We spend our lives hearing and telling stories in both life and work, but we often neglect to focus on the most important story of all: our own. The problem is, if you neglect your story one will be written for you.
The rise of social media has blurred the line between our personal and professional lives. Anybody can search for your name on the Internet and interpret the results however they wish. So, what if the person searching is a potential employer?
More than ever, it is critical to craft a compelling story that ties our experiences together and presents them as part of a cohesive personal brand.
To help people take control of their stories, longtime career coach and well-known author Pam Slim recently released a book called, Body of Work: Finding the thread that ties your story together.
I LOVE this book. I wish I’d had it five years ago when I was starting to write my first book, which was the beginning of my own body of work.
To get all the great insights you’ve gotta read the book! But I will share some gems from our recent chat:
We’re living in “a new world of work.”
A combination of factors have created what Pam calls, “a new world of work.” The economic meltdown of 2008 made instability the new norm. The silver lining is that it spawned an incredible array of low-cost tools and resources that made it possible to work from anywhere, and even launch a new business from your kitchen. People are changing jobs more frequently and taking bigger risks, but much of the working world still adheres to “rules” that were created decades ago.
Storytelling is critical to your career.
Whether you’re working in the corporate world, or striking out on your own as an entrepreneur, you can no longer rely on a traditional resume of bullet points to position you for success. You must understand that all information in the public forum will become stories that influence your personal brand. And if you don’t tell the full story, people will fill in the gaps. Nobody has a “perfect” background—it’s up to you to sell yourself by weaving your story.
Finding your story may change your life.
Finding your story and crafting a body of work will not only help position you for success in your current path, it will help you reflect on your decisions and experiences and use them to help guide you toward your ultimate career goal—and ultimate life goal. Don’t neglect your story, embrace it.
I wish you all the best of luck finding your story, and building your own beautiful body of work!