If I could give you a tool that would mean that you could effortlessly breeze through your next interview and leave the interviewers impressed, inspired and desperate to hire you, would I have your attention…? 

[My guess is yes. So imma hook you up.]

In a coaching call recently with one of my awesome clients, we set about starting to support her to build confidence at interviews and to negotiate if she gets an offer. She has always struggled to self advocate, and finds it hard to sell herself. She hates sounding like she is full of herself and doesn’t want to sound greedy by asking for more money. 

There’s a reason for that my friends, it’s called societal conditioning. We’ve literally been programmed over years and years to be agreeable, to work hard and wait to be noticed and to let our experiences speak for themselves. 

That is a lie that we need to unlearn. Fast. 

Our experiences don’t need to speak for themselves, we do. Powerfully. 

This simple exercise is honestly one of the things that will get you there soonest, to re-write your career story.

A powerful career story shifts not just the world’s perception of you and what you can offer them, it also shifts your perception of yourself. The more that you own and see the value in your experiences, the more persuasive you become in demonstrating how you can add value to others.

For me, it was  the difference between: ‘I worked at Shazam for almost 5 years as a Recruiter and left when we sold the company to Apple’ (humble, humble, humble) and ‘I led Talent for Shazam for almost 5 years. It is amazing to look back and realise that my team was responsible for building a company (from a human standpoint) that was bought by Apple. I chose to leave to explore a broader role at the time of acquisition’ (humble brag haha). 

The more you demonstrate your ability to lead and make an impact, the more you will start to attract those elusive leadership positions. Creating a powerful career story empowers you to take control of your professional narrative, and to position yourself as strong, capable, decisive as well as kind, thoughtful and solution focused.

Imposter syndrome would have us humbly playing down our experiences, so my challenge to you this week, is to re-write your own career narrative and add some sauce.

1. Take a look at your CV and write out your achievements in each of the roles, a bit like a career retro.

2. Then write out any big events that happened whilst in your role to the company; did they get funding? Did they have an exit? What were the milestones that happened whilst you were there?

3. Think through the authentic narrative for that role, not from how you felt at the time in it, but from what your real achievements were, including those of the company that you contributed to by simply being there. Using the Shazam/Apple example, whilst I wasn’t directly involved in the deal making process, as Director of Talent Acquisition, my team literally built the company that they bought from a human standpoint. Therefore it really is my achievement too.

4. Write out your authentic narrative, but adding in powerful verbs as you go along, here’s 10 to get you started: owned, led, built, created, established, developed, maximised, optimised, chaired, empowered.

5. Tell yourself your new and more powerful career story in the mirror. Be aware of what comes up for you. Where do you feel uncomfortable? Do you believe it?

6. Keep telling yourself your new empowered career story each week until you start to believe it and can effortlessly share it with others.

If you want to move confidently through the world, it has to start with your own belief in you. I appreciate that can take a bit of work to build – I have been there too sis, I promise you – but starting with this simple exercise is a great place to start. 

As a little bonus, I would love to offer a 15 minute loving critique on your career story to really help you make it pop. If you are ready to share it with me, I would love to help you level up your messaging and at the same time, your vision of you. Send it to ruth@ruthpenfold.com and I will send you a call booking link.

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