What’s YOUR Career Story? Tips For Rewriting Your Professional Narrative
True or false? Every career has a story.
In my 15 years of experience as a career growth coach over at Work it Daily, I am here to tell you, 100%, the answer is true.
Everyone has a career story. You want to know what else? That career story is completely made up. It is 100% subjective and you're thinking, "What's she talking about? It's a bunch of things that happened to me. My career story is just my experiences!"
How We Write Our Career Stories
I'm going to prove it to you today. So you see, we as human beings have this ancient brain in the back of our heads that is there to protect us. It has experiences, it processes them, and it labels them. This was good, this was bad, this hurt me, this helped me.
We then take those and we organize them. We put it into this perfect little story that's very easy to recall. That way, if we run into the situation again, we know what to do. We know how to react.
We all have this. This is an innate ability as humans. The problem is that no two people interpret career experiences the same way.
If I was to put you in a room with a bunch of other people and you all had something happen to you that was similar, you would all interpret it in your career story differently. That's what I mean about being subjective. But that also means this holds incredible power.
As a career growth specialist, this is the place I start. The reason I learned to always start with this is because in all these years of doing this, when people want to work with me, they come up to me and they say, "J.T., let me tell you my story."
How To Change Our Career Stories
I know that you have a career story that you're dying to talk about. But more importantly, you want to change it.
Now, a lot of people assume, "Okay, well my story is cast in stone. And so I've got to change the future chapters to the story."
Guess what? That's not how it works.
If you want to change your future, if you want to grow your career, you actually need to assess your existing career story and look for places where you can change the interpretation.
You see, because it's a story, I can already tell you that it's a major motion picture. It's an epic novel. You've created some drama in your head. That's what we do. So, it has a plot. It's probably going to have a villain or a set of bad experiences. And there's probably a victim.
Hopefully there's a hero, too. Hopefully it's you. But ultimately there are these characters and it's a story, so we adapt and we gravitate towards that. What you have to do in order to achieve amazing career growth is not just try to fix something going forward. It's actually to look at your existing career story and change how you write it.
You Can Change Your Career Story, Too
At Work It Daily, we have a 21 Day Career Reinvention Challenge. We always do it on the first of the year, a great way to kick off January. Thousands of people participated last year and I got to read some of the most unbelievable career stories ever. The first step in the class is for you to write out your career story. Then, you go through a set of exercises to analyze it in a way you've probably never analyzed it before.
Then, we isolate it. We have you rewrite it, and then we help you start to really internalize that so that going forward, you can make different, better choices.
That's the thing I want you to think about with every experience you've had, and however you chose to interpret it. It actually impacted the next thing you did in your career and the next move you made, some of the chances you took and some of the chances you didn't take. So, if you want to change things for you going forward, you've got to get that story reinvented and that is the truth.
Is This Story Serving Me?
On a scale of one to five, one being not at all, five being absolutely and it's perfect, what's your career story like? How much have you invested in assessing your own career story?
Look at your career story and ask yourself:
- "Does this make sense?"
- "Is this story really serving me and what I want to make happen to my career in the future?"
Because if your career story isn't serving you, I can tell you right now the first step is to learn how to rewrite that career story so that you can get different, better results. This is how I've been able to help thousands of people change their career trajectory by starting right here with their existing career story.
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Seriously, go check it out! Once you join our career growth club, you're never going to want to leave.
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