ed muses upon


Staying Focused: Moonlighting & Your Job Search

Some years ago, due to films like Grosse Pointe Blank and Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion, eighties music was enjoying a resurgence in popularity. My wife and I were leaving a music store and as we were leaving, two teens walked into the store in mid-conversation. Just before the doors closed behind them, we couldn’t help overhearing one exclaim to the other, “Cuz 80s music is, like, the best music evar!!!”

As a child of the 80s, my preferences in music sometimes revert to the music of my high school experiences. As the foregoing illustrates, some of it remains very catchy. But it’s hard to discuss one’s high school experiences without addressing the subject of what was on TV at the time.

One very popular show of the time was Moonlighting. The Cybill Shepherd/Bruce Willis vehicle that vaulted the latter into stardom was a favorite of mine. The show featured some of the snappiest dialogue on television when it premiered in 1985. Something I always appreciated as a writer was the quotable lines the cast delivered with impeccable timing. One quote that has stuck with me ever since was delivered by Bruce Willis: “Everyone’s perfect at something”.

Things have their intrinsic meanings and then the adding meanings brought by circumstances and whim. That’s the case here, too.

Everyone’s perfect at something.” In your professional experience, I am willing to wager that was true of almost everyone you encountered. If I ask you who has the best PowerPoint skills, you probably can think of a name immediately. Who was it that could consistently un-jam the photocopier? When you couldn’t get Excel to do what you needed, wasn’t there someone you always turned to?

I’m assuming that the answers to those three questions are all different. So let me turn this around: if I asked all of those people what you were perfect at, what would they say?

Several groups, including the ETP Network, are big proponents of identifying a job seeker’s “unique value proposition”: the unique blend of skills, experience and aptitude that a candidate offers. And yes, it is unique: no one else has the same exact skills, experience and aptitudes you possess, in the same measures.

That is what you’re perfect at.

Once you have identified what you’re perfect at, it’s a matter of helping the recruiters and hiring managers who need you to find you. Everyone talks about networking as the biggest source of jobs (per the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70%). It is in this way that you are able to demonstrate why you are a great fit for the demands of an opportunity.

At the end of the day, a quote from Moonlighting might just help you stay focused on the big picture: landing your next opportunity.


  1. In addition to unique skills, experience, and aptitude your “assets” include your interests and motivated skills, your values, your work style, your team and motivational style, your training and knowledge (attained throughout your life), your personal brand, and the focused value you can bring to a potential employer. Now that is perfect!

    Comment by Susan Guarneri — 2010/11/09 @ 11:04 am

    • Susan, how wonderful to see you here! Thank you for weighing in, it’s much appreciated!

      Comment by edmusesupon — 2010/11/09 @ 11:11 am

  2. Great article Ed. One of your strengths is your ability to encourage people constructively. Keep up the good work. Karalyn

    Comment by Karalyn Brown — 2010/11/23 @ 1:13 am

    • Karalyn, thank you so much! Sorry I allowed so long to go before responding: I blame the recent US Thanksgiving holiday.

      Comment by edmusesupon — 2010/11/29 @ 4:23 pm

  3. I read this post once before and could have sworn I commented … anyways, great post, great quote (“Everyone’s perfect at something”) for jobseekers!

    Comment by Noel — 2011/01/07 @ 5:05 pm

    • Noel, thanks for dropping by again! And yeah, that quote really struck me as the heart of a candidate’s branding, you know?

      Have a great weekend, Noel!

      Comment by edmusesupon — 2011/01/07 @ 5:09 pm

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