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Mastering the art of being you: how knowing what makes you unique can empower you to create the career you want

We all play many roles in life. Wear many hats. A mother. A spouse. A friend. A colleague. The academic one. The sporty one. The reliable one. The challenging one. The ambitious one. And so on and so on…

Identifying with certain roles and titles can give us a sense of self and a sense of security. It can help us to understand our role within a social order and fulfil the fundamental human need to belong. But the very act of trying to define complex, nuanced, and multifaceted human beings in such a one-dimensional way can also be restrictive and limiting. The professional world is fueled by systems, processes and norms. It is set up to yield productivity, efficiency, and mass output. But that often results in the suppression of individuality.

No two people are the same. We are all uniquely shaped by the beliefs that drive us, the way in which we see the world, the strengths we bring and the difference we make to those around us.

So how can you reclaim your uniqueness? How can you stop yourself from getting lost in the system and trapped within a metaphorical “box”? How do you let your individuality shine?

I believe the answer to this is in understanding and believing in the value of who you uniquely are and bottling this essence up so you can leave your mark on the world. Here are a couple of fun exercises you can try to help you master the art of being you.

Strengths spotting

Did you know that your strengths are a bit like fingerprints? Totally unique to you. Yes, on paper, other people may have the same set of strengths but how they show up and the impact they have is completely individual to you.

Try a bit of weekly 5 minute journaling to help you to spot yours.

Focus – What got you jumping out of bed this week? Where did you choose to focus your time and energy?

Feeling – When did you feel happiest and most energized this week? When did you get lost in the moment?

Flying – When did you feel at your best this week? What positive difference did you make?

Draw your future

How often do you stop to think about what you want in your life and career? Not what you think you should be or do or have. Not what other people think you should be or do or have. What you want.

To achieve change, you must first be able to see it. Patti Dobrowolski did a brilliant Ted Talk on this topic and shared that we remember things 65% better when they’re attached to a picture.

Imagine you are stepping into the future you want. How do you feel? What are you doing? Who is around you? What difference have you made?

Each of our stories is individual and each of our paths is individual. So go on, embrace your uniqueness, and go create the career you really want.

Sophie Allard, ACC

Sophie Allard, ACC

Women's Career and Leadership Development Coach

Hi. I’m Sophie and I'm the founder of kharaktēr , a strengths-based career and leadership development business. I partner with women and businesses as a coach to empower women to thrive in the workplace. I believe that everyone is unique; we are all shaped by our purpose and our values, by our strengths and by the impact we make on the world around us. I coach women leaders to build their confidence in the unique value they bring, to cultivate sustainable energy and to accelerate their individual progression in the way that they want. I support businesses to engage and progress women so they can build more inclusive workplaces and benefit from their extraordinary and unique impact. I apply a tailored blend of coaching, positive psychology, brand thinking and strategic insight to empower you to live your purpose. I have extensive experience of coaching, strategic and commercial leadership, with over 12 years spent in global FMCG organisations and 5 years partnering with businesses across media, advertising, retail and professional services. I have coached individuals from organisations including Danone, Diageo, Mars, Global, Stella McCartney and Comic Relief. I am an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a Master Strengthscope Practitioner and hold a PGCert in Business and Personal Coaching from the University of Chester. How you can work with me: * Coaching discovery - focused and flexible 1:1 packages * Craft your unique career programme - 6 and 9 month 1:1 career coaching programmes, designed to put you back in your career driving seat and empower you to craft a you-shaped career. * Strengths development coaching - packages incorporating Strengthscope psychometric strengths profiles. I would be delighted to help you make the difference you want and to create a career you love. Please get in touch at or book in for your free discovery call

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