[05.04.10]
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31 Ways To Uncover The Interesting Parts Of You

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Back in January, I asked a question.  A question that, once answered, would help you stand out and be noticed in a crowd.  What do you include in a response to the question: What’s Memorable About You?

I heard from a number of you who expressed frustration with this question.  Because some people think the answer is “nothing”.  Really?

So this is a follow-up to that post to help you think through this question with more depth.  Because at a future career networking event, in a round of structured conversation, the question may be asked directly of everyone.  And you’d sure like to have a great answer.

But more often, you will simply like to share something memorable when you build your elevator pitch.  It could be an accomplishment that really reinforces your career.  Or a skill that successful people in your field always display.

But its not just about being interesting while you are career networking.  Having a few interesting points about yourself is just plain good for any conversation.  At the office.  At the little league game.  At a cocktail party.

Having little gems to share can keep a conversation going and give people a reason to ask multiple follow-ups.  It’s OK that conversation revolve around you for a few minutes.  Especially if they are genuine and intended to be conversational.  Not entirely self-promoting.

And if you are not one who sits on a large book filled with lists of what makes you memorable, well, this post should help.

Because I created a list of interview questions.  And I hope that reading through them might help you find a little gem or two.  Because sometimes the gems are there, you just can’t see them.  Or someone else needed to tell you it was OK to talk about it.

  1. Where were you born?  What is that town known for?
  2. Were you born in unique circumstances (i.e. non-traditional)
  3. How much did you weigh at birth?
  4. What is the origin of your name?
  5. Do you have a twin?
  6. What is your best memory from childhood?
  7. Where did you live while you were growing up?
  8. Did you grow up with any people who are now famous?
  9. Who was your childhood hero?
  10. Have you attended any memorable events (i.e. presidential inauguration)?
  11. What are you passionate about?
  12. Did you meet your spouse in a unique way?
  13. What is the coolest place you ever visited?
  14. What awards or medals did you win as a kid (sports, spelling, art, science)?
  15. What have you always been known for?
  16. What do friends give you grief about (math whiz, athletic, good at trivia games)
  17. Did you have “big hair” in you past? Or other funny appearance story
  18. What have accomplished anything big on your bucket list.  What’s next?
  19. What is the origin or your name?  Where did your family originate?
  20. Are you related to anyone famous?
  21. Have you ever met your childhood idol or hero?
  22. Have you ever done anything really hard (run a marathon, complete a triathlon, read all the classics)
  23. What can you do unusually well (artist, chef, writer, chess, crossword puzzle)
  24. Do you have an engaging hobby (re-building cars, growing flowers, interior design)?
  25. What is your best quality?
  26. Have you ever written a novel, an ebook of poetry or a song?
  27. What do you collect now or as a kid (bottle caps, baseball cards, dolls, wine)
  28. Have your kids done anything remarkable or especially cute?
  29. Have you had to overcome a challenge in your life?
  30. What famous person, dead or alive, would you like to meet?
  31. What one work accomplishment will you be remembered for?

And once you find two or three gems.  Build a short and a long version of the story so that you can tell it.  Quickly if you need to, of course.  But even better? Create a long version for when you have the time.  And when a conversation seems ready for it.

Career networking is not about bragging.  It is about unfurling your robe to show a few bright colors to the people around you.  Who, prior to that, were just seeing another normal person.

And I’ll bet you are not that normal.  Once you’ve thought about it.

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Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Career Networking
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  • Nice work, Tim! Thanks for sharing. I just led a discussion this morning at the weekly Easter Job Transitions Group in Eagan, where I was encouraging folks to share their passion, accomplishments, and interests with each other … so this will make a wonderful follow-up for that. – Catherine

  • Nice work, Tim! Thanks for sharing. I just led a discussion this morning at the weekly Easter Job Transitions Group in Eagan, where I was encouraging folks to share their passion, accomplishments, and interests with each other … so this will make a wonderful follow-up for that. – Catherine

  • What a great list of questions, Tim! I can’t imagine at least some of these wouldn’t spark people to develop stories that will help them tell others what’s unique and memorable about them.

