All job change skills are actually storytelling devices whether it be a resume, networking, formal and informal interview situations, or salary negotiations…it comes down to one human being sharing their story with another.
Storytelling is a skill that anyone can learn because we all have an innate ability to do it. The trick is to organize our stories around two key elements: content and form. What we say and how we say it will determine how much impact or influence we have on a listener, viewer or audience.
Luckily, we have many sources and examples to draw on because we live in a storytelling culture. Think about how much time you spend watching TV, DVDs or movies. Or reading newspapers, blogs, magazines, websites, graphic novels or books. Or tweeting or posting on FB or LI. Or listening to radio broadcasts, podcasts, or audio books. Or playing charades, attending theme parties, concerts, or the theatre. We are all immersed in narrative, in a cultural soup of content and form.
For example, a resume consists of a 1-2 page summary (form) of our work history (content). An interview is a conversation (form) that gives a picture of us in action demonstratng skills, knowledge and achievments (content) that align with key selection criteria. Each story-telling device can be learned and applied to tell your story efficiently and effectively to achieve your job change goals.
As a career professional, I spend a good part of my day crafting stories for my clients (e.g. writing resumes, cover letters and other documents) or coaching them on how to communicate their stories with clarity and confidence (e.g. interview prep). But, I also have my stories to tell (e.g. writing this post, or my books, or one of my creative projects).
For many of us, telling a story in a professional context requires writing. It takes time, energy and some skill to choose the right content and the right form. But, when I’m not sure what I want to say or how I want to say it, I find that writing in the company of others is helpful and, sometimes, inspiring.
Last month, I joined a Virtual Write-in moderated by Maria Ford at Phrase Strategy. I’d been stuck on a writing project for months but joining this group of professionals for 2.5 hours of structured writing time not only got me unstuck but increased my production in an efficient and enjoyable manner.
The results of this one write-in session were so productive and pleasurable that I’ve booked another session. You can learn more about a Virtual Write-in here and how to register for one. Your first session is free.
Writing and comunicating well is essential to career advancement (and good for personal growth too!). I encourage you to take advantage of such resources to write the right content and the right form to get your career right!