My superpower is my ability to empathize with those around me. Although many of my colleagues experience sympathy, empathy is defined as the actual understanding and sharing of another person’s feelings (Google Dictionary). Sympathy, on the other hand, is defined as the feeling of pity or sorrow for someone else’s misfortune (Google Dictionary).
As a professional my ability to empathize allows me to succeed in all manner of interpersonal situations. For example when a customer calls ranting and raving, although I may be upset by what they are saying, I understand that in the broader picture they are hurting. While working in customer service at Lowe’s, I saw that my ability to rationalize the customer’s fury often diffused the situation.
I am by nature a quiet person, which some people take as an invitation to walk all over me. What they don’t often anticipate is that my strength is in my silence. When people are allowed to express their frustration to a receptive ear, they are also more likely to relax when they see the situation being remedied.
The professional workforce depends on people who can communicate effectively and interpret the customers’ desires into action. My other superpower is my ability to incorporate the hard skills I’ve learned from both the political science department and the journalism department. Journalism taught me about competent communication while political science taught me to look for patterns within the world around me.
Although the classes I have taken are wildly different, the skills afforded to me by these classes are irreplaceable. For example, in political science I’ve learned about data interpretation but in journalism I’ve learned how to clearly and concisely communicate the results of my data in a way that makes sense to the general populace and not just other political scientists. Essentially each skillset builds on the other’s, giving me the opportunity to move between the world of academia and the real world with little issue.
In short I am marketable because of both my soft skills and my hard skills. My ability to interpret data and write with clarity connects me to the world of academia, but my ability to empathize with those around me grounds me in the reality. Lacking either skill, I would be far less marketable.