Join Betty Liu for an in-depth discussion in this video Becoming career ready, part of Betty Liu on Career Success.
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- Being job ready to me, is really knowing who you are and what you have to offer. Right? So we go into any situation when we're looking for a job, into an interview or into an application process, and we say, and we into it a lot thinking what am I going to get out of it, what do I want? Being a real job seeker means what are my values, what's my brand, what can I offer, and where does it fit the most? It's really more about how do you present the most value to a company and the moment you actually understand that, you understand your set of skills, what you can bring to this company, what you can bring to this employer, the moment you really understand that, then you become that much more valuable in the marketplace, but once you're actually in a company, you become that much more additive to the entire team and to the entire corporation.
So, knowing your brand, knowing your value, I think is so, so important when you seek a job. You know, to me, standing out it all goes back to developing an expertise. So very early on in my own career, you know, I knew that I wanted to be a journalist, I knew that I loved writing, but it wasn't enough to just say I'm a journalist and I love to write. I mean there's plenty of people like that out there and I would be no special then the next person applying for another job, so I knew early on that I had to develop an expertise.
So I was very interested in my own roots in Asia, so I, you know, went when I was in college I studied abroad in China, I learned Chinese, I knew that Asia was going to be at least some part of my career, was going to be some part of my branding or my value to any employer. I also went into a field that not a lot of people were in. I went into business news and at the time that I went into business news, a lot of people weren't doing it, so I felt that I could carve a niche there and becoming an expert in business, so being able to combine both of those things I think helped me a lot because I became different than the other applicants, I became some who knew a lot about business news, but also knew a lot about the world outside, in particularly about China and that I think helped employers really kind of understand where I fit in.
So I think having a niche is extremely, extremely important. I was telling that to a group of young people the other day, that it isn't enough to just be a generalist. You've got to be somebody who really can become an expert or known for one thing and surprisingly once you become known for one thing, it's not just you seeking opportunities, opportunities then come to you because people who are looking for that expert, or they're looking for that person with that niche experience immediately think of you.
My best advice for a job interview is number one just being yourself, I know it's hard to do, but employers when they're interviewing, they just want to know who you are and they want to be able to know that you can really fit into this company. So just be yourself, and number two is don't give away your salary number. Right? So don't, you know, in the first, you're not going to get married quite yet, don't reveal everything. So even if an employer asks you for your salary, don't, and if you are in a situation where you find yourself having to put out a salary number, I always say this, and I especially say this to women because we tend to under value ourselves, right? I always say, pick a number and go 10% higher than that.
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