    In fact, a few of your questions are very similar to ones I ask my executive clients in my personal branding worksheet. They tell me that these kinds of exercises are extremely invigorating. Digging deep helps them feel positive about themselves and what they have to offer.

    Storytelling is a powerful brand communications and networking tool for job search and overall healthy career management. Everyone loves a good story. Stories help people connect better with you.

    Practicing and having a few hard-hitting stories in your back pocket can help you sail through tough job interviews and deal with those difficult behavioral-based questions – “Tell me about a time when you …”

    -Meg

  • What a great list of questions, Tim! I can’t imagine at least some of these wouldn’t spark people to develop stories that will help them tell others what’s unique and memorable about them.

    In fact, a few of your questions are very similar to ones I ask my executive clients in my personal branding worksheet. They tell me that these kinds of exercises are extremely invigorating. Digging deep helps them feel positive about themselves and what they have to offer.

    Storytelling is a powerful brand communications and networking tool for job search and overall healthy career management. Everyone loves a good story. Stories help people connect better with you.

    Practicing and having a few hard-hitting stories in your back pocket can help you sail through tough job interviews and deal with those difficult behavioral-based questions – “Tell me about a time when you …”

    -Meg

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  • Carol Cornell

    Great idea, Tim! We all ought to think more about our strengths and our passions so the world can know (if they ask!).

    These are great questions. In an interview just last week, I was asked “What are you passionate about” and I was not prepared. I could only think of two things. So this will be a reminder to me to get serious and think about these good questions you presented…and to be prepared!

    Thanks!

  • David M. Tompos

    Hi Tim! I would recommend Arbez.com as a great place to find your PASSION. Catherine’s workbook will help you find the job / company / work that you were most passionate about in your career, then encourage you to GO FIND IT AGAIN!
    Great job, Tim-

  • David M. Tompos

    Hi Tim! I would recommend Arbez.com as a great place to find your PASSION. Catherine’s workbook will help you find the job / company / work that you were most passionate about in your career, then encourage you to GO FIND IT AGAIN!
    Great job, Tim-

  • Joe Shocket

    This goes hand-in-hand with a book I just finished reading: “I Don’t Know What I Want, But I Know it’s Not This,” A Step-By-Step Guide to Finding Gratifying Work. It’s really for people who find themselves stuck in dead-end or unsatisfying jobs, but I discovered it’s good for anyone, individuals job hunting, considering their own business, retired but bored, etc. This paperback book is by Julie Jansen, published by Penguin, and costs $15.00. I recommend it for anyone looking for a job, ready for a change in careers, or you just want to “discover yourself.” It really makes you think.

  • Joe Shocket

    This goes hand-in-hand with a book I just finished reading: “I Don’t Know What I Want, But I Know it’s Not This,” A Step-By-Step Guide to Finding Gratifying Work. It’s really for people who find themselves stuck in dead-end or unsatisfying jobs, but I discovered it’s good for anyone, individuals job hunting, considering their own business, retired but bored, etc. This paperback book is by Julie Jansen, published by Penguin, and costs $15.00. I recommend it for anyone looking for a job, ready for a change in careers, or you just want to “discover yourself.” It really makes you think.

  • Barbara Graeler

    Hi Tim, I wish I had this list before attending my first meeting with Laguna Niguel Connectors. We were in a circle and when asked what was memorable about me I drew a blank. After eading this published list I came up with some good “stuff” that I can now share. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Barbara Graeler

    Hi Tim, I wish I had this list before attending my first meeting with Laguna Niguel Connectors. We were in a circle and when asked what was memorable about me I drew a blank. After eading this published list I came up with some good “stuff” that I can now share. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Hi Barbara – Yes, I know that circle very well! And I know what it feels like to be unsure. You always want something great to add! Glad this post helped you!

