Friday, December 28, 2012

The Secret to Winning Awards & Getting Your New Job in the New Year

My story about restoring my beautiful but highly temperamental 1968 Jaguar 420 has lead to awards as well as meeting British motor racing legend Sir Stirling Moss. 

In his recent article posted on Linkedin entitled "The Secret to Getting Your New Job in the New Year," master story teller, Peter Guber makes a compelling case that while resumes may help you to the door, it’s the purposeful story you tell that often gets you through the door and into a new office with your name on it.

Peter makes the point that it is the emotional resonance of the conversation that is remembered rather than facts and data, and concludes with this sage advice, "Before your next interview, come armed! Not with resume bullets, but with the belief and conviction that the story you tell will hit your listeners’ hearts and stay top of mind long after you've left and the plethora of other candidates attempt to sell themselves on the backs of their resumes alone."

My first experience of the power of story telling was during the interview process for the Nedbank Award for best student studying for an MBA at UNISA (University of South Africa). The story I told was of my life lessons learned from the restoration of my 1968 Jaguar 420. 

As I began to talk about my passion for restoring beautiful but highly temperamental vintage British cars like the Jaguar 420, I could immediately see the impact on the interviewers. From their posture to their level of eye contact, I could see that a connection had been made. At the end of the day, out of 495 candidates of whom only 10 were women, I received their nomination and ultimately the award.

Stories enable the emotional resonance described in Peter Guber's article and summed up so well in this quotation by Maya Angelou, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." 

Swapping stories with Rob Walton during Bahamas Speed Week.