By Sharon Fleshman
Recently, I saw that Penn Nursing will be part of a Story Slam where some students and faculty will share brief stories about their nursing experiences and insights. Not only does it sound like an innovative and engaging event, but it also reminds me of the power of story in the development of careers. A career story allows you to develop a narrative around highlights, catalysts and defining moments that occur as your career unfolds. To that end, career storytelling can be of great help in several ways:
- Career storytelling offers clarity for your career planning: The first person to whom you should tell a career story is you. As your story unfolds, notice when you are the most energized. This process will leave you with clues about the work and the environment that you will want to pursue for your career going forward.
- Career storytelling boosts your confidence and resilience: As you recall moments when your work produced great results or had a positive impact on a person’s outlook or situation, you will be reminded why you are on a given career path even when times are challenging or when you are tempted to second-guess yourself.
- Career storytelling allows you to shine during interviews: Stories offer concrete and engaging examples of your work that serve as excellent answers to behavioral questions during interviews. As you share your stories, you will be able to communicate your strengths from an authentic and compelling place.
To identify good career stories, you can utilize our Behavioral Interview Prep Sheet. To prepare your stories, the following S.T.A.R. method is recommended:
- S = Situation: Describe the situation or challenge you were facing
- T = Target: Describe what you wanted to achieve
- A = Action: Describe what you did
- R = Results: Describe how things turned out, what impact you made, what you learned, and/or perhaps what you’d do differently if presented the same circumstances
If you would like more assistance with developing and honing your career stories, feel free to consult with a career advisor.