategist from Four Pillars Gin, captivated the audience with the Four Pillars Gin story and how their business has evolved in such a short period of time. Matt has extensive brand and marketing experience and his opinion was that brands don’t exist, brands are bias and experiences create bias. Bias is created by how someone feels about your brand. In order to stand out from the crowd in a world with so much digital noise he spoke about perfecting your craft.

Some of the key questions he asked were:

  • What’s your purpose?
  • Why do you exist?
  • Who do you serve?
  • What problems do you solve for them?
  • What value do you create for them?
  • Why do you matter to them?
  • What’s the craft that gives you the right to matter to them?
  • Are you committed to perfecting your craft?
  • Does your purpose and your craft show up in every experience you create for them?

These questions alone have generated great conversations within our own business and reconfirming our purpose to help build great workplaces. It can often be too easy to get “busy” and say we don’t have time to step away and think about these questions however the value to stop and reflect on what your purpose is can be so rewarding. We can often get caught up in the volume of work we have to do that we sometimes forget the big picture stuff.

I encourage everyone to try and answer the above questions to help re-clarify why you “do what you do”. It’s helped me re-focus on what my priorities are and where I need to spend my time and energy to perfect my craft and embrace the challenges that lie ahead in a forever changing business landscape. It’s vitally important to consider these questions when you are thinking about taking that next step in your career or thinking about a career change. Taking a step back and reflecting on why you do what you do and how you contribute to the customer experience will help you tell your story right from preparing your resume to apply for a job through to engaging the interview panel with the value you can bring to their business. Understanding these questions from your prospective employer’s perspective is also equally important. By doing research and understanding the business purpose and how they create value for their customers will help you show how your skill set aligns with their business. Instead of answering the standard interview question ‘what do you know about us’ by reeling off a spiel you read on their website, imagine how powerful sharing your understanding of the purpose, brand and customer experience would be. That’s how you make a winning impression at an interview!

Good luck answering these questions, I hope you find it a rewarding exercise too!

And if you have lost your way and need some help getting back on track with your career, feel free to contact me for a chat about how our career coaching services can help you find your purpose and perfect your craft.

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