Designing Your Career with a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

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Have you ever wondered what makes you stand out, in your career and as an individual? What gives you unique value, both professionally and personally? Your USP isn’t about being the best at everything but mastering your chosen niche exceptionally well.

Think of your USP like picking a favorite coffee shop or restaurant—it’s about finding that perfect blend/sweet spot that truly speaks to you, not just the cheapest, tastiest or latest option.

Identify Your Unique Value #

What sets you apart? Reflect on:

Sharing My Journey: It took me a while to see my business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit as the assets they are. As a software engineer, nobody really asks about these skills during interviews or exams. My parents ran a small family business, so I naturally learned entrepreneurial skills just by being around them. At first, I didn’t see how important it was. However, surrounded by tech enthusiasts, my grasp on the business aspects—such as the purpose behind our software projects and considerations of costs and resources—enabled me to make meaningful contributions to my team.

Embrace Your Specialty #

Even if it were possible to outperform everyone in everything, do you really want to be everything to everyone? Ask yourself:

T-shaped skills are key: broad knowledge across many areas, with deep expertise in one.

Sharing My Journey: I kicked off with Visual Basic in college, then dived into Web Development with PHP for thesis and right after graduation. My path led me to a telco as a Software Development Analyst, blending software development with business intelligence reporting (using Shell Script and Oracle/PL SQL), and I continued web development on the side with Java. Over time, I narrowed my focus to Web Development and discovered my real passion lies in backend development. I loved the challenge of ensuring the application’s stability and core functionality. This passion led me to Python as my tool of choice, making my work not only smoother and more efficient but also more enjoyable, since it saved me from fighting with the programming language’s syntax, freeing up my time for more important tasks.

I’ve also grown quite passionate about productizing ideas, focusing on crafting things with practical and sellable outcomes.

Experiment and Iterate #

Taking the first small step can lead to big discoveries:

Sharing My Journey: Stepping into data analytics as a PyCon PH organizer, I began applying my new skills to develop event reports and define success metrics for PyCon PH 2024. This hands-on approach not only diversifies my use of Python and backend skills but also significantly contributes to the event’s success and furthers our non-profit’s mission. It’s not a solo journey—working together with fellow volunteers passionate about the same cause not only amplifies our collective impact but also encourages the sharing of ideas.

Build Trust and Showcase Your USP #

Getting your skills noticed is crucial:

Go Out There and Do Things #

Action beats overthinking. Start with:

A close friend shared about reading the book “The $100 Startup” and read somewhere in the book “just do it” (or something along those lines). The funny part is, he literally closed the book after reading that part, went out there and founded a startup! To this day, he’s still out there and still hasn’t finished the book! 😆 For me, this really highlighted the importance of acting on your ideas. There are tons of experts out there ready to tell you how to do everything under the sun, but honestly, nothing beats learning from your own experiences–especially the experience of having your skin in the game!

Remember that you’re in charge of building your own adventure, career, and path in life. Celebrate your uniqueness, dive into your talents, and put them to work to create something amazing!

…and that’s what being all-in has taught me! So, here’s my takeaway:

Defining My Niche #

What’s your USP? #

How did you find it, and how has it shaped your career or personal growth? Feel free to share your journeys and discoveries with me on linkedin. Let’s connect and celebrate our unique strengths and paths together. Your story could be the inspiration someone else needs to hear! 🙂

 
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