Finding Your Angle: Discovering What Makes You Different
by: Shannon McNay
It’s not easy to set yourself apart in today’s world. While the rise of the internet and social media has created more opportunity, it can also feel like there’s a lot more competition for those opportunities.
For example, I work in content strategy and social media. In my line of work, resumes are out there for everyone to see. And it’s never easy to come across someone with three times more Twitter followers than I have or see that they work for multiple influential companies. On the wrong day, this can have me dissolving into feelings of inadequacy that take weeks to really get over.
It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others. It’s how we learn our place in the world! But when it comes to business, it can make or break us. If we use this to help us aspire to greatness, then a feeling of healthy competition can be a great driver of growth. But if we become overwhelmed or stuck by it, then it can paralyze us.
That’s when it’s so important to remember one key thing:
It’s all about your angle.
It doesn’t matter what you do for a living or how long you’ve been doing it. The thing that’s going to set your work apart is your angle. No two people can have the exact same perspective. And if you pour that specificity into your work, then your work will be irreplicable.
The hard part is finding your angle if you don’t already know it. To figure it out, think about:
How do you work? Why?
Your angle is so much deeper than what you do for a living. In fact, it can even be subconscious. What your angle is really made up of is how you do your work and why you do it.
For example, I’m a writer, but what I really love is to help people. Therefore, the driver behind my work is this desire to help and that informs the way in which I do my work. In my case, it means I’ve developed a style of writing that leans towards being helpful and informative and I tend to work for companies that do good things for the world.
So if you and I had the exact same knowledge and wrote about the exact same topic, our work would still look very different because my angle of wanting to help people would shape my work.
What about you? If you could describe one takeaway you’d want others to have from your work, what would it be? Maybe it’s a desire to empower. To show beauty in something. To create. To innovate. To disrupt. The list goes on and on. Strip away everything else and answer this question: What do you want to do for the world? How do you/can you do that in your day-to-day work?
That’s your angle. And absolutely no one can do it better than you can. Dig deep to learn your true motivation and you’ll become unstoppable!