We all know the feeling of visiting a relative’s house and looking through the old photo albums…. You know, when they weren’t stored on a hard drive.
Memories come flooding back and suddenly we are living in those moments again.
I get that without those photographs it would be that much harder to remember all those little details. Our memories tend to prioritise more recent and relevant events, and they need a bit of a jog to get going sometimes.
There is a very real lesson for job seekers here too.
If you walk into an interview room cold, you will be mentally scrambling around to remember details of what happened a year ago, let along ten years ago. Your future employer wants to get a full picture of your whole career, and if you are sketchy on the details, it won’t fill them with confidence.
Before you go into an interview process, you have to relive your career memories beforehand. To be able to tell the most convincing story, they have to be fresh in your mind.
In any case, I believe that it is healthy to journey back to various moments in the past and think about how various situations came about. Looking back at yourself in this way can often show how you have grown, but it can also shed light on how you might handle similar situations in the future.
If you can share these insights with a potential employer, they will have a far more rounded picture of your future potential.
It might be tempting to remember only the pleasant stuff, but we all know that our biggest learnings come from our mistakes. Smashing your annual target in the boom years doesn’t make for a great story, but what you did to hit your numbers in the depths of recession makes for a far more revealing tale.
One think that might help is having a coffee with a previous colleague and talking about the old days. Talking about experiences out loud is a great way to make them more real, and if you can link it with the potential roles that are in the offing, the conversation will add huge value. Getting a past colleagues opinion is useful at any time, but never more so than when you are going for a new job or career change.
What you think of yourself is never quite the same as what others think of you.
In terms of how you tell your career story, it is important that you first understand what the interviewer wants to know. It is great to go off on a monologue about a certain occasion, but if that is not relevant to the interviewer, it will serve to annoy them, no matter how interesting and vivid the tale. Only tell a story if they want to hear about it!
In conclusion, the fresher the memories for you, the richer your stories will be.
Taking a trip down memory lane could be the best thing that you do before that interview.