  • Hi Barbara – Yes, I know that circle very well! And I know what it feels like to be unsure. You always want something great to add! Glad this post helped you!

  • Hi Joe – Thanks for that recommendation. It always helps to have someone who can provide specific benefits. I meet a lot of people who express these same feelings.

  • Hi Joe – Thanks for that recommendation. It always helps to have someone who can provide specific benefits. I meet a lot of people who express these same feelings.

  • Thanks David – Sounds like a good resource . . .

  • Thanks David – Sounds like a good resource . . .

  • Thanks Carol – There are a lot of questions to be prepared for – you are right! And I have a feeling that if you pick a couple of key stories from your career and life, you can adapt an answer to suit. That way you are reinforcing your key strengths without having to remember too many stories. Come back anytime!

  • Thanks Carol – There are a lot of questions to be prepared for – you are right! And I have a feeling that if you pick a couple of key stories from your career and life, you can adapt an answer to suit. That way you are reinforcing your key strengths without having to remember too many stories. Come back anytime!

  • Hi Catherine – Appreciate your words and it sounds like you have a nice program there – I will check it out! Thanks for stopping by . . .

  • Hi Catherine – Appreciate your words and it sounds like you have a nice program there – I will check it out! Thanks for stopping by . . .

  • Thanks Meg – I am sure your list is much more extensive than mine! And I hope that any job seekers looking to get some professional help will look for you in the career experts directory. They won’t be sorry! Appreciate your taking the time to comment. 🙂

  • Thanks Meg – I am sure your list is much more extensive than mine! And I hope that any job seekers looking to get some professional help will look for you in the career experts directory. They won’t be sorry! Appreciate your taking the time to comment. 🙂

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  • Fabulous blog and great questions. With the answers you can weave a very interesting and beautiful tapestry of someone’s life. The answer to #26 is that an old high school chum from 35 years ago posted on Facebook a poem that I wrote in grade 11. The funny thing is I do not remember writing the poem but it is intensely timely and prophetic. You never know. To the last question, I would answer “For helping at least one person smile or laugh every day”. And I really do manage to do that. 🙂

  • Fabulous blog and great questions. With the answers you can weave a very interesting and beautiful tapestry of someone’s life. The answer to #26 is that an old high school chum from 35 years ago posted on Facebook a poem that I wrote in grade 11. The funny thing is I do not remember writing the poem but it is intensely timely and prophetic. You never know. To the last question, I would answer “For helping at least one person smile or laugh every day”. And I really do manage to do that. 🙂

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  • Thanks Michelle! I like your last answer – that’s a cool way to think about your opportunity in life . . .

  • Thanks Michelle! I like your last answer – that’s a cool way to think about your opportunity in life . . .

  • Great post Tim!
    When you put it like that, I’m very interesting 🙂 I guess it all started with my name! One dynamic that may come into play is that possibly that which makes us most interesting may be part of our core identity and we look for a safe place to be vulnerable to share that. Facts are easier to share whereas experiences and beliefs may take some time and trust to develop first.

  • Great post Tim!
    When you put it like that, I’m very interesting 🙂 I guess it all started with my name! One dynamic that may come into play is that possibly that which makes us most interesting may be part of our core identity and we look for a safe place to be vulnerable to share that. Facts are easier to share whereas experiences and beliefs may take some time and trust to develop first.

  • J – Of course you are! Having hung out with you, I can say that with confidence. 🙂 Yes, start with something close and people will react well to you.

  • J – Of course you are! Having hung out with you, I can say that with confidence. 🙂 Yes, start with something close and people will react well to you.

  • Naa A.

    Quality and not quantity is what matters most.I agree, being loud and lacking depth just does not work. Im really learning a lot og good stuff from u guys.

  • Naa A.

    Quality and not quantity is what matters most.I agree, being loud and lacking depth just does not work. Im really learning a lot og good stuff from u guys.

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