How do you know when ‘your story’ is working?
If you intend to change jobs or find a new job in the near future, I’m sure you know that you need a story. Building a story takes some planning. To know if it is working well involves three ingredients.
The first, frequency, is easy enough to measure. If you are telling your story three, four, or five times a week, or more, it is likely your story has a good chance of working for you, because you are getting a lot of practice. And in the following example, I think you’ll notice the other two ingredients, feedback and results, as well.
I am a Toastmaster; we meet regularly, and we usually have guests. Since our deal is practicing public speaking, we tell our guests when they arrive, ‘if you would like to tell us a little bit about yourself at the end of the meeting, we will give you a chance to speak.’
Last week, a visitor was introduced; he gave a remarkably clear synopsis of who he was (experienced supply chain manager), why he was there (‘looking for a new position’), how the group might help him (‘teach me better presentation skills’), all within a minute, and then he sat down.
After the meeting, I congratulated him on his brief ‘who I am’ speech; he kind of grimaced, I really wanted to say a few other things, and they just didn’t come out.
When you seek perfection at a skill that can change your life, things can happen quickly, even when you are not “perfect.”
‘Have you worked on how to talk about yourself?’ ‘Yes I have, and the frustration is that I can do a lot better.’ ‘Well, you must have high standards; to my ears, you sounded very clear.’
Just then, another member came up to us, ‘you know, my son does what you do, and he just took a position with another company, I mean just this week. I’ll bet his old job is still open. Would you want the name of his company?’ ‘Wow, that would be great,’ our visitor responded.
To which I piped in: ‘could he call your son, and pick his brain a little bit about the job before he calls the company?’ ‘Well sure, my son is hard to get some times, let me give you his cell number; maybe you can text him first?’
If you are frequently (this is the hardest part) talking with people, telling your story, are you getting feedback?
Have you had any kudos lately? Or any suggestions to improve? And most of all, are you getting results? Do you more-often-than-not get a referral, a name of someone who could offer you a better job?
These three ingredients, frequency, feedback, and results will tell you if your story is working.