Autobiography August: Monthly Challenge #8
Write 3 Pages a Day & Own Your (Professional) Narrative
Ready or not, August is here! 2019 is flying by, and so is the time to tick off your New Years Resolutions.
That's why we've got a fresh challenge to keep you feeling focused and fulfilled as fall approaches.
Enter Autobiography August.
We've talked before about the importance of owning your professional narrative. At PowerToFly, we believe in the power of storytelling.
Whether you're trying to sell your product, your vision, or your experience, it all comes back to a good story. Struggling with imposter syndrome? Scared to career pivot? Try shifting your narrative.
When we write about our past, we take control of it. We see our weaknesses up close, and then we can reframe them as the learning experiences they were always meant to be.
So this August, we're not really challenging you to write an autobiography. But we are challenging you to spend at least 10 minutes a day journaling about you.
You can focus on personal or professional experiences, but try and craft a narrative that spans your professional life.
The goal is to get comfortable answering the "innocuous" questions that throw so many of us for a loop: Tell me about yourself, walk me through your resume, what're you up to these days?
You might use some of the following questions as writing prompts:
- What was your first job? Why did you leave it? What did you learn from it?
- How many jobs have you had since you started your career? Which taught you the most? Is there anything you really miss about a past job? Why do you miss it?
- Jot down each job you've worked at and identify the number 1 thing you learned at each – how did each of those lessons help you along your professional journey?
- What is a weakness you had when you started your career that you feel you've overcome? What's a weakness you're still working on?
- What would 20-year-old you have to say about where you are now? Where do you hope to be in 10 years?
- How does your professional life jive with your personal life? Do you have the work-life balance you'd hoped for? How does one area impact the other?
- Do you feel fulfilled by your career? Do you think career fulfillment is important? If not, which areas of your life make you feel fulfilled?
- What's your elevator pitch? Try writing 5 different 3 sentence responses to "Tell me about yourself." Which one feels the most "you"?
Play Professional Narrative Mad-libs
If you're struggling, try filling in the blanks in the following template below to design an elevator pitch that is LinkedIn-ready. It's like mad-libs for your professional life!
- I am a (adjective), (adjective) (noun) experienced in (noun) and (noun). With a passion for (noun), I'm looking to (verb phrase) and (verb phrase).
WORD BANK (just for inspiration — feel free to use whatever words speak to you)
- Adjectives: dedicated, enthusiastic, energetic, data-driven, collaborative, results-driven, people-oriented, relatable
- Nouns/Noun phrase: problem-solver/problem solving, , cost eliminator, storyteller/storytelling, engineer/engineering, writer/writing, manager/management, optimization, decision maker, analyst/analysis, team building, process improvement, social impact, communication, explorer, connecting (people/companies/countries), environment, continuous improvement, learning
- Verbs (phrases): challenge myself, add value, make change, build (systems/brands/teams), optimize (processes), manage people, inspire, lead, develop, invent, create, fix, learn, grow
So get to work:
Write for ten minutes a day and reflect on how your experiences have made you the professional you are now. At the end, you'll have 31 days worth of insights to look back on. I promise you you'll be a better writer and a more self-aware, confident person for it.
You might even have learned to love telling people about yourself.
Tackling the challenge? Tweet us what you're writing for #autobiographyaugust @PowerToFly!