Your career story encapsulates all the things you use to tell other people about your work. It includes your resume and LinkedIn profile, but it also includes things like a digital portfolio, your social media accounts, your personal brand, even conversations you have with co-workers.
If you’re like most people, your career story is the most underutilized tool in your career path toolbox. So let’s talk about how you can use your career story to stand out from the sea of blandness that so often permeates everyone’s career story.
There are many reasons why it’s important to stand out, but the one we’ll focus on is gaining a slight edge.
Think about it. The most pivotal decisions that other people make affecting your career are usually around whether to hire you, promote you, or give you that amazing, career-changing assignment. In all these decisions, is the person that has to make the call is comparing you with your stellar skillset to some skill-less person they met on the street? No! They are comparing you with similarly qualified individuals.
It’s usually a hard choice because any of the people they select will likely be successful in the role or assignment. What ends the tie? It’s the person that has a little extra something, that can tip the odds imperceptibly in their favor. The one with the slight edge.
So wherever possible then, you want to be the person with the slight edge! You want to be telling your career story in ways that are easy to understand and remember so when it comes time for that big decision to be made, you have the slight edge. How do we do that? There are 3 must-have career story components.
- Authority – Show and share your expertise
- Advantage – Demonstrate the value you bring
- Authentically You – Your unique approach, style and way of being!
Can it really be that simple? Absolutely! As long as you remember that your career story is not simply a point in time resume or LinkedIn profile. It’s ALL the ways you tell others about your work. Things like:
When a co-worker asks you how you think that meeting just went. When your boss inquires how initiative XYZ is going. When you meet someone for the very first time. When you rate yourself on an annual performance self-review. When you chat with co-workers at lunch.
The opportunities to tell your career story are everywhere. You need to decide if you’re going to take advantage or if someone else will have the slight edge for that awesome assignment you’ve been hoping for…
#PositiveAction Share your career story with a close co-worker making sure to include your Authority and Advantage while keeping it Authentically You. Practice until you’re comfortable sharing it at every opportunity!
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