Do you know how to tell a compelling story about your Career?
Over the past months, I have been interviewing for a new role at my company. Going through the process, I had the opportunity to tell my Career story to a new set of people I networked or interviewed with. Sharing my story has been something I had struggled with in the past but have been learning to do over the past two years since I launched my blog.
In this post, we will explore the benefits of telling your career story, some aspects you can include to make it a compelling story and five steps to create your own career story today.
Why is it important to have and share your Career story?
What can you include in your Career story?
Some components of a great career story are
How to prepare yourself to tell your story
Step 1: Take stock of your career
Take time to reflect on your career. Think about some of the accomplishments you have had, situations where you overcame challenges, skills you gathered, and your unique selling points. This activity may take a while and feel painful. However, the reward will be worth it.
MC's Tip: Do some research and see how other people tell their career stories.
Step 2: Write it down
Writing down your career story brings it to life. Remember, at this point, it is more important to write down your first thoughts. Your story will be refined and tweaked in the next steps. The best stories are honest and authentic.
MC's Tip: Get your raw thoughts on paper. Don't edit yourself.
Step 3: Gather feedback
As part of the process of perfecting your story, it's crucial to test it by sharing with people around you. Select a few people who know you very well and others who know some of your work to get their feedback.
MC's Tip: Practicing with real people will give you additional data points to make your story better.
Step 4: Share it with everyone
A story gets better as you share it with more people. Be prepared to share your story at any time with people you meet at networking events, interviews, mentors, or sponsors. When people hear a compelling story, they never forget it.
MC's Tip: Take every opportunity you get to share your story.
Step 5: Tweak and update
As you share your story, you will recognize areas that people find exciting and what you can improve. Take the time to evaluate the quality of your story and make it better. Success is when you can convey the aspects of your story that you want to share, and people are resonating with your story.
MC's Tip: Continuously craft and improve your story. It's an ongoing process.
Call to Action
What have been some highlights in your career? Highlight your accomplishments.
What are some unique aspects of your career so far? Highlight your unique selling points.
“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”- Brené Brown
Recently, I've been doing some deep self-reflection. Especially when I go through new situations that I'm not prepared for, I find the power by searching within myself. The conclusion I have come to is that I am a work in progress and I am accepting this MC. I spend a lot of time thinking about my growth areas and often forget to appreciate who I am today with all my imperfections. Yes, I am not perfect, and that's ok.
You might be wondering what the definition of imperfection is. The Collins Dictionary defines it as "an imperfection in someone or something is a fault, weakness, or undesirable feature that they have."
In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why you should embrace your imperfections and a little bit of my journey accepting my imperfections.
Five reasons to embrace your imperfections
Sharing some of the points that helped me start accepting my imperfect self.
#1: You get tired striving for perfection
The amount of time and resources you spend trying to be perfect in life or at work is a lot. Often, we put in so much effort into perfecting things that are already good enough. Especially when it comes to our skills and abilities, we pressure ourselves to be perfect and waste our energy. Sometimes, I wonder how much effort I would have saved if I did things to my best ability and then took a break instead of exerting more energy to make things perfect.
MC's Tip: Know when you have invested enough energy in a cause, then rest and move on to the next thing
#2: Your imperfect traits make you human
When we deal with other people who are not perfect like us, showing and accepting our imperfection makes them feel more comfortable around us. There is something about accepting people for who they are and supporting them in areas where we may be stronger.
MC's Tip: Show empathy for other people who are not perfect - like you.
#3: You become your authentic self
Imagine if you started accepting your whole self and being comfortable with who you are. We spend a lot of time trying to live up to other people's standards of perfection, and we forget to be ourselves. Being unique is a gift. No one can do what you are on this earth to do.
MC's Tip: Practice self-acceptance and be your true self.
#4: You can achieve more
Being a perfectionist hinders you from knowing when it is time to wrap a task up and move on to the next great thing. Instead of spending all your time on perfecting something that is good enough, think about the value of being able to achieve results in different areas. Being perfect in one area and neglecting other areas is not where you want to be.
MC's Tip: Celebrate your wins - you are achieving a lot despite your imperfection
#5: You will be happier
Accepting who you are with your imperfections, celebrating your imperfect results and showing empathy for others has one significant side effect - you are happier. Striving for perfection sometimes robs you of the feeling of gratitude for what you have achieved and who you are.
MC's Tip: Celebrate where you are on your journey, even if you're not completely where you want to be.
Accepting my imperfections has been a long journey for me. I spent a lot of time wishing I could change and not be the way I am. Especially in my childhood, being compared to others made me feel like there was something wrong with me that needed to be fixed.
At this stage in my life, I have learned that my imperfections make me MC. In the spirit of being vulnerable, I will share my top five imperfections with you
Sharing my imperfections would have scared me before. These days I want people to know the real me. I am not perfect, but I have good intentions, and I want to make the world a better place.
Call to Action
What are your imperfections? Identify them.
How are you going to start embracing them? Plan action.
