by CareerActually contributor, Peter Luscombe

I am the author of my life.

Indeed you are your own author. Having said that, you also swim currents set by others and circumstances. This is especially true in the workplace where your job description may change, deadlines get tight, a project you’ve spent hours on may go off into a ditch. Matters don’t always feel within your control.

How do you narrate such?

Compass Concept

Narration takes navigation.

You seriously have to know what’s important to you. Without compass bearings most often flounder. You can lead yourself down dead-ends, think you’re ‘saying’ one thing when others perceive it as another simply because you’re fuddled, or face an interview with a supervisor and come across as unsorted and at worse, uncommitted. Values clarification is essential when narrating yourself at work.

In the words of Carole Brown:

Career success and satisfaction is closely linked to doing work that is consistent with your career values. Knowing what your career values are makes it easier to: 

  • Assess your current work situation
  • Plan for the future
  • Find the right job opportunities
  • Decide what direction to take your career in

The Career Values Card Sort is a good way to begin this dialogue within yourself, and hence, how you narrate at work.

Be guided in your actions and outcomes.

Nothing narrates worse than an unclear ‘game plan.’ Again you can go down dead-ends, confuse others and not present your best at work. While fictionalizing your narration may have a place, it also has a used-by-date. Really, it’s best to be honest with yourself, honest with others at work, and, not be faced with having to fictionalize. Be prepared, guide your actions according to values you hold important, look out for your ‘fit’ in the workplace. Such makes narrating at work so much easier.

Take this model for example as a guide:

 3 essentials

 You do want to be yourself. You do want to: Be the author of your life.

With this in mind these words from The Essential Career Guide speak:

Essential 1. Recognise your unique value

To achieve career success you need to understand and appreciate the interests, skills, experience and reputation that set you apart from others. Knowing who you are, what motivates you and what you have to offer, enables you to make good decisions about what you want and position yourself more confidently in the job market.

In other words, you need to work out how to narrate your best at work through what you produce and present, through how you work with others, and through staying true to your own values so such alignment makes your job easier within yourself. Being at odds within yourself can so often undermine?

I am the author of my life. Unfortunately, I’m writing in pen and can’t erase my mistakes