What’s your career story?

Storytelling tricks to get your career off the groundUse these writers’  tricks to help get your own career story off the ground.

1. In the beginning…

Writers often spend time understanding a character’s backstory – what happens before the story begins.

ACTION: Jot down a few points about yourself – what you like, what you’re interested in and the type of person you are. Take The Buzz Quiz to find out more about your personality.

2. Sketch out different outlines

Some writers like to explore different ideas and try to work out what will happen in their story, before they start writing.

ACTION: From the notes you’ve just made, can you tease out any links to jobs? Explore connections between your favourite school subjects and jobs. What would need to happen to take you from where you are now, to doing one of these jobs? What different possibilities could your next step open up?

3. Become a fact-finder

Most writers rely on some sort of research in order to bring their story to life. Perhaps they’ll visit where they are going to set their story, read through old newspapers or learn about a new subject.

ACTION: What can you discover about a career option or job type from an internet search? What recent news stories can you find about a particular industry?

4. Call in the experts

Getting the details right can make all the difference to a good story. Crime writers often speak to police officers or lawyers to make sure what happens in their book reflects how a case would be dealt with in the real world.

ACTION: Is there anyone you can speak to get a first-hand view of what a job is like? Try asking friends, family and teachers if they can help or explore icould videos for real-life accounts of jobs and careers.

5. What happens next?

One of the great things about being a writer is you get to decide how things work out. Some writers like to map out their story in great detail before they begin.Others know the beginning and the end but not what happens in the middle. Some writers take a very small idea and see where it leads. There is no right or wrong way.

Jermaine, carpenter

“I didn’t find it very easy to know exactly what I wanted to be until I tried a few other things.”

Wendy, community musician

An item on Blue Peter was the start of Wendy’s career path.

ACTION: What happens next in your career story? What one thing can you do to help find out?

Find out more

See our Starting points series for other ways to get thinking about careers.