At a recent Women in Leadership conference that I attended, the female speakers made time to celebrate the men in their lives. One of the speakers went further and brought her husband on stage to discuss how they balance taking care of their family and individual professional responsibilities. Hearing them share their experiences, got me thinking of the great men that have contributed or still contribute to my life.
Although I did not grow up with a father, I have had some great men in my life. Starting from uncles, family friends, managers, professional connections to my biggest supporter - my partner. These men have played very different roles in my life ranging from being positive examples of great men to providing me with great work opportunities to believing in me and my talents.
This Father's day I want to do something different. If you have great men in your life, then join me in making time to appreciate them. And if you can't think of any great men in your life, use this as some inspiration for what to look out for.
In this blog post, I will share more about the men who have played a significant role in my life. I have created some groups to help me shorten the post.
To the great men who influenced me
Growing up, there were some tremendous male influences. Some of them were family, and others were friends that became family. I grew up mostly around women, so the few great men around us stood out.
To my Teachers and Professors
I have been fortunate to have some great teachers and professors that shared knowledge with me and instilled the passion for continuous learning in me. I think way back to my secondary school teachers and my university professors.
To my Professional connections
On my career journey, there have been some great men who have believed in my skills and abilities. I'm grateful to the men who offered me great opportunities that helped me start and grow my career.
To my Managers
In my career so far, I have had some great managers who were invested in my career growth and success. Especially in my early career, having great professional support was very helpful.
To my Partner
The other day someone said to me, "your partner is an amazing man," and I totally agreed with her. In the over ten years of our relationship, he has always been there for me. He supports me on my mission to leave a strong legacy.
To all the great men out there who are supporting their women as they chase their passions, Happy Father's day.
Thank you for being great men and role models for the next generation.
Call to Action
Who are the great men that have contributed to your life? Find a way to tell them you appreciate them.
After years of living in Nigeria, Germany, and the US, I am celebrating all the lessons I have learned so far. The objective of this post is to appreciate lessons I learned from the good and not so good experiences that I have had.
This post continues my Her relocation series, where I share about my life in Nigeria, Germany and the US. In this post, I will share the top three lessons I learned in each of the Countries I lived in. To see a quick summary of my relocation journey, check out my video.
3 Lessons I learned living in Nigeria
I spent my early childhood until the age of 15 in Kaduna, Nigeria. Some of the lessons I learned include:
#1: Enjoy good food
At any moment, you can ask me the types of snacks or meals I enjoyed in Nigeria, and I will have a quick response. I am delighted that I got to experience delicious Nigerian food. I think very fondly on the times I spent with my family enjoying and exploring native dishes. Even after living in other countries for a long time, I still cook and enjoy great Nigerian food.
#2: Care for people
The importance of the family unit and relationships is one that is emphasized in Nigeria. The values I learned around caring for people is one that has influenced my personal and professional life. Being able to connect with people and be warm has helped me, especially as I build new social networks.
#3: Celebrate your culture
Growing up, I enjoyed the days when we got to wear Nigerian attire to school. Being able to see all my friends represent the different parts of Nigeria made me appreciate our cultural heritage. Now when I see people celebrating their culture, it makes me proud of my cultural identity as well.
3 Lessons I learned living in Germany
Living in Germany during my late teens and early adulthood, I learned many valuable lessons that formed my character and identity. Some of the lessons I learned were:
#1: Be independent
Being comfortable on my own and not depending on others was a very valuable lesson I learned in Germany. I learned how not to need people but to want them in my life. Being the owner of my happiness and driver of my destiny was huge for me. I wouldn't be where I am today in my personal growth if I didn't learn to be independent.
#2: Use your voice
One of the first things that impressed me in Germany was how comfortable people were with sharing their unpopular opinions. It was more about speaking up rather than worrying about what people thought about it. I learned to be very outspoken in Germany. I went on a journey of finding myself, what I care about, and then sharing it. The freedom to speak my mind was one that helped me grow into who I am today.
#3: Be disciplined
Some of the values I learned in Germany include keeping your commitments and being consistent. These principles guide me in everything I do today. If I give you my word or make a plan to complete a task, I make sure I do it. The discipline I learned has helped me achieve my personal goals.
3 Lessons I learned living in the US
In the last 4,5 years living in the Bay Area, I have experienced immense personal and professional growth. Some of the lessons I learned are:
#1: Dream Big and live out your dreams
In my previous blog posts, I shared how I found the courage to start my business after I moved to California. Seeing other people start their businesses and hear their stories inspired me to take the leap. The freedom to try out ideas and search for what works is definitely promoted here.
#2: Take a break and do something fun
I was amazed at how much people would do over the weekend and share on Monday. To be honest, this is a lesson I am still learning. I'm slowly getting better at making time to do things that I enjoy. There are so many fun things to do in the sun here.
#3: Talk about yourself and your achievements
Before I moved to the US, I was convinced that my work would speak for itself. Over the past four years, I have learned the importance of celebrating my achievements and talking about them. The more I talk about my accomplishments the more I appreciate my journey.
Call to Action
What lessons have you learned on your journey so far? Celebrate your learnings.