Win by Crafting Your Career Story
These days, it’s rare to work for a company for 35 years and retire with a healthy pension. Most of us have unique, meandering career journeys that all look very different from one another.
In order to get to the next step you want in your career, it’s all about how you craft your story.
People love stories. It helps them give context to how you got to where you are, and humanizes you in the eye of a recruiter or interviewer. It can also show robust self-awareness and a strong sense of confidence in the path you have traveled thus far.
Here are a few scenarios to help you start thinking about how to craft your own professional story, and how it can resonate with others.
Scenario 1: The Communicator
Path: College, Gap year to travel, Lyft driver, Call center, Now looking for a more steady career.
Story: You are well-educated and well-traveled; a hustler who can talk to many different types of people. You’ve learned that you thrive in more structured environments, so you are looking for one.
Scenario 2: The Explorer
Path: Had a job for 9 months; another for a year; another for 8 months; then took some time off to travel. Now looking for yet another opportunity.
Story: You enjoy learning new things and haven’t quite found the right fit for you yet. In these roles, you have learned what you don’t like, which can be as important in learning what you do like.
Scenario 3: The Double Threat
Path: MBA; corporation for 5 years; took a pay cut to work at a startup; had several roles at the startup; now starting your own company.
Story: You know how to navigate a large complex organization and think strategically, but you also go after what you want and can think on your feet. You aren’t scared to take risks. This is a great combination for a new entrepreneur.
Scenario 4: The Prioritizer
Path: Steady career progression at one company over 3 years; had to move cities for family reasons, so got a new job; left it after a year, moving back to the original city. Now searching for another new job.
Story: You have proved yourself successful at a company by being consistently promoted, but you also value your family and know what is important to you. You are flexible and adaptable to change, and can prioritize in tough situations.
Scenario 5: The Veteran
Path: Military veteran; worked for a consulting company for 3 years; now getting your personal training certification and starting your own personal training business.
Story: You keep calm in the most intense of situations and can apply your strategic mindset to building your business and your client base. You understand the discipline it takes for physical transformation and can help others achieve their goals.
Don’t listen to anyone who says that your path isn’t the right one, or isn’t ideal for what you want to do next. There are millions of people who achieve the career and life they want because they are able to leverage their experiences into strengths.
Your story is the main thing that sets you apart from other people or your competitors. Do you what you can to at least make it an interesting one.