What is your career story?

A career story map helps you illustrate your skills, career highlights, interests, vision, ambition, and intended impact.

What is your career story?
Photo by Amani Nation / Unsplash

Hi Everyone,

August marks two years since I graduated from my PhD program. I am reflecting a lot on the educational journey from first semester of college to first job to first promotion. I still consider myself in the first job stage and I am reflecting on how do I get to my first promotion? What does that look like and how do I leverage my expertise and network to get there? As usual, as I figure things out and come up with strategies, I will share them with you all.

I had a beautiful conversation with a mentor about my career and I was left thinking about my journey. I've somewhat been a bit bashful and embarrassed about my career trajectory. I have often followed my interests and that has taken me down interesting paths and degrees. But as I get older and as I approach two years since graduating, I am yearning to take a straighter path versus the winding one that I have been on. While I know that I cannot predict where life will take me, I can be intentional about the direction I desire. I also can take ownership of my career story. Instead of feeling bashful that I have taken a winding road, I can highlight my achievements, connections, and results.

At work, I have been designing programs and one tool we use is a logic model. After writing up a logic model for one of our programs, I thought that the segments could be replicated in the career space. So, I decided to modify the logic model template I made to reflect a career story map.

When reflecting on my career story, I thought about:

  • The past and the present- the skills that I possess and the key roles, activities, and results that I have had experienced (yellow).
  • The flexible – the sectors and topics that interests me and that I want to explore. (green).
  • The steady – my vision and goals that I have for my career (orange).
  • The foundation – my intended impact that I want my career to play in my community or field (blue).

I drew out this career map in a canvas style and filled it out this past weekend. It was helpful to have my story on one page. It's a way for me to visualize my impact and it was helpful for me to see the themes in my career. Often it feels like I am wandering down a winding road, but when I zoomed out and looked at my map, I realized that I work in the social impact sector doing program management, event management, content creation, and research. When I write up my career story in paragraph format, I can pull from this map and share my skills, highlights, interests, vision, ambition, and intended impact. It will help me clarify the type of places I want to work in the future. This career map can help me reflect on if I want to continue in my current direction or if I need to pivot.

Do you have a career story map? What do you think of this template? Can it help illustrate your journey?

*** Dr. Lisa-Marie

P.S. The Intellectual Will: Guided Journal for Self-Discovery in Uncertain Places is almost ready for sale. The designer is putting finishing touches on the digital version. I will put it up for sale in September or October and take pre-orders for the physical copy which will release in Spring 2022. Once it is ready for sale, you will be the first to know : ).