The three career stories you need to know and have in mind during a job search are:


1. The Story You Tell Yourself

How you talk to yourself about the work you can do and your value affects your career. You can’t tell an authentic story to a potential employer if you’re calling yourself a loser. Start giving yourself credit for what you’ve done to date and knowing how deserving you are of ideal work.

For more years than a career coach should have, I told myself a limiting story about the kind of work, voice, and money I could make. I remained quiet longer than I needed and took jobs with low-salaries because I didn’t trust I could get more money. Luckily, I hit a place in my career where I needed to reality check my skills. I made a few shifts by starting a meditation program and looking for career patterns that held me back. It didn’t happen overnight, but focusing on career growth activities instead of self-limiting talk, moved me from liking my career to loving it.

The first thing that needed to shift was the story I told myself.

storytelling career stories

How to change the story you tell yourself about the work you deserve.

  • Find the hidden patterns in your career by doing a career history map. The simple process of drawing out your career history has the incredible power of helping you see where you hold yourself back
  • Start a Loving-Kindness meditation practice — this type of meditation has been proven to help you feel happier. It shows you how to show yourself and others’ love.
  • Figure out our career stories by doing the 7-day Career Stories Challenge


2. The Story You Tell Others.

You need to know what your career story through-line is. This is consistent & shows up everywhere in your branding. It’s not just about telling a good story to one person, but modeling it everywhere. You get to control this narrative. Of course, you’ll share micro-stories in there too. It all leads to the same conclusion & brand about you and your work. You selectively show this story in person, on your resume, LinkedIn, and on the job.

I think where people go wrong in a job search is thinking that an updated resume or professionally written LinkedIn profile is story-building. It’s not. Those are marketing pieces. If the marketing pieces work, you still need to be able to back it up in-person. If you can figure out what makes you awesome and start sharing that consistently everywhere you are, you increase the chances of having a career break-through.

 To work on the story you tell others people try:


3. The story your target company tells itself.

What story does your ideal company tell itself and others?  You can find this out by following and researching the company.

How do they talk about their work and pain points?

Once you know what their story is, you find where you fit in their story. Then you work to show this to them through networking, content, and your interview answers.

I was working with a client, Greg,  who worked on the two stories above, he saw it was possible to land a great job, and he got clear on the story he told other people. The issue was that he was talking about his work as a sales guy. Everything was very slick, but it felt inauthentic. The companies he wanted to work for were all laid-back companies that had some small success and wanted to expand their operations. He was trying to sell the story of being the right person to help them expand.

Except his story wasn’t resonating with him.

I asked him to take a step back and watch how his ideal companies saw themselves. I said, “spend a week following all their social media. How do they talk? What kind of people do they talk up? What are they attracted to?”

He spent a week checking this out and he said, “it’s wild, but they never direct sell. It’s like everything I learned in my sales training they don’t do. But I know they want to make more sales.” I asked him where he fit into their story. “I think what I can do is show them how they can use some more advanced and direct sales techniques to grow their brand. But, they’re going to listen to me if I can show them I can also do soft. The aggressive way I have been showing up as is exactly what they’re scared of.”

Greg adapted his career story. He chose to highlight stories that were more about relationship making instead of sealing huge deals. He changed the stories he shared on his resume, LinkedIn, and his job interview to be a better match for the company’s story. It didn’t take long for Greg to land a new job in his ideal role.

It’s the same for you. Your story is important, but if you’re using it to land ideal work, know your target company’s story too.

If you’d like to learn how to research people and then attract them on LinkedIn, do my class, Your Intentional LinkedIn Presence.

The magic is in the combo of these three career stories

If you work on these three stores, your career brand will be in alignment. I talk about it more on the Super Data Science podcast.

data science career stories kerri twigg