What can you point to?

In Studs Terkel’s Working, a steel mill worker named Mike Lefevre says, “Picasso can point to a painting. What can I point to? A writer can point to a book. Everybody should have something to point to.”

Sometimes, the work isn’t as concrete as a building. If your contribution was suggesting a change in direction or tidying up a lot of small changes, you’ll need to log it closely. If your project was complex, maybe you can show a diagram to help illustrate your contribution.

Before you present it, you may want to write it out. You’re not showing off how smart you are, or to protect your ego, but to point at something—in this case, what you did.

When you get specific, you also make the process easier to unpack. People can ask you questions about what you did, or how you were thinking about a certain problem. 

You give them a chance to ask you, “Can you do something like that for me?”

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