Your Story – Why it’s Key to Getting a Job You Love – Claire Steichen (FGI New York)

A recent client took a shot at giving me her elevator pitch, and it sounded like this, “Seven years at X bank, an internship at Y bank, all in selling financial products with good results.”  Even with how much I like her personally, I was not inspired.  The pitch was a cookie cutter list that sounded like hundreds of other people in her business in New York.

So I asked about her childhood, “Forget work. Tell me the stories your mom tells about what you were like.”  And she was off to the races.  That’s easy, she said.  My mom always says that when we were on the airplane, I would disappear down the aisle and come back half an hour later with a full inventory of who was going where, whom they were visiting, how many grandchildren they had.  Oh, and she got a glass of water for an elderly passenger because the woman couldn’t get the flight attendant’s attention, etc, etc.  Now THAT sounds like a salesperson.

Her enthusiastic curiosity about people is a unique ability — and we all have them. These are core talents that are like a well that keeps on giving.  Using these abilities each day gives us a sense of purpose, and is what makes us good at what we do when we are in the right job.

Learn to share the stories that highlight your unique abilities.  Whether it’s for promotion or job search, they help develop your brand and they help people see what you are capable of.

Connect one of your core skills to an impact you’ve had in your work.  For example, “I used to go around asking people all about their stories and what they need.  In my sales job, getting curious about my clients allowed me to customize solutions instead of pushing product. I grew existing accounts by 25% and expanded to 15 new clients in three years.”

Too many of us think that personal stories won’t sound professional.  On the contrary; if you link them to your work impact, they provide depth and make people remember you.

Enjoy the summer and please play with sharing your unique skills!

All my best,

Author: Claire Steichen (FGI New York – Executive Member)

As an executive and career coach, Claire Steichen works with Beauty and Fashion organizations to motivate middle and senior managers, and with individuals on crafting careers they love. Before becoming a coach, Claire was an Account Manager in sales at Givaudan, where she managed on-going client relationships with Avon, Estee Lauder, La Prairie and Victoria’s Secret. Prior to Givaudan, Claire worked as a Marketing Manager from a local SEO agency for L’Oreal and Christian Dior fragrance, where she oversaw the US launches of major skincare and fragrance brands.  Claire has her MBA from Columbia Business School, where she works as a coach with several executive education programs. Claire is bi-lingual in English and French, and is fluent in Spanish.

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