Developing career resilience
Developing career resilience

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Developing career resilience

3.2 Your own career narrative

As in telling any story, you need to think about the following:

  • What am I trying to say?
  • What am I wanting to achieve?
  • Which are the key bits of the story?
  • Which bits might jar for this audience and be better summarised, left out or reframed?
  • How far does this narrative support my next steps?

Take time to look at what your private career narrative is. Which stories are you telling yourself? Is it limiting your choices before you examine them?

Do you find yourself looking wistfully at new jobs, thinking ‘I couldn’t combine that with being a mum’ or ‘That isn’t for me’ (because you didn’t perform at your best in exams 20 years ago at a time of family crisis)?

If you’re interested in career change, how could you complete the sentence ‘A turning point for me came when …’?

For example, ‘I’ve always worked as a care assistant with elderly people, but a turning point for me came when I looked back on my experience helping out with my local youth club and realised what a lot I got from that. That’s why I’m now applying for social work training.’

Examining how someone else narrates their career story can help you to identify what might be important and to explore how presenting a career narrative in different ways might provide a different perspective. As you hear how others adapt their stories, consider which bits of your career narrative you might use in different circumstances:

  • at a jobs fair with a stranger
  • in an appraisal discussing new projects with your manager
  • at the pub with a trusted friend who works in an area you’d like to explore.

Activity 6 Thinking about your own career narrative

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes.

Note down your thoughts and good intentions!

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