Tell Your Story
“There isn’t anyone you can’t learn to love once you’ve heard their story.” - Mr. Rogers.
Science shows storytelling affects the brain
- Stories raise listener dopamine levels
- Stories activate emotional and sensory areas of the cortex
- Listeners begin to identify with and experience the story in sync with the speaker through processes such as mirroring and neural coupling
Taking a few minutes to craft your story—where you started, where you are now, where you want to go—will serve as a foundation to career exploration and job search conversations.
Figure out what you want to say
- Make a timeline of key people, places, events: Which influenced what you want to do when you leave GV?
- Identify skills and abilities: What do you know, what have you done, who are you? How can these details be woven into your narrative?
- Where do you want to go? One purpose for telling your story is building a network who can help you take the next step.
Begin crafting your story
- Spoken stories should be created out loud and then written down.
- Your story should be short & memorable: Keep it simple.
- Use descriptions: Show don’t tell.
- Stories have structure: beginning, middle, & end. That doesn’t mean your story can’t start with the end or the middle!
- Adjust your story according to your audience.
- Practice, practice, practice. Consider stopping by the CareerLab or visiting the Speech Lab to tell your story and get feedback.
Remember, your story needs to matter. What question is your story answering or asking in your current context? Telling your story confidently at a networking event, in an informational interview, or a professional conversation will help you get a step closer to your career goals.