top of page
  • Writer's pictureRenata Bernarde

Why Talking About Yourself Is So Hard

Episode 3 - Developing Your Personal Narrative - Part 1

Episode 3 - Developing your personal narrative - Part 1

In this episode, I am sharing the first half of a presentation I did at a conference in Sydney for the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (see link below). It was their Annual Leadership Summit, and I was invited to speak on personal branding. However, I decided to avoid "eyes rolling" and having mining engineers leave the room for a coffee break during my session. I decided to change the title to trick everyone. The topic is indeed about building your personal brand. So, there you go. Listen at your own peril!

The content of my presentation is based on years of personal trial and error, research, best practices, and anecdotal successes and failures from clients, friends, and co-workers.

I am drawn to it; I am interested in how we speak about ourselves and why it is so hard. And I find that people around me come to me for support when they need to tell a compelling story about themselves. So, I keep investigating the topic. Thus we now have a podcast and these notes.

It's awkward to do it. To talk about oneself. Even for the best storytellers out there, the best salespeople, to talk about yourself without feeling like a prick or being one is tricky.

Furthermore, having that clarity of purpose in your career is hard because you are so close to what you do that you project the understanding of it onto other people. For example, we often hear that people will work hard and expect to be promoted. And when eventually we find ourselves in a situation where we have no option but to speak about what we do, let's say a job interview, we run the risk of sounding unprepared, or we may end up conveying it in such a way that denotes a false humility, which only makes matters worse. So, you end up digging a hole for yourself: you either end up not owning your success and leadership, or you share it in a way that is perceived as disingenuous.

Another significant error in talking about what you do is vague or using jargon words that few people understand. Things like "industry 4.0", "internet of things," "project management," "agile," "RPA," "CX." "SAP," "business transformation" (this last one is my cross to bear!): many of the words floating around today are meaningless to most people.

When I speak about how a story you own ends up being told by people outside your realm of influence, this is the illustration I'm referring to (yes, I made this myself!):

And when I'm explaining the difference between Personal Selling (i.e., Marketing), Public Relations, and Branding, this following illustration may help (source below)

We will talk more about personal narrative soon in Part 2, so hang on and keep following the Job Hunting Podcast!

Leave a comment on the Podcast's private Facebook group if you also think "personal branding" is cringe-worthy, and let me know what you enjoyed about this episode. Do you have a topic you would like me to address in the future? Leave a comment there also!

If you enjoy this podcast, sign up for our newsletter so I can tell you when new episodes come up.

Transcript of this episode

About the Host

Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach professionals (corporate, non-profit, and public) the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress.

If you are an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, if you are looking to find your next job or promotion, or if you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running, then this podcast is for you.

In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, on my website, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients.

Contact Renata Bernarde

I’m determined to help you! I want you to feel empowered, nail your next job, and have the career you want.

Learn more about my services, courses, and group coaching:


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page