Telling Your Story from the Beginning of Your Job Search… to Your Goal!
by Marty Levine, MA, SPHR, CPRW
Goodwin University Career Specialist
When working with our students and alumni, I always emphasize that they have a unique story to share with those who will be interviewing them for a promotion or for a new position. This story can only be authentically told by each individual and encompasses such abstract concepts as handling change, disruption, and distraction.
In May 2021, Goodwin University welcomed best-selling author, motivational speaker, and career consultant Kaplan Mobray for a series of powerful virtual presentations designed for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and University leadership. Mr. Mobray focused on how being able to communicate your story clearly will have a profound effect on meeting your career goals. Your story, or “personal brand,” is so important that it can impact your success as you move forward in your desired career.
By recognizing your personal brand, you come to understand that the way you view yourself has an impact on how others view you. Mr. Mobray shares, “[Your brand is] a message that says you’re ready to set goals and that you have what it takes to reach them.”
I strongly urge you to read Mr. Mobray’s book The 10Ks of Personal Branding. It’s truly a worthwhile investment of your time.
To my mind, personal branding is what career counseling is all about, and how you will (or will not) ultimately be remembered. When asked during an interview to share more about yourself, or when a Career Services specialist encourages you to highlight your skills or competencies on your résumé, you may say that you are reliable, resilient, and a problem-solver. If they are truly accurate, these descriptions are always “floating” around you and become a part of who you are — in effect, your brand.
Using the examples I cited at the beginning of this article — change, disruption, and distraction — you should be able to clearly articulate how your skills can address these challenges, no matter your major, career field, or current position. By knowing yourself in this way, you grow your skill-set and abilities, and create your value proposition. What are you going to bring to the table in your new position? How will your new department, customers, patients, clients, manager (fill in the appropriate stakeholders) be better off for your involvement? Examine your potential employer’s mission, principles, and core values, and ask yourself: How do I fit?
Along this line of thinking, executive career coach Susan Chritton, M.ED, PCC, asks you to consider five important questions:
- What have you been praised for during your performance reviews or during informal feedback from your supervisor?
- Who has valued your work most frequently?
- At what tasks do you excel?
- What conditions or work environments allow you to be your best?
- When have you been most effective and most efficient?
Your answers to these questions will help you move forward into a new position, enhance your standing in your current organization, prepare you for an interview, and build on your brand and strengths. As you advance in your career, you will meet individuals who can help you connect with others. Take your value proposition and share it with these important influencers and mentors.
- Please remember to use your resources. Watch Kaplan Mobray’s 2021 presentation to Goodwin University and you may find, as he suggests, that you have super powers! Your personal brand is the story that only you can tell. Embrace it, honor it, and use it to create your path to a rewarding and meaningful career.
Learn more about the many ways Goodwin University’s Career Services team can assist you in your search for a rewarding and meaningful career by visiting https://www.goodwin.edu/career-services/.
Marty Levine, MA, SPHR, CPRW has been with Goodwin University’s Career Services for more than six years, working with students, alumni, and employers in a variety of venues. He assists students of varying backgrounds and skills who are looking at their first, second, and in some cases, third career. With his extensive background in healthcare and other fields as a college instructor, consultant, and healthcare administrator, he believes that all students and alumni have the ability to promote “their best selves” and succeed in their career goals! Marty has worked with employees and students in such areas as résumé development, mock interviews, general career coaching, and more.