Less is the New More

I love to socialize! Hanging out with friends is a favorite pastime. Meeting new people is great too. And I ™ll admit it: I have a gift for gab. Some of my friends say I ™m chatty . Sounds harsh, but I ™ll take it. I come by this gift for conversation naturally. My maternal grandmother could talk to anyone about anything. She would board a plane in northern Minnesota to come visit, and by the end of the flight she knew just about everyone on board.

This was particularly annoying to me since I was single at the time. You see, grandma had the habit of showing my picture to single men she would meet during the flight. While she drew the line at giving out my phone number, she would inevitably arrive with several phone numbers so I could initiate the call.

white napkin with phone number

I ™m going to apologize now for never calling any of them. Especially the rancher from Montana. He sounded nice, but I ™m a city girl and need to be close to a mall.

All this to say that I enjoy a good talk, lots of words. This was challenged at a recent networking event when discussion turned to communicating who we are and our career experience.

First up for discussion: resumes. We all agreed that once you have years of experience, two pages works best. God bless those who are creative enough to cram their career into one witty well-written page.

If the resume is a written conversation meant to tell a perfect stranger your career story, it's hard to compact all the blood, sweat and tears of your work into a page or two. What do you mean you don't you want to hear about my first job at McDonald's? How about my ability to recite all the U.S. presidents in the order that they served “ in less than thirty seconds? Talk about talent!

Lucky for me I ™ve got thick skin and will forgive everyone for not being interested in such important information. So my resume is the standard two pages.

Next on the agenda, the :30 second elevator  speech. You know, where you have condensed your accomplishments enough to be able to tell them to someone during an elevator ride? Honestly, how many of us actually have to do this while in an elevator? What about during a road trip? That would be better. All the time in the world, with the interviewer trapped.

Again I ™m lucky. Despite my gift for gab, I ™ve been able to work my accomplishments into a nice :30 second story. Just in case I have an interview in an elevator.

Then came something so new that we didn't know what hit us. We were asked to condense our experience to three words. You heard me: 3 words. Three key words that would uniquely describe us. After all, elevator speeches are so last year .

Seriously? You want me, little miss Chatty Cathy, to condense my wonderful career into three words? Have you met me?

We all looked at each other, stunned. Yeah, like anyone can really do that.

The speaker then showed us her business cards. Three words emblazoned on the front, uniquely and very effectively describing her.

Apparently less is the new more  when it comes to talking about your career.

Never one to back down from a challenge, I was determined to see if I could do the same. As you saw in a previous post, I took the bold move to ask friends and colleagues to describe me in three words. Even with their help, I ™ve been stumped with this assignment.

How about six words? Four words, perhaps. But three? Maybe I could just have a bunch of words all over my business card? Confusing, maybe, but at least unique.

Weeks have gone by and I ™m still struggling “ yet determined “ to do this. I ™ve narrowed it down somewhat. Top three words, at least for now, are:

Communicate “ through marketing and PR
Entertain “ use humor to engage and motivate
Mentor “ by sharing my experience

Still want to use moxy  somewhere, since this word popped up a few times from friends. I also liked quirky . Not sure how that will translate to a business card.

If less is the new more, then I ™m on the right track. I ™m a quirky chatty Cathy communicator who entertains and mentors with moxy .

Or something like that.

Think it's easy? What are your three words?

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