Similarly, when writing your career story, you must, “Write who you are.”
As who you are evolves, so does your story.
While being authentic in expressing who you are is important, it is equally essential to be selective in what you parlay versus creating a tell-all story.
As in any marketing communication, your story must be choreographed with relevant moves for your target audience. Before you begin shuffling words across the page, you must understand the characteristics and needs of your focus industry, company and/or leadership.
Dive into and begin collecting nuggets of information about that audience, often buried among an ocean of Internet and news data. Sort through it. Create a loose map of requirements and soft skills you might need to appeal to them.
Next, open up a Word document or simply take a tablet and a pen, and start listing top-of-mind corporate war stories in which you participated that pained you at the time but which you are particularly proud of participating in, now.
Resurrect–with emotional vigor–your thoughts, feelings and intimate project details; remember the pain, emoting it onto the page.
If you saved the day, or were part of a team that did, jot it down. The time you talked another staff member down from abandoning a program ship, influenced a manager to buy-into a new idea or diplomatically and successfully pressed the owner that the marketing project he saw no value in was crucial–go there.
Revive your recall, in living color.
How to Woo Your Audience
As you go through this process, some of your stories may reach a dead end or feel lackluster by the time you’re through processing. Scrap those. Other stories may reveal powerful outcomes that you had forgotten. Keep those.
For some stories, the outcome may not be extraordinary, but the path getting there revealed something impressive or important (or both) about your values, your personality culture, your tenacity (or whatever), that you will want to keep. It adds texture to your story, enticing your reader to know more.
Finally, compare those stories to the needs of the target audience you so thoroughly researched earlier. Whittle down your stories a bit further, being careful you don’t cut out the meat or the heart of who you are.
Originally published on LinkedIn.
Copyright: Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, Partner/Owner, CareerTrend.net
I am a career writer hired by individuals and organizations to build game-changing stories for executives, professionals and entrepreneurs. To find out how I can support your personal or corporate storytelling goals, please follow this link: www.careertrend